DAVIDSON, N.C. — A federal judge in Texas struck down the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program, leaving many Americans in limbo on what to do next.
The Justice Department is appealing the decision and while the legal challenge plays out, Davidson College is making education more accessible for students.
Davidson College is offering a program called The Davidson Trust where students can graduate practically debt-free.
The school meets 100% of calculated financial needs, leaving graduates with little to no student debt.
‘We understand that college is expensive,” said Chad Spencer, the director of financial aid at Davidson College. “And making it affordable provides greater access to college for students who otherwise may not be able to afford to attend.”
Spencer said every student graduates without having to worry about hefty student loan debt.
The school’s financial aid department expects families to pay what they can afford after federal and state grants.
The rest is funded through Davidson scholarships, grants and student employment.
“While a Davidson education is not necessarily going to be free of cost, Davidson is working to make it more affordable by asking families only to contribute their calculated ability to pay,” Spencer said.
Making college more affordable attracts students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, he said.
More students are showing interest in Davidson since the program’s launch in 2007.
Spencer said applications have increased more than 40% and enrollment is up 15% since then.
Davidson College student Italy Ramos wants to work in the medical field and is prepared for it to be an expensive journey.
“I was a little stressed about how I was going to get that together, how I was going to come up with the money,” Ramos said. “I come from a single-parent household. It was just not realistic to be able to pay thousands of dollars.”
Ramos expects to graduate debt-free from the private college in 2025.
“It was nice to be able to come to school and not have to worry about once I finish my education here, I’m going to have to have thousands of dollars in loans.”
Ramos said The Davidson Trust is a game-changer for her future.
“I probably wouldn’t have been able to attend college,” Ramo said. “There might’ve been other institutions that had offered a generous loan package but not as generous as Davidson.”
Ramos is grateful for the opportunity to reach her goal of getting into med school.
“Private education is accessible, and it can be an option for you,” Ramos said.
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