71 colleges with ‘no student loan’ policies

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Cracking open an acceptance letter isn’t the only crucial moment of your summer before college. Decoding your award letter is just as significant.

After all, what good is being admitted if you can’t afford your way to campus?

Affordability, however, may no longer be a concern at dozens of schools around the country. They offer the most generous financial aid packages— no student loans necessary.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

What is a no-loans policy?

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

America’s collective student loan debt stands at $1.56 trillion and growing, and many colleges and universities have decided they want to no part of increasing the figure.

Through so-called no-loans policies, these schools’ financial aid offices promise not to employ federal, institutional or private student loans to help you meet your cost of attendance. They replace debt with scholarships, grants and work-study opportunities, plus parent contributions when possible.

To be clear: If you decide to borrow money, these schools won’t stop you. Stanford University’s financial aid office says it will assist you in securing a loan if you decide you’d rather not spend the school year or summer working. (You might also resort to borrowing if your school’s no-loan package doesn’t cover the off-campus apartment or nonacademic expenses you might need to pay.)

Still, the following schools make it a point that you don’t have to take on debt to take on higher education.

Not all no-loan schools have the same offering. Some promise to help all students bypass borrowing, while others assist only low-income or in-state students avoid education debt.

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No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

These 21 colleges and universities — including some prestigious schools with need-blind admissions and healthy endowments — will help all incoming students avoid student debt.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

1. Amherst College: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

2. Berea College: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Parkerdr.

3. Bowdoin College: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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4. Brown University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

5. Colby College: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Roman Boed / Flickr.

6. College of the Ozarks: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Nan Fry / Flickr.

7. Columbia University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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8. Davidson College: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

9. Harvard University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

10. Haverford College: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Haverford College.

11. Johns Hopkins University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

12. Northwestern University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

13. Pomona College: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Pomona.edu.

14. Princeton University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

15. Stanford University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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16. Swarthmore College: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Swarthmore.edu.

17. University of Chicago: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

18. University of Pennsylvania: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Bryan Y.W. Shin.

19. Vanderbilt University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

20. Washington and Lee University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

21. Yale University: No loans for all students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Low-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

These 24 schools reserve their no-loans policy for their lowest-income students. Each policy sets criteria for qualifying, including:

Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) would give these schools the information they need to determine your eligibility for a loan-free aid package.

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22. Arizona State University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income up to $25,000

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23. California Institute of Technology: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income below $60,000

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24. Connecticut College: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income $50,000 or below and EFC $5,000 or below

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25. Cornell University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income below $60,000 and assets below $100,000

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26. Dartmouth College: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income below $100,000

Image Credit: Dartmouth.edu.

27. Duke University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income below $40,000

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28. Emory University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income below $50,000

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

29. Lafayette College: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income below $50,000 and have limited assets

Image Credit: Lafayette.edu.

30. Lehigh University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income below $75,000 and assets below $500,000

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31. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income below $75,000 and have limited assets

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32. Miami University (Ohio): No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income of $35,000 or less

Image Credit: miamioh.edu.

33. Michigan State University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income at or below the poverty line

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34. Oberlin College: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Qualify for a Pell Grant

Image Credit: Oberlin.edu.

35. Rice University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Household income below $80,000

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36. Tufts University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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 Household income below $40,000

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37. University of California schools: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income below $60,000

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38. University of Maryland: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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An EFC of zero

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39. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income up to 200% of the poverty line

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40. University of Virginia: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income up to 200% of the poverty line

Image Credit: UVA.edu / Sanjay Suchak, University Communications.

41. University of Washington: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income up to about 235% of the poverty line and qualify for Pell Grants or state-needed grants

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

42. Vassar College: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income below $60,000

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43. Washington University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income below $75,000

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44. Wellesley College: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income $60,000 or below

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45. Wesleyan University: No-loans for the lowest-income students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Household income $40,000 or below

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In-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Aside from chasing in-state tuition, there’s another reason to attend the college or university in your own backyard. It comes without strings — er, loans — attached.

If you don’t mind staying close to home, check out the no-loans requirements for these 26 schools, rounding out our overall list of 71:

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

46. University of Arizona: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

Residents with a household income $42,400 or less who are eligible for a Pell Grant

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

47. University of California schools: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents with a household income below $80,000

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48. Colorado State University-Pueblo: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents with a household income below $50,000 who received a Pell Grant

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Connecticut

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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No loans for some in-state students…

49. Fairfield University: Bridgeport, Conn., high school graduates with a household income below $50,000
50. Sacred Heart University: Fairfield County high school graduates with a household income below $50,000

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51. University of Florida: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents with a household income below $40,000 seeking to become first-generation college graduates in their family

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

52. Georgia Institute of Technology: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents whose parents earn less than $33,300 per year

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Illinois

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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No loans for some in-state students…

53. Northern Illinois University: College freshman residents who are eligible for Pell and state grants
54. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Residents with a zero EFC and a household income below the poverty line

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55. Indiana University: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents who completed the 21st Century Scholars application in middle school and are eligible for the federal government’s free lunch program

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56. University of Louisville: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents with household income below 150% of the poverty line

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Massachusetts

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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No loans for some in-state students…

57. Boston University: Residents who graduated from a public school in the state
58. College of Holy Cross: Worcester, Mass., residents with a household income below $50,000

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

59. University of Michigan: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents with a zero EFC who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree

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60. University of Minnesota schools: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents attending school full time with a household income up to $100,000

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61. Appalachian State University: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents attending school full-time with a household income below the poverty line and a zero EFC

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

62. University of Toledo: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents graduating from an Ohio public high school with a 3.0 GPA who are eligible for the Pell Grant

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Tennessee

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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No loans for some in-state students… 

63. Bryan College: Residents with a household income below $35,000 who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree
64. University of Tennessee: Residents with a household income up to $40,000

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Texas

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

No loans for some in-state students…

65. Texas State University: Residents with a household income $25,000 or less who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree
66. Lamar University: Residents with a household income below $25,001 who are eligible for a Pell Grant
67. University of Texas at El Paso: Residents with a household income below $30,000 or less
68. University of Texas at Dallas: Residents with a household income $25,000 or less who are attending school full-time and are eligible for Pell Grants
69. Texas A&M University: Residents with a household income $60,000 or less

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

70. University of Vermont: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents who are eligible for a Pell Grant

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71. College of William and Mary: No loans for some in-state students

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

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Residents with a household income below $40,000

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How to qualify for the no-loans schools on your college list

71 colleges with 'no student loan' policies

The FAFSA is a crucial step to affording any college. It will set the benchmark of your EFC and potentially work in your favor as you seek financial aid not offered directly by schools, perhaps in the form of private scholarships and grants from your state.

Contact the financial aid offices of your top schools, whether they have no-loans policies or not, to collect the latest information about their resources and support. You can determine what kind of aid you qualify for, and how to go about obtaining it.

If a handful of no-loans schools are on your college list and you’re eligible to benefit, you’re in luck. Keep in mind, however, that while generous aid could be handed out, gaining admission would still be up to you.

The information in this article is accurate as of April 1, 2019.

This article originally appeared on StudentLoanHero.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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