Pomona College’s new student loan plan may ease debt

first_imgSchool officials said students and their families will likely continue to take out loans to cover the family share, which is not impacted by the recent policy change. “The average family share doesn’t grow as much as the average scholarship,” Coye said. “The average need goes up, which means that the average cost increase is not picked up by the family. “If costs go up 5 percent, the family share may only go up 1 percent, which means scholarships will have to cover the remaining 4 percent,” she said. In the current academic year, 53 percent of students are receiving financial aid. The average financial aid package is $33,500, and about $3,000 of that now comes in the form of loans. But with the change in policy, loans will be replaced by additional scholarship money. Student leaders at the college said the loan policy change is welcome. “I definitely think that pretty much no matter what, college is going to be an expensive thing. But I think this really minimizes it,” said Elspeth Hilton, president of the Associated Students of Pomona College. “Even though tuition has risen a lot over the last four years I’ve been here, I think this does help and it does make an impact.” Hal Jakle, president of the Pomona Student Union, echoed Hilton’s remarks. “I trust that the financial planners at the college aren’t taking advantage of the students,” Jakle said. The board of trustees approved the decision to eliminate loans from financial aid packages on Dec. 12.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CLAREMONT – Pomona College officials said they expect the recent decision by the board of trustees to eliminate loans from financial aid packages will reduce the overall debt burden of students. But the impact of the policy change may be blunted by an anticipated increase in costs for tuition and room and board. “We’re simply increasing every student’s scholarship,” said Richard Fass, vice president for planning at the college. “… Everything else will fall out however it falls out. People will do what people will do.” Since the 2003-04 academic year, costs for tuition as well as room and board at the college have risen from $36,870 to $45,3803. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonFrom the previous school year to the current, the cost increased 6.9 percent. That was the highest year-to-year increase in the past five years. Tuition increases are driven by the cost of salaries and utilities, which are anticipated to continue rising, Fass said. “They’re all going up at rates in the ballpark (of 5 percent),” he said. As the cost of attending the school has increased, so have both the average scholarship amount as well as the average leftover cost students and families need to cover. About 250 students have taken out additional loans to cover the “family share” of expenses for this school year. The average loan size is about $7,000, said Patricia Coye, director of financial aid. last_img read more