Williams Lowers Loan Expectations for Low-Income Students
The announcement comes amid reports that loan limits for college students are rising nationally.
"The College has taken another step toward ensuring that a Williams education is accessible to students from low-income families," Williams President Morton Owen Schapiro said in a letter to the campus community Monday. This is the second time in two years that the college has reduced loan levels and made up the difference by increasing grants.
Loan levels are based on the amount of money parents are expected to pay, based on formulas that take into account their income and assets. Under the new scale, Williams will expect no loans from the group of lowest-income families, whose average income is $20,000. From the next group, with an average income of about $40,000, the college will offer loans amounting to $3,900 over four years. The next group, with an average income of about $60,000, will have a loan limit of $8,000 over four years. The remainder of financial aid students will have a maximum of $14,000.
Until now, the lowest-income families at Williams typically have had loan expectations of $3,900 over four years and the next two groups $8,000 and $14,000.
These changes will go into effect in the coming academic year for all students, including those already at the college.
Williams expects the new policy to cost about $250,000 per year. About 100 of the college’s current students would qualify for zero loans under the new policy but that figure could rise as Williams works to increase the representation of low-income families in entering classes.
Schapiro described the change as "important to our mission of providing the best possible liberal arts education to students from all segments of society and of preparing all our students for the increasingly diverse world in which they will live and work."