As part of its sustained commitment to removing financial barriers for admitted undergraduate students, Washington University in St. Louis will adopt a “no-loan” financial aid policy beginning in fall 2024. Federal loans for undergraduate students will be removed from all financial aid packages and replaced with scholarships and university grants, ensuring that all admitted students can obtain a world-class WashU education without going in to debt.
“We are deeply committed to making a WashU education accessible for all talented students who earn admission,” Chancellor Andrew D. Martin said. “We have worked hard to make good on our promise to remove financial barriers for all admitted undergraduate students, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds. We want to get them here, support them during their time here, and prepare them to do great things. Now, when they graduate from WashU, they will do so debt-free.”
Going no-loan is the latest step in a long, comprehensive strategy to expand financial aid at the university. Other components include the WashU Pledge, which provides a full undergraduate education, including tuition, fees, housing and meals, to students in Missouri and southern Illinois with annual family incomes of $75,000 or less; and the university’s 2021 shift to need-blind admissions, a move made possible by the university’s $1 billion investment in its Gateway to Success initiative. The university has received national recognition for its efforts, including recently being named #1 in the nation for financial aid by the Princeton Review.
No one should have to borrow money to obtain an undergraduate degree, and moving forward here at WashU, they won’t.Chancellor Andrew Martin
“In the past, some qualified students and their families — including those from middle-income backgrounds — might have thought attending WashU was financially impossible,” said Ronné P. Turner, vice provost for admissions and financial aid. “Removing loans from our financial aid packages is another way to show those students we want them here, and that we’ll do what it takes so they can receive a WashU education without taking on the burden of student loan debt.”
The impact of the university’s investment in holistic financial support is already showing robust results. A decade ago, WashU was one of the least economically diverse campuses in the country, with just 5% of admitted students being Pell Grant-eligible. WashU’s incoming class of 2027 includes 21% Pell Grant-eligible students.
“We are proud of our ongoing efforts to make WashU accessible and affordable to all,” Martin said. “If we truly want our students to thrive academically and personally, we can’t expect them to carry the weight of student debt. No one should have to borrow money to obtain an undergraduate degree, and moving forward here at WashU, they won’t.”
Learn more about WashU’s commitment to affordability on the Financial Aid website.