Williams Abandons No-Loans Policy

February 1, 2010

Williams College announced Sunday that it is moving away from its policy, announced amid similar moves by many elite private colleges, of eliminating loans from students' aid packages. A memo from Bill Wagner, the interim president, said that the college was continuing to add more money to financial aid, and to meet students' full need. "Our loan expectations were already among the lowest in the country (and zero for the lowest-income students) when we eliminated them for all aided students beginning in 2008-9. It now seems prudent to reintroduce modest loans for some aided students, beginning with the class that enters in the fall of 2011," said Wagner. "No current students will be affected; neither will those who enter this fall. As before, families below a certain income, and with typical assets, will not be expected to borrow at all. Others will be offered loans on a sliding scale up to a maximum size that will again be among the lowest in the country..... [W]e are convinced that Williams will remain financially attractive to aided students at all levels of income."

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