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Charlotte Observer: NC Schools Battle Back Against Student Debt Crisis

Students at Davidson College CommencementTwo thirds of students nationally who earned bachelor's degrees in 2015 graduated with an average student debt of $35,000. North Carolina schools are exploring ways to manage the student debt crisis, but none does it better than Davidson, according to an article in the Charlotte Observer.

Christopher Gergen and Stephen Martin write:

None has been bolder than Davidson College. The school announced in 2007 that its financial aid packages would no longer contain loans—just grants and campus employment. Through an initiative called The Davidson Trust, Davidson became the nation's first liberal arts college to implement a true no-loan policy. Today, it is one of fewer than 20 higher education institutions in the U.S.—and the only one in North Carolina—with that approach.

Nearly a decade later, the approach is thriving thanks to generous support from charitable foundations, alumni, students and other donors who have raised more than $141 million in commitments to The Davidson Trust. "It's a community project," says Davidson President Carol Quillen—and one that's focused, she says, on "creating a society where equal educational opportunity is actually real."

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