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July 06, 2012 5:17 PM Another College Gives Up on the Debt-Free Plan

By Daniel Luzer

Back in 2010, the financial meltdown caused Williams and Dartmouth to end their short-lived policies of offering only grants for financial aid. Cornell students got nervous, and urged the school to retain its commitment to keeping students out of debt. Cornell announced no plans to alter its financial aid policies

Well that’s over. The loans are back. Earlier this week Cornell announced changes to the university’s financial aid policy.

Under the previous plan, in place since 2007, students with family incomes of up to $75,000 annually would graduate debt-free. Under the new plan, Cornell will only make that commitment to those with family incomes up to $60,000 (that’s about 34 percent of students).

Cornell has promised that student from families with annual incomes in the $60,000 to $75,000 will pay not more than $2,500 a year in student loans. Under another change, those students from families with annual incomes in the $75,000 to $119,000 will pay up to $5,000 a year in student loans. Under the earlier plan their loans were no more than $3,000 a year.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer