The Financial Aid Ante Keeps Growing

More colleges are giving low-income students enough grants for them to graduate with little or no debt.

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The financial aid price war is spreading. More than 30 colleges have now made public promises to give low-income students enough grants to enable them to graduate with little or no debt.

The list now includes the entire Ivy League since Cornell University announced late last month that it would not require students from families earning $75,000 or less to take out loans. And dozens more colleges that haven't made public announcements are nevertheless quietly raising their financial aid awards to compete. The announcements by the more famous and wealthy schools (a list of these schools is available at have a "cascading effect" on smaller and less wealthy schools like Clarkson University of Potsdam, N.Y., President Tony Collins says. "We're having to increase our offers."