ST. LOUIS – Washington University plans to adopt a “no-loan” financial aid policy next year, an effort that leaders hope will ease financial strains for present and future students.

Starting in the fall of 2024, WashU will remove federal loans from all financial aid packages. Federal loans will be replaced with scholarships and grants, according to a news release from the university.

“We are deeply committed to making a WashU education accessible for all talented students who earn admission,” Chancellor Andrew D. Martin said. “We have worked hard to make good on our promise to remove financial barriers for all admitted undergraduate students, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds. We want to get them here, support them during their time here, and prepare them to do great things.”

WashU’s main goal is to welcome students and help them earn degrees without accruing tens of thousands of dollars in debt upon graduation. Leaders are hopeful this will help students coming from middle-class backgrounds.

The announcement comes as interest begins accruing on federal student loans. This was paused for more than three years through the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Removing loans from our financial aid packages is another way to show those students we want them here, and that we’ll do what it takes so they can receive a WashU education without taking on the burden of student loan debt,” said Ronné P. Turner, vice provost for admissions and financial aid.

The university will continue on with its WashU Pledge, which provides a full undergraduate education, including tuition, fees, housing and meals, to students from Missouri and southern Illinois with annual family incomes of $75,000 or less.