Siena Sysko ’21

Starting in the fall of 2018, Brown University will eliminate student loans to benefit students coming from the middle class. The school will replace student loans with non-repayable scholarship funds for those who receive financial aid. The goal is to help families who make moderate incomes who are only able to pay for some of the college bills but need help with the rest.

Students will no longer struggle under college loan debt. Typically, families take out student loans that grow from an average of $37,000 a year to sometimes double that amount– debt that compounds with interest rates, too. The announcement comes after Brown reached its 30 million dollar fundraising goal after a campaign that was launched in September. The Rhode Island Ivy League University plans to raise 90 million additional dollars to ensure the new initiative will be sustainable.

The Brown Promise Fundraiser is part of a larger university effort to raise 500 million dollars for undergraduate financial aid as a part of the 3 billion dollar Brown Together campaign. Christina Paxson, Brown’s President, said in a statement, “The response so far to The Brown Promise has been nothing short of phenomenal. This initiative takes financial aid at the University to the next level, helping us do more for moderate-income students and families. It amplifies our commitment to bringing the best and brightest students to Brown regardless of their socioeconomic background.”

Statistics show that there are 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt, which totals 1.48 trillion dollars in student loan debt at present. Brown University’s initiative may become a catalyst for other schools to eliminate student loans as well.