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Brown University is replacing student loans with scholarships

Brown University will no longer offer student loan packages to students in need of financial aid — instead, the university will exclusively provide scholarships. On Thursday, Brown announced it had raised $30 million in donations, enabling the change. "This initiative takes financial aid at the university to the next level," Brown President Christina Paxson said.

Brown's scholarship offers for returning and incoming undergraduate students receiving financial aid will start in the 2018-2019 academic year. In the meantime, the school wants another $90 million to sustain its financial aid program through the future. If the recent fundraising drive is any indicator, Brown won't struggle to get the money it wants: In just three months, Brown received $30 million from just over 2,000 donors, and some single donations alone accounted for millions.

In 2003, Brown announced that it would implement need-blind admissions for U.S. students to ensure that the university did not reject the admission of applicants who were unable to pay tuition. Five years later, the school eliminated parent contribution to tuition for families making less than $60,000 and replaced student loans with scholarships for families making below $100,000.

The eventual complete elimination of student loans is intended to "create opportunities for greater economic diversity among students." In 2017, the total cost of attendance at Brown University for one year was a whopping $64,566 for tuition, fees, and room and board — still only the 50th most expensive college in the country. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the price will jump to $67,439.