Colleges that Fully Meet Financial Need

It is a well-established fact that the expense of attending college has grown over the past few decades. Where once our parents could work a part-time job and pay off college as they went, current students usually cannot. So it’s important to find colleges that work with students to lower the cost of attendance. Most schools have scholarships that students can apply for to help cover tuition, and there are many national and regional scholarships and grants as well. However, these rarely cover the full financial need of the student.

Financial need is defined as the gap between what the student and their family can afford to pay and what the full cost of attendance is. Not every school can meet the full financial need of its students; it ultimately depends on the amount of funds a school has to work with. In fact, there are less than 70 schools across the US that offer enough scholarships, grants, work-study, or (depending on the school) student loans to cover that financial gap. Many of these schools also have need-blind admission, meaning that your acceptance is based solely on your merit as a student, not your ability to pay. They also tend to be top schools in the nation: Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Stanford all make this list. Here are some other schools to consider that meet full financial need.

Washington & Lee University

Flickr user Robert of Fairfax

Flickr user Robert of Fairfax

Located in tiny Lexington, VA, W&L has a special program designed specifically to accommodate students whose family income is under $75,000 a year. This is called the W&L Promise, and it guarantees a grant to cover tuition costs to qualifying students. Depending on the amount of need, an additional grant may be given to cover room and board. This is in addition to the university’s pre-existing policy to meet demonstrated financial need through grants, scholarships, and work-study regardless of a student’s level of family income. The school offers 37 undergraduate majors and 29 minors.

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

As the nation’s first public university, UNC has been making history for over two centuries. It is found in Chapel Hill, NC, and is home to over 18,000 undergraduate students. It offers 78 bachelor’s programs through its 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. It’s financial aid comes in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study, and student loans.

University of Chicago

Flickr user Luiz Gadelha Jr.

Flickr user Luiz Gadelha Jr.

Almost 6,000 undergraduate students call this campus home. The school offers more than $100 million in financial aid packages. University of Chicago is one of the few schools to award merit-based aid in addition to meeting financial need of students. The school has over 100 majors, minors, and specialized areas of study to delve into. Their No Barriers program promises to meet your demonstrated financial need and therefore graduate debt-free, no matter your background or major.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University represents the Big Ten Conference by meeting the demonstrated need of its students through scholarships, grants, work-study, and student loans. Joining ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) is also a way for students to receive aid. The over 8,000 undergraduates enjoy the beauty of the 240-acre campus located in Evanston, IL.

Duke University

Flickr user Nan-Cheng Tsai

Flickr user Nan-Cheng Tsai

Duke University has a need-blind admission process that complements its dedication to meet the financial need of its students. They meet these needs in the forms of grants, work-study, and limited student loans. Approximately 6,500 undergraduate students call this school home in Durham, NC. They choose majors from the four schools: Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, Nicholas School of Environment, and Sanford School of Public Policy.

Grinnell College

Flickr user Angelo Mercado

Flickr user Angelo Mercado

This little college might feel as though it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s financial aid packages pack a punch! Grinnell College offers to meet financial need through grants, scholarships, work, and loans. Merit scholarships are considered as well for every student at time of application. Undergraduates here can choose from 39 majors and concentrations. It holds 7th nationally in the percentage of PhDs per graduate.

Lafayette College

Flickr user John Unsworth

Flickr user John Unsworth

Lafayette College is an exclusively undergraduate campus located in Easton, PA. Fewer than 2,500 students attend, making the environment close-knit. The school offers 37 bachelor of arts degree programs and 14 bachelor of science degree programs. The school has set aside over $43 million for financial aid purposes for the 2016-2017 school year to assist students.

Interested in any of these schools? Use College Raptor’s free match tool to discover if they’re a good fit for you!

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