Williams College, the highly-selective liberal arts school in western Massachusetts, took a major step toward what it calls “true affordability” for all students receiving financial aid. Starting with the fall 2022 semester, the college will become the first in the country to completely move away from loans, as well as required campus and summer jobs in all of its financial aid packages. The components will be replaced with equivalent grant funds, dollar for dollar.
The changes greatly simplify the financial aid process for families, who used to have to manage a complex portfolio of grants, loans, and student work requirements. The college’s latest move immediately benefits more than 1,100 of Williams’ undergraduate students who receive financial aid from the school. Middle-income families will receive around $35,000 in extra grant aid over four years, while the college’s lowest-income families, whose aid packages already excluded loans, will receive almost $16,000 in additional grants.