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What does it mean for a college to be “no loan”?

What Does ‘No-Loan’ Mean for You?

If you’re like most other students preparing to enter college, loans are something completely new to you — and probably a bit scary.

That’s why we’re really happy to be able to tell you that Grinnell is a “no-loan” college and explain what that means for you. Grinnell is one of only a small number of colleges and universities nationwide that has the resources and the commitment to offer students financial aid without the expectation of taking on student debt.

Your Future — without Student Debt

OK, “No-loan” means that your financial aid package will not include loans to cover your demonstrated financial need. Instead, it will comprise a combination of scholarships, grants, and eligibility for a student job. Grinnell won’t ask you to take on debt. When you graduate from Grinnell, you’ll be able to start your career — or head off to grad school — without the burden of student debt, which can take years to pay off.

I used a term just now — “demonstrated need” — that might be new to you as well. What does that mean? Well, it refers to the difference between the Grinnell’s Cost of Attendance and your Expected Family Contribution. Grinnell meets 100% of this difference without the use of loans.

We determine the Expected Family Contribution using the information you and your family provide to us via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the College Scholarship Services (CSS) Profile, and your IRS tax forms. You can read more about how to complete your financial aid application and other things you need to know about applying for financial aid on our Apply for Aid webpage.

Grinnell is committed to providing equal access to education, and this policy helps make Grinnell accessible for many students who otherwise wouldn’t attend. It allows the best and brightest to consider Grinnell, regardless of their family’s financial situation.

If you’d like to read more about paying for a Grinnell education, visit our Financial Aid webpage. Or email I encourage you to use our Net Price Calculator to see what Grinnell’s generous aid and no-loan policy mean for students and their families.

I’d also encourage you to reach out to us directly if you have questions or need more information about loans or anything else related to the college application process. You can email me, Sarah White, or if you just want more information, visit our Request Information page.

More tips from the experts

Joe Bagnoli

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Vice President for Enrollment, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

Sarah M. White, Director of Admission

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Director of Admission

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