From BusinessWeek:

‘It’s a Shame’

The Williams cut drew criticism from David Kane, an alumnus.

“It’s a shame,” said Kane, a 1988 graduate who runs hedge fund based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and writes a blog about his alma mater. “Williams ought to be cutting money elsewhere and financial aid ought to be the last cut it makes.”

The policy change will save families with the lowest incomes from taking loans as Williams adds to the debt faced by middle-class families, said Michael McPherson, an economist and president of the Chicago-based Spencer Foundation, which funds education research.

Williams, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, was among more than 30 top-ranked private colleges to adopt policies in 2007 and 2008 that replaced loans in aid packages with grants that students don’t have to repay.

Thanks to John Wesley for the link

And more from Inside Higher Ed:

David Kane, an alumnus and the founder of EphBlog, which is devoted to Williams issues, wrote Monday that he wasn’t surprised to learn that the college was being praised in some circles, given that “the people making these decisions and the people commenting on them travel in the same circles.” Kane also rejected the idea that taking out loans can have a positive impact by increasing the engagement of students who borrow.

“If you believe that X is a good idea for non-rich students, you ought to believe that it is a good idea for rich students. If taking out loans is good for Sue, coming from a family of school teachers, then it is good from Sarah, coming from a family of investment bankers. Do the rich trustees of Williams make their children take out loans? Hah!” he wrote. He added that “making students take on debt causes them to make choices that are different, and generally less desirable, then the choices that would have otherwise made. By re-instituting loans, the Williams administration has demonstrated its priorities.”

Despite that criticism, just about everyone who is part of the circle Kane criticizes thinks that the question has now shifted from “who will be first” to eliminate no loans to “who will be next?”

(thanks to Yet another P’12)

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