Colgate No-Loan Initiative Launches Fall 2020

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In a continued effort to provide competitive financial support and lessen student debt, Colgate University is eliminating federal loans from financial aid offers for all current and incoming students with a total family income of up to $125,000, starting in the fall of 2020.

This expanded aid offering, recently approved by the Colgate University Board of Trustees, means that Colgate will continue to meet 100 percent of all admitted students’ demonstrated need, but loans will no longer be the responsibility of those who meet these criteria. Students and families will still have the flexibility to take out their own loans if they so desire. 

An estimated 50 percent of all students receiving financial aid will benefit from this new initiative. Currently, 46 percent of Colgate students receive financial aid from the University. Funding for this new effort will initially come from the University’s operating budget, but plans are in place for the program to be fully supported by the endowment and the Colgate Fund through fundraising.

“Colgate must continue to attract the most qualified students from around the world, and this new financial-support initiative will help to ensure our classrooms are filled with the brightest minds from all economic backgrounds,” said Colgate President Brian W. Casey.  

The average annual federal loan for students receiving financial aid at Colgate is about $2,200, and the average Colgate aid package for current students is about $53,000 a year. 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. The national average is about $30,000.

Development of the no-loan initiative was part of Colgate’s recently adopted Third-Century Plan, a framework to help guide the University for the future. That plan focuses on attracting and supporting outstanding students and faculty; strengthening the University’s academic enterprise; enriching the student experience, and improving the campus and the environment. Read more about the Third-Century Plan

“We have always taken great pride in the generous financial aid offerings at Colgate, and this initiative goes even further to ensure that students from families with modest incomes can be considered to receive an even greater level of support while they pursue Colgate’s superb educational opportunities,” said Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid Gary Ross.