Out of Debt

By Emily Gold Boutilier

Valley Advocate: Live Aid

Submitted by Caroline J. Hanna
Tom Parker, dean of admission and financial aid, discussed Amherst's decision to replace student loans with grants and scholarships in a lengthy lead story in the Jan. 10-16 edition of the The Valley Advocate. "Amherst College's bold new plan offers graduates the better of two futures," reads a line on the cover of the issue.

Wall Street Journal: Some Colleges Cut, Eliminate Student Debt

Submitted by Caroline J. Hanna
Amherst President Anthony W. Marx discussed the college's decision to replace all loans with scholarships in a Nov. 29 Wall Street Journal story. Also featured in the piece was Jessica Mestre '10, who told the newspaper that the new policy enabled to look at her future a little differently: "I don't know my major or my career plans yet, but this relieves the pressure."

Self-Help: Student Loans

Amherst College has replaced the loan component of all financial aid awards with scholarship aid.  This loan elimination represents a huge financial commitment by the College and is expected to aid middle income families applying to Amherst.

Students may still choose to borrow a student loan to purchase a computer, replace an expected summer savings shortfall, or replace work in the financial aid package.

Self-Help: Student Loans

Amherst College has replaced all initially packaged, need-based student loans with grant assistance. This change in policy is intended to help middle income families applying to Amherst. Additional information is available here.

Monthly Payment Plan

This plan is sponsored by the College and administered by Tuition Management Systems (TMS). Through the plan, a student's annual charges may be paid in ten installments beginning in June before the start of the academic year. Those starting the plan after June 1 must include back payments with the application.

There is a $65 non-refundable application fee; there is no finance or interest charge.

Tips for Alternative Student Loans

Suggestions when Borrowing an Alternative Loan

Alternative Student Loans

Many different lenders are offering alternative loans, and one should consider applying for a private, alternative educational loan only after exhausting all other possible sources of funds. Each loan is different, so you should become familiar with the criteria, benefits, fees, and the margins above the index. If possible, the student should apply with a parent as a co-borrower; the co-borrower may reduce applicable fees and will lower your interest rate.

Student Loans and Family Financing Options

Welcome to the section of the website that pertains to student loans and family financing options. It is to your advantage to maximize the student's federal subsidized or unsubsidized loan eligibility before borrowing alternative or parent loans.

Student Loans information is available in this section.