A Complete List of “No Loans Colleges”

The student loan debt in the United States increased to $1.38 trillion in 2017, increased by $68 billion from the previous year.

In the previous year, the federal student loans’ interest rate was 4.45 percent, but for the 2018-2019 academic year, the interest rate will increase to 5.05 percent. Rates on loans for graduate students will go up to 6.6 percent from 6 percent; and rates on PLUS loans, for parents and graduate students, to 7.6 percent from 7 percent. The federal government sets rates for new student loans each year. Interest rates might fall or remain constant, however, this will be the second consecutive year it has risen.

With the student loan debt increasing each year, some schools are implementing a “No Loan” policy. This policy allows schools to reduce student loans while increasing scholarships and grants. Many of the “no-loan” schools are elite public and private universities.

The list of “no-loan” colleges has increased to more than 70 schools. No-loan financial aid package comes in two ways: one that specifically benefits students from lower-income families and one open to all students eligible for financial aid regardless of family income.

Some colleges with “no-loan” financial aid policies aren’t truly eliminating all loans. Rather, they are reducing a student’s need for loans (based on their family’s income) to attend school. Each school will have its own policy and requirements. Some examples are:

  • Some colleges may require a minimum student contribution that could include part-time student employment.
  • Other schools may limit student eligibility based on the student’s financial need, while some will implement a blanket policy that applies to all students.
  • Certain schools may not completely eliminate loans from a financial aid package, but they may use other methods of funding, such as grants, to reduce the amount that you need to borrow.

Are you eligible for your college’s no loans policy?

Schools that have adopted the “No Loan” Policy will have certain requirements to meet, and it’s possible that these schools have a low acceptance rate. In order to find out if your school has this policy, you should do some research or contact your school’s financial aid office.


  1. Complete your FAFSA®.
  2. Reach out to your prospective school’s financial aid office. Ask them if there are any required forms that need to be completed, or if you need to provide additional information to qualify.
  3. Before you enroll in a school, make sure to go over the financial aid package they’re offering. Compare their financial aid to other schools, ensure that you’re choosing a school that fits your circumstance both financially and academically.

Benefits of No-Loan Programs:

  • Increases opportunities for students from lower-income families
  • Decrease student debt

List of colleges with the “No Loan” policy

Schools that Offer “No Loans” to Everyone  

Amherst College

Bowdoin College

Colby College

Columbia University

Dartmouth College

Davidson College

Harvard University

Haverford College

Pomona College

Princeton University

Stanford University

University of Pennsylvania

Vanderbilt University

Washington and Lee

Yale University

Schools that Only Offer “No Loans” to Low-Income students

Appalachian State University

Arizona State University

Boston University

Bryan College(Tennessee)

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Carleton College

Claremont McKenna College (ended for new students in fall 2014)

College of Holy Cross (Worcester, MA)

College of William and Mary

Colorado State University-Pueblo

Connecticut College

Cornell University

Dartmouth College

Duke University

Emory University

Fairfield University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Grinnell College

Indiana University Bloomington

Kenyon College

Lafayette College

Lamar University

Lehigh University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Miami University (Ohio)

Michigan State University

North Carolina State University

Northern Illinois University

Northwestern University

Oberlin College

Rice University

Sacred Heart University

Texas A&M University

Texas State University-San Marcos

Tufts University

University of Arizona

University of California at Berkeley

University of California System

University of Chicago

University of Florida

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Louisville

University of Maryland, College Park

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

University of Minnesota System

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Tennessee

University of Texas at El Paso

University of Texas Dallas

University of Toledo

University of Vermont

University of Virginia

University of Washington

Vassar College

Washington University in St. Louis

Wellesley University

Williams College

With the interest rate increasing each year, families should think twice before taking out various loans. Make sure you understand the kinds of loans you’re taking out and their interest rate. Parents often overestimate how much they are willing to contribute to their children’s education and underestimate how much they will have to borrow.

If you attend a school that has a “no-loan” policy, the average loan debt you will have after you graduate will be lower than a student who goes to a school with no such policy.