More High-Ranking Colleges and Universities Boost Financial Aid for Low-Income Students

Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has announced a new financial aid policy designed to make the university more affordable to low-income students. The university will eliminate all loans for students whose family income is below $50,000. The loans will be replaced with scholarship grants. For students from families with incomes in the $50,000 to $75,000 range, there will be a loan cap of $3,000.

Lehigh estimates that it will spend $54 million on undergraduate student aid during the 2008-09 academic year.

Blacks make up 3 percent of the more than 4,700 undergraduate students at Lehigh University.

Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, has eliminated loans for students from families with incomes below $50,000. These loans will be replaced with scholarship grants. In addition, Lafayette will place a loan cap of $2,500 for students on financial aid from families with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000.

Blacks are 5 percent of the 2,400-member students body at Lafayette College.

At Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, where 4 percent of the students are black, loans will be eliminated from all student financial aid packages. The loans will be replaced by scholarship grants.

The college estimates that the new no loan policy will add $1 million to the college’s current $13.3 million financial aid budget.