Student loans are being eliminated from Dartmouth University’s financial aid packages. The New Hampshire Ivy League college is planning to offer more grants in order to aid students on their higher education journey. This new measure goes into effect on June 23rd and students attending this year’s summer school courses are eligible.
This is being applauded by students and teachers as the failing economy wreaks havoc on young adults. Student loan rates and tuition have increased, inflation is skyrocketing, and transportation costs are higher than they have ever been. This, combined with a teacher shortage and a continued interest in alternative options after high school, Dartmouth is working to stay relevant in a changing educational climate.
Many students believe they cannot afford to go to college. Instead of working to obtain an expensive degree — which may or may not offer better job prospects, as employers value experience and proper training over traditional degrees at increasing rates — many young adults have been switching to trade schools which are more affordable and offer a broader range of job prospects after program completion. In addition, some states are removing college requirements from worker positions or even offering on-the-job training programs for high school students so it is no wonder that Dartmouth is working to be more financially flexible in order to compete with these popular options.
The new Dartmouth policy is drawing funding from about 65 different charitable donors in the amount of $80 million. It is expected to save students some $5,500 each year and offers a more tangible solution to student struggles than taxpayer-funded federal student loan forgiveness programs. If other schools follow suit, college debt will not be as much of a burden, and students may return to traditional higher education learning.
A previous policy had been put in place by Dartmouth which nullified the need to obtain student loans for students whose household incomes totaled less than $125,000 annually. It was so successful that this has now been extended to include all students. Driven by a need to offer relief to the middle class during a serious economic shift, it is expected to reach new successes.
Dartmouth’s President is proud of the school’s Call To Lead initiative. He noted that it is an “extraordinary investment” centered around ensuring that students can “seek their purpose and passion” without going broke. This comes as most colleges are increasing tuition.
In 2020 it was reported that Dartmouth’s annual tuition would increase by 3.9%. Then in 2021, it increased by 2%. While it is unknown if tuition continued to increase this year, the need to offset these rising costs in order to continue serving students has grown. The value of the American dollar has continued to go down as costs skyrocket. This poses further challenges for students who do not have college funds or other financial support.
Dartmouth college has acknowledged the need to provide students with better tuition assistance options. Instead of loading young adults with thousands of dollars in debt, the school has increased its grant program and that is something that is being celebrated across the board. The 2022-2023 school year is looking promising for Dartmouth students.