What Is The Difference Between Need-Aware And Need-Blind Admission Policies?

What are the differences between need blind and need aware?

Flickr user Ken Lund

Every college has its own policy for how generous they are with financial aid. Who requires financial assistance to attend their program?

With regards to financial assistance, most colleges have two distinct types of admissions policies—Need-aware and Need-blind.

Need-Aware Admissions

Need-aware colleges make most of their admissions decisions by taking into account the student’s or the family’s earning capacity in relation to the Cost of Attendance or COA.

These colleges examine the financial needs of applicants. Then, they reserve a few spots every year for students who have the finances to meet the full COA without the need of scholarships, grants, or loans.

Need-Blind Admissions 

Colleges that have a need-blind admissions policy in place do not take into consideration students’ financial situation when deciding whether or not to accept their application. In most cases, the larger portion of college aid is distributed among students who prove financial need. This is in addition to the scholarships they award. These colleges also look at applicants’ academic grades, test scores, essays. Other factors separate from their financial situation when assessing their application. They calculate aid only after they have already accepted the student.

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