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Haverford College To Replace Loans With Grants For Incoming First-Year Students, Reduce Loan Burden For Continuing Students

Friends,

Continuing our historic commitment to making a Haverford College education as accessible as possible, the Board of Managers has approved a sweeping overhaul of Haverford's financial aid program to eliminate student loans for all incoming freshmen and to reduce the loan burden for continuing students.

I believe this is a vital and necessary step for Haverford families and the College. Our new program both reduces the barriers to a Haverford education and helps unburden our graduates of debt. In addition, it will free our students to consider career choices that they might have overlooked while under pressure to repay student loans, and will have a transformative effect on our community.

As part of this change, the College is chartering a new endowment fund -- called the Next Generation Fund -- to help pay for the plan. All students who receive such grants will be asked to make a pledge to support the Fund throughout their lives as their means allow and the spirit moves, with no pre-set expectation of how much they contribute. We believe that the Next Generation Fund will have broad appeal and will be supported by alumni and friends who may themselves have been the beneficiaries of grants-in-aid.

Indeed, the Next Generation Fund was inspired in part by a Haverford tradition of "giving back," often financially. Most recently, two alumni from the Class of '94 made a contribution that went beyond reimbursing the College for the financial aid they had received. "We calculated what the equivalent cost would be in today's dollars so that another pair of students, applying today, would be able to receive what we received," the donors say.

Frankly, I'm not surprised that they chose to contribute as they did: I believe that the plan reflects Haverford's core values of community and individual responsibility. Like our academic and social Honor Codes that require mindfulness of one's actions in the context of a community, the Next Generation Fund will show how an individual's actions can have a direct impact on our community. It will help ensure that others who follow enjoy the same privileges that we have enjoyed.

Up until now, Haverford had included approximately $14,000 in loans as part of a student's financial aid package. The new plan will eliminate that debt and is part of a 25% increase in the College's financial aid commitment. It is being made possible by the generosity of alumni, parents and friends of the College. Haverford is one of the few colleges that admits U.S. citizens and permanent residents without regard to need and meets the full demonstrated need of all admitted students.

Continuing students will also see a reduction in their loan obligation, with the greatest relief being made available to those with greatest demonstrated need. I'll be able to announce details later this winter.

We make this announcement today with great pleasure, and thank the members of the broader Haverford community, including alumni, parents and friends of the College, who are making this possible. These changes are vital to our larger goal of making Haverford accessible to the most talented and deserving students regardless of economic circumstances.

Thank you.

Stephen G. Emerson '74
President

The Strawbridge Observatory at Haverford College houses 12-inch and 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes which are actively used by students in Haverford astronomy classes.

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