Haverford College is the latest exclusive school to replace student loans with grants in an effort to increase accessibility in a climate of skyrocketing tuition.

The small Quaker college will eliminate loans for freshman next year and will reduce the loan burden of current students, though it hasn't been determined by how much, said president Stephen Emerson.

"Even though we're not the richest institution in the world, we thought this was extremely important that we do this," said Emerson.

"The board responded by hiring me. They could have said no," he said.

Then at a board meeting two weeks ago he said he proposed the no-loan plan. On Dec. 10, Harvard announced it was offering deep discounts to middle and upper-middle class students, setting of a chain of no-loan offers at other elite schools, including Swarthmore and the University of Pennsylvania.

Contact staff writer Kathy Boccella at 610-313-8123 or kboccella@phillynews.com.