Northwestern targets student debt with grants, scholarships

CHICAGO (AP) — Northwestern University is joining a growing list of colleges and universities opting to give students who qualify for financial aid a combination of grants and scholarships to prevent them from being saddled with debt.

Northwestern announced Thursday that starting next fall, freshmen who would likely take out loans will instead receive grants and scholarship, along with work-study and summer job income to cover expenses.

Spokesman Alan Cubbage told the Chicago Tribune ( current undergraduate students who already have $20,000 or more in loans will have that debt capped starting next fall, and given a scholarship.

According to Cubbage, about half of Northwestern's approximately 8,500 students qualify for financial aid.

The no-loans trend started with Princeton University in 1998 and has since been adopted by about 70 colleges and universities nationwide.