The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Hurd announces loan-free education for middle-income students

College President Nicole Hurd wishes to better reach middle-income families with her new financial aid plan. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette College Flickr)

As part of its efforts to expand access in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action, the college will offer loan-free education to students with a family income of under $200,000. The class of 2028 will be the first impacted by this change.

“This expands the kind of level of opportunity for students to know that they can afford to come here,” college President Nicole Hurd said.

At the beginning of Hurd’s tenure, the threshold for a loan-free education – which provides a tuition bill supplemented only by grants and federal work-study – rested at $50,000. It was then increased to $150,000 in October 2021.

“Some families might think Lafayette is simply too expensive, and therefore, the student chooses not to apply,” Krista Evans, the dean of admissions, wrote in an email. “I hope that this policy demonstrates our deep commitment to expanding access and relieves some of the stress related to paying for college.”

According to Hurd, this is a step to expand the college’s accessibility for middle-income students.

“That’s a part of President Hurd’s vision,” vice president for enrollment management Forrest Stuart said. “It’s not just about access for low-income [students], it’s also access at all income levels. And I think that that’s an area that we need to improve just like we have been improving the Pell Grant.”

Evans echoed this commitment to students from all income levels.

“College affordability continues to be an important topic and I’m so proud that we’ve taken this step to reduce barriers for students interested in a Lafayette education,” Evans wrote.

“We need to make sure that we’re both competitive in the marketplace of students, but also allowing people to come here and have a great four years,” Hurd said. “We’re excited that this is another lever we have to make sure that more people know that Lafayette is possible.” 

Lehigh University’s current threshold for a loan-free education is $75,000. At Colgate University, the number is $175,000.

This comes as part of what Hurd called “a patchwork quilt of really aggressive maneuvers” to increase Lafayette’s overall accessibility. 

In a move that has garnered national attention, the college previously announced the restructuring of its Common App guidelines to review only six activities rather than ten. Additionally, Hurd is looking to increase the number of non-profit partnerships the college participates in, such as the current partnership with the Posse Foundation.

Selma O’Malley ‘26 and Andreas Pelekis ‘26 contributed reporting. 

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About the Contributors
Madeline Marriott
Madeline Marriott, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie (she/her) is a senior English major with a Government & Law minor. As the Editor-in-Chief, a Mentor Writing Associate, a Senior Student Contributor for Lafayette Communications, a Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability, co-founder and Vice President of English Club, and a Senior Interviewer for Lafayette Admissions, no writing happens on campus without her knowing about it. Her Google Calendar would make your head spin. She is a die-hard Swiftie and Phillies fan, a collector of tote bags, a builder of a Hay Day empire, and an avid Goodreads and Letterboxd user. She smokes cigars and uses an old-timey typewriter and notepad in the newsroom.
Emma Chen
Emma Chen, Managing Editor
Emma has very strong opinions about crust, has never eaten a blueberry, and is a staunch hater of AP style.
Ari Ismail
Ari Ismail, Staff Photographer

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