Some Colleges Begin Rethinking Student Debt

Smith College and Ohio State University are the latest colleges offering new programs that would relieve some of the financial burdens some students face.

In the fall of next year, the above mentioned schools will take money from their philanthropic funds and offer students more aid in grants, The Washington Post reported. The idea was formed to help students who might lack the financial resources to pay for college.

“Colleges are legitimately worried about student loan debt, but they’re also concerned that if they don’t do this, they won’t be able to compete for the students they want,” Robert Kelchen said, a professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

For Smith College, which educates about 2,600 women a year and holds a $2 billion endowment, they are focusing their efforts on a new financial aid policy.

“There was a real racial disparity in borrowing — 89% of our Black students had loans and only 56% of our white students,” Smith President Kathleen McCartney said. “We’ve been working on a plan to promote racial justice and equity, and we thought we just have to eliminate loans. That will send a powerful message to our students that we are serious about racial justice.”

On average, about 60% of Smith students rely on financial aid and graduate with about $19,000 of debt. But the use of philanthropic funds to curb student debt is just one ad hoc strategy colleges are using to persuade students to attend classes despite national concerns of student debt.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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