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July 28, 2016 Comments (0) Education News

Northwestern Moves From Loans to Grants to Boost Diversity

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Northwestern University has?announced plans to eliminate loans for its incoming students and instead provide scholarships for undocumented immigrants who have graduated from high schools in the usa.

As of next fall, incoming freshman are only offered educational funding in the form of grants, scholarships, summer earning expectations, and work-study job offers. ?Based on the school, the new initiative was created in an effort to allow students to graduate without massive levels of debt, reports?Lewis Lazare for?The Chicago Business Journal.

The new initiatives were announced in an?email by?University President Morton Schapiro and Provost Daniel Linzer, including all-grant educational funding packages, putting a cap on need-based loans for current students at $20,000, scholarships for undocumented students funded through the school, and an increase in educational funding for international students.

Funding for the increase in aid is anticipated to come from gifts and other endowment earnings, as well as additional sources. ?The school’s “We Will” campaign has already provided $147.Two million to the scholarship effort. ?University spokesman Al Cubbage said the gifts can help the school because they will be set aside for an endowed scholarship earning close to 5% each year much in the same manner as a checking account does.

Financial aid for students at Northwestern has increased by 55% during the last five years. ?Near to $160 million can be obtained for the 2016-17 school year. ?The goal is to have 20% of the total incoming class of 2020 be made up of Pell Grant-eligible students, who are typically U.S. citizens, have been in financial need, and are currently enrolled in an eligible degree attending college or career school. ?Close to 15% of the type of 2019 was made up of these students, writes Christine Farolan for The Daily Northwestern.

According to?Amanda Walsh, president of the NU Quest Scholars Network, the “20 by 2020″ campaign was made after a proposal?drafted for Associated Student Government Senate and Faculty Senate recommended that the school become more socioeconomically accessible.

\”The objective of this reform and of many reforms – would be to make sure socioeconomic status is not a disadvantage, to ensure there is no classism on campus,\” the Communication senior said.

Walsh continued to say the changes go?back five or six years ago when?Quest Scholars at NU was originally founded to become the only student group in the school having a focus on the problems with low-income and first generation students. ?She said the?Quest Scholars\’ \”Money Matters\” programming helped to produce the recent changes, including speaker events, firesides and film screenings that focus on low-income student issues.

\”One of the reasons these changes are so important – is that they prove that the administration is listening and cares about its marginalized students,\” Walsh said. \”It\’s an incredible step in the best direction that shows this university likes you its students and wants them to succeed no matter their social identity.\”

The changes will also be expected to help graduate students with increased stipends, emphasizing educational funding for those studying in the areas of law, business, or medicine.

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