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The Exhaustive 55 No-Loan Colleges List

No-Loan Colleges List

You may wonder: Do colleges that offer 100% financial aid actually exist? Well, the answer is yes! They do exist and there are plenty of such colleges providing you with many options. The prime motive of issuing a no-loan education for colleges is to rescue students from the exorbitant interest rates and the risks of indulging in a contract. Here your financial needs of student loans are replaced by grants and scholarships. Let’s understand the policies adopted by no-loan colleges and have a look at all the colleges that provide this facility. 

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What Are No-Loan Colleges? 

“No-loan colleges” are exactly what they sound like: academic institutions for higher learning that help students afford their cost of attendance without resorting to student loans.

This means they offer complete financial aid to their students without the expectation of being reimbursed. Instead of loans the enrollment and other financial needs are fulfilled through grants and scholarships. Such colleges with ‘no student loans’ make graduating without student loans a guarantee, rather than a remote possibility.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the cost of attendance at these schools is zero dollars. Most no-loan colleges aim to cover each family’s demonstrated financial need – the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution, referred to as EFC/Student Aid Index. It simply means that you can get your degree without student loans being part of the financial aid package. 

EFC will be soon replaced by Student Aid Index. If you are not aware of these two terms then you must read this blog as well: Student Aid Index: All You Need To Know About The Changes In Financial Aid

As an example, if your EFC is $5,000, and the cost of tuition for a year is $25,000, that makes your financial need $20,000. It is this $20,000 that will be covered by schools that meet full financial needs. This sum will be offered to you in the form of grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities.

Note: Colleges that offer 100% financial aid have no control over the EFC (the remaining $5,000 from the above example); that is entirely in your family’s hands. Further, some only function as no loan colleges only for low-income households. It means if your family’s income is above the threshold then unfortunately student loans may be part of the package.

If you are looking forward to securing admission into such no-loan colleges, be prepared to take up work-study. Work-study is a common requirement in these programs. This means you will be working part-time in exchange for the school covering your tuition. But work-study can be a great opportunity, as most colleges strive to ensure that the work you take on is relevant to your future career, making it a powerful experience and resume builder.

Read More: Work-Study Techniques – Your Guide To Balancing Studies and A Job

What Motivates No-Loan Colleges And How Do They Afford This? 

At this stage, if you are wondering: Why would a college ensure that you can cover their financial need without student loans; then you are not alone. It is common to think about this. The underlying secret is that the no-loan scheme gives them the ability to attract the best and brightest students across the nation, regardless of their family’s financial situation. Thus, they become a tough competitor for the high-cost colleges and gain attention.

Also, there is a positive side to this. No loan colleges can provide equal access to a high-quality education, bridging the gap between students that come from low- and high-income households.

In the vast majority of cases, no loan policy colleges are predominately supported by endowments. Endowments are a combination of donations and investment assets that help the school generate income.

Recommended Reading: CSS Financial Aid Profile Vs. FAFSA

The Complete No Loan Colleges List

Here’s the list you were excitedly waiting for. 

‘No-Loan Colleges’ For All Students

These 21 no-loan colleges and universities will help all incoming students avoid student debt.

  1. Amherst College
  2. Berea College
  3. Bowdoin College
  4. Brown University
  5. Colby College
  6. College of the Ozarks
  7. Columbia University
  8. Davidson College
  9. Grinnell College
  10. Harvard University
  11. Johns Hopkins University
  12. Northwestern University
  13. Pomona College
  14. Princeton University
  15. Stanford University
  16. Swarthmore College
  17. University of Chicago
  18. University of Pennsylvania
  19. Vanderbilt University
  20. Washington and Lee University
  21. Yale University

‘No-Loan Colleges’ For Low-Income Students

The following 17 schools reserve their no-loans policy for their lowest-income students.

Each policy sets criteria for qualifying based on:

  • Household income (as it relates to the federal poverty line) and assets
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Eligibility for Pell grants or state grants and welfare programs

  1. California Institute of Technology
  2. Colgate University
  3. Connecticut College
  4. Cornell University
  5. Dartmouth College
  6. Duke University
  7. Emory University
  8. Haverford College
  9. Lafayette College
  10. Miami University (Ohio)
  11. Michigan State University
  12. Rice University
  13. Tufts University
  14. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  15. Washington University in St. Louis
  16. Wellesley College
  17. Wesleyan University

‘No-Loan Colleges’ For In-State Students

These colleges prefer students from the same state and the list is as follows:

  1. Arizona State University
  2. University of Arizona
  3. University of California 
  4. Fairfield University
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  6. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  7. Indiana University
  8. University of Louisville
  9. University of Michigan
  10. Appalachian State University
  11. Bryan College
  12. University of Tennessee
  13. Texas State University
  14. Lamar University
  15. University of Texas at El Paso
  16. The University of Texas at Dallas
  17. Texas A&M University


Q1) What are no-loan colleges? 

Ans: No-loan colleges are academic institutions for higher learning that help students afford their cost of attendance without resorting to student loans.

Q2) How does a no-loan college fund your education?

Ans: A no-loan college funds your education through scholarships, bursaries, work-study opportunities and grants. 

Q.3) How does a no-loan college generate income? 

Ans: No loan colleges are often supported by endowments or investment assets, which helps them generate income. 

Q.4) Which students get the no-loan benefit?

Ans: It depends upon the college you have opted for. Some colleges are no loan for in-state students and some are for low-income students. It depends on the university you are choosing to study in. 

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘The Exhaustive 55 No-Loan Colleges List’. If you enjoyed reading this blog and would like to continue reading more about student loans then do check out our following blogs.

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No-Loan Colleges List

The Exhaustive 55 No-Loan Colleges List

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