GOOD NEWS FROM POMONA
In a press release earlier today, Pomona College announced that it would meet the full financial need of all its students…incoming and returning…beginning next full, with gift aid. In other words, Pomona students will no longer need to take out student loans.
Pomona is a selective institution of about 1,500 students which awards an average financial aid package of about $33,500 a year to 50% of its students. Pomona’s generousity is made possible, no doubt, by its heft tuition and fees of $45,000 + and an endowment of approximately $1,762,680,000.
It is terrific to see more and more colleges eliminate student loans from their financial aid packages. The problem, however, is that few colleges and universities have the endowments to make that possible, and most of the colleges and universities which do tend to be highly selective.
Instead of Congress mandating college costs, as some politicians favor, we need to encourage donors and state legislatures to provide better funding (designated for financial aid) to institutions with modest endowments and average admissions selectivity. Until then, many institutions will not be able to follow the lead of the Ivies and schools like Pomona, and only a very small percentage of college-bound students will enjoy the benefit of attending a college which meets full need with gift aid.
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