Colgate is embracing a no-loan initiative for students with a total family income up to $125K.

A view of Memorial Chapel on the Academic Quad during early autumn

Competitive Financial Support 

Colgate’s newest financial aid offering expands the financial support available to students and aims to lessen the burden of student debt. The no-loan initiative eliminates federal loans for all current and incoming students with a family income up to $125,000 and household assets typical of this income range. 

Colgate students already graduate with one of the nation’s lowest average levels of indebtedness. The average debt for students who graduated in the Class of 2019 was $15,305 compared to the national average is about $30,000.

No-loan Initiative Details

  • Eligible students have a total family income up to $125,000 and have household assets typical of this income range
  • All first-year students and continuing students who apply and are eligible for financial aid will automatically be considered; no separate application is necessary
  • The no-loan initiative begins the fall of 2020
  • Students and families will still have the flexibility to take out their own loans if they so desire

Frequently Asked Questions

The no-loan initiative will go into effect starting in the Fall of 2020 for both first year and continuing students. All financial aid awards offered for the 2020-2021 academic year will have considered students' eligibility for the program. Awards for previous years will not be affected.

Students who apply for and are eligible for financial aid, with total family income up to $125,000 and have household assets typical of this income range. Total income is calculated using taxable income (e.g. wages, interest, business income, etc.) plus untaxed income (e.g. child support, social security, pension distributions, etc.). Assets include bank accounts, investments, home equity, and business net worth, for example, but do not include retirement savings.

Families will still need to make important decisions about their approach to financing their educational costs. The no-loan initiative will allow, for eligible students, to have the federal subsidized and unsubsidized student loan component of their financial aid offer replaced with Colgate grants. Students and families will still be responsible for their family’s contribution to the cost of attendance, and may elect to include loans as part of their strategy for financing these costs.

Yes, although eligible students will not have loans automatically added to the initial financial aid offered, they will still have access to the Federal Direct Loan program upon request. This initiative will neither impact a student’s nor a parent’s ability to borrow under the Federal Direct Loan program, or to seek financing through a private educational loan.

The financial aid policies for students attending off-campus study programs are unchanged. Colgate Grant recipients can receive additional financial aid to meet the extra costs for one semester-long and one extended-study program. A loan of no more than $1,500 will be offered to help cover the extra cost of the program, regardless of loans offered for on-campus study.

International students are not eligible to borrow loans from the Federal Direct Loan program. As a result, students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. will continue to have their demonstrated need met with institutional funds from Colgate such as the Colgate Grant and Colgate Work-Study Jobs.

No, Federal Work-Study and Colgate Work-Study will continue to be offered to eligible students, even if their total family income is less than $125,000. Students offered work-study as part of their financial aid may work in a part-time job during the academic year to earn the amount offered. Students with work-study awards will receive priority in hiring for most on-campus jobs.  Generally, students work 10-12 hours per week to earn the amount in their financial aid offer.

As is currently the case, domestic student’s eligibility for financial aid is reevaluated prior to each academic year. Financial aid is offered on an annual basis, determined after careful analysis of the aid application materials submitted. If your family’s financial situation changes, the amount and type of financial aid offered may be adjusted in a subsequent academic year.

No, the amount of additional grant assistance moving forward is equal to the amount that would have traditionally been offered as a federal loan before this initiative went into effect. Borrowers who request additional loans beyond the standard amount offered initially will not have higher levels of loans converted to Colgate Grant.