Myth: Asking For Financial Aid Automatically Lowers Your Acceptance Odds

Does asking for financial aid automatically lower your college acceptance odds?

Flickr user Steven Martin

Many students are afraid that asking for financial aid automatically lowers their acceptance odds. Colleges understand that most students require aid to pay for tuition. However, when it comes to financial aid, there are two types of colleges, ‘need-blind’ and ‘need-aware’.

Need Blind vs Need Aware

Need blind colleges do not take financial need into consideration when assessing applications. In these colleges, the admissions office and the financial aid office do not communicate with each other during the evaluation process. So asking for financial aid will not affect your admission odds.

In colleges that are need-aware, your ability to pay may play a role in the final decision but even then, these colleges would rarely, if ever, use the fact that you asked for aid as the sole criteria for rejecting your application. They take your grades and other achievements under consideration before making their final decision.

So Should You or Shouldn’t You Ask For Financial Need?

It comes down to this—if you need financial aid to be able to attend a certain college, you should not hesitate to ask. In most colleges, it will not impact your acceptance odds and in those colleges where it will, you may be better off not attending that school anyway. Again, most colleges understand that many students need some amount of financial aid to afford tuition. If they aren’t understanding, you may just want to look elsewhere. There are plenty of schools that don’t let it impact their admission decision.

And if you need extra financial help besides scholarships and award letters, you’ll need to find the right student loan. Use College Raptor’s Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates—for FREE!

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