Low-income students will get grants - not loans - from Tufts

The Somerville Journal

Tufts University today announced that it is replacing loans with scholarship grants for all undergraduates whose annual family income is below $40,000, starting with the class of 2011.

"The new policy will enable some of the neediest families in America to send their children to Tufts. It reflects Tufts' enduring mission to provide access to students from diverse economic backgrounds," said Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Lee Coffin. "This year, Tufts will award $42 million in undergraduate financial aid, all of which is need based."

Members of the Class of 2011, who enrolled in September 2007, were the first to benefit from the new program. More than 7 percent of enrolling  students qualified for the loan replacement.

The new program helped Tufts to enroll the most socio-economically diverse class in its history, with 11.8 percent qualifying for a Federal Pell Grant, a widely used benchmark for socio-economic diversity. The Class of 2011 includes 162 Pell recipients, a 60 percent increase over the previous year's class. More than 40 percent of Tufts undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.

Need-based financial aid is the top fundraising priority of the university’s current $1.2 billion "Beyond Boundaries" capital campaign.