Schools With the Best College Financial Aid – For Now

What schools offer the best college financial aid?

Last month, I wrote this post: 51 Colleges With the Best Student Financial Aid.

Please take a look at the list because it includes schools with awesome financial aid policies that will reduce your stress about how you will pay for college. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Amherst College assembled the names of colleges and universities that offered financial aid packages that didn’t include student loans.

You can also find a list of schools with great college financial aid at ProjectonStudentDebt.org.

But here’s a problem: The list of colleges with the best student financial aid is in flux. The days of no-loan financial aid programs could be ending for many middle-income and affluent families. In fact, at least two colleges on the list of the 51 Colleges With the Best Student Financial Aid, wouldn’t even qualify anymore.

Last week  Williams College announced that it was reducing the eligibility for its gold-plated college financial aid help. Dartmouth College announced yesterday that it was ending its no-loan student financial aid policy. From now on families with incomes above $75,000 will have to borrow some of the tab.

I suspect the announcements will keep coming.

It was hardly a surprise that elite colleges, which traditionally offer the best financial aid, would start rolling back their cushy financial aid programs. You see these colleges launched these aid programs back in late 2007 and early 2008 —  right before the stock market collapsed and endowments started tanking.

When the no-loan financial aid policies first began in 2007, elite institutions didn’t want to be left behind so within a breathtakingly short period many super selective colleges and universities piled on. Now that Williams and Dartmouth have made their moves, I wouldn’t be surprised if many more colleges become stingier.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and she writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow her on Twitter.

Read More:

No. 1 FAFSA Myth: College Savers Are Penalized

Don’t Miss Those Financial Aid Deadlines

5 Things to Know About Repaying Student Loans

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