What Does “Need-Blind Admissions” Mean?

“Need Blind Admission” means that a student’s financial situation will not be taken into consideration when deciding to admit, wait-list, or deny an applicant. In other words, the student’s ability to pay for a college education is not a factor in whether or not they get in. Students are only reviewed based on their merit—GPA, class rank, test scores, essays, accolades, interviews, etc.

What does that mean for your application?

While reviewing your application, the admissions team won’t be looking at FAFSA forms, financial information, or financial need requests. Many students prefer need-blind schools because—while it doesn’t necessarily increase their odds of admission—it does eliminate the potential of being rejected purely on a financial need basis.

Need blind schools award a lot of financial aid

Need-blind schools often offer substantial financial aid packages for their students who are in financial-need—however, it does not necessarily mean they’ll fully meet an applicant’s demonstrated need. In fact, it’s possible for need-blind schools to admit students that ultimately can’t attend because the is too high for their situation. Most universities can’t offer financial aid to every single one of their students; those schools that do, are typically highly selective and very difficult to get into.

Need blind doesn’t mean everyone

A college listed as need-blind admission doesn’t necessarily mean it admits every type of student on a need-blind basis. They may be need-blind for all first-time, domestic (US-based) applicants, but may not for international students, transfer students, or wait-listed students. Of course, some schools may be need-blind for domestic and transfers, but not international or wait-listed students. It varies from school to school.

Need sensitive or need-aware

If a school doesn’t have need blind admissions, it’s need-sensitive (or need-aware). Need-sensitive colleges will consider the financial need of a student while reviewing their application. Need-sensitive schools tend to look for a diverse class, and so have programs in place to help low-income students pay for tuition and other costs.

Need-Blind Schools in America:

Adrian College
Amherst College
Babson College
Barnard College
Baylor University
Biola University
Boston College
Boston University
Bowdoin College
Brandeis University
Brown University
California Institute of Technology
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Carnegie Mellon University
Chapman University
Claremont McKenna College
Columbia University
Cooper Union
Cornell College
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Denison University
DePaul University
Duke University
Elon University
Emory University
Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)
Florida State University
Fordham University
Georgetown University
Grinnell College
Hamilton College
Harvard Business School
Harvard College
Harvey Mudd College
Haverford College
Hiram College
Holy Cross
Jewish Theological Seminary
Johns Hopkins University
Lawrence University
Lehigh University
Lewis & Clark College
Marist College
Marlboro College
Middlebury College
Mills College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Mount St. Mary’s College
North Carolina State University (NCSU)
New York University (NYU)
North Central College
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Olin College of Engineering
Penn State
Pomona College
Princeton University
Providence College
Randolph College
Rice University
Salem College
San Jose State University (SJSU)
Soka University of America
St. John’s College
St. Olaf College
Stanford University
State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Swarthmore College
Syracuse University
The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)
Thomas Aquinas College
Trinity University
Tufts University
Tulane University
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Miami
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of Richmond
University of Rochester
University of Southern California (USC)
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Ursuline College
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Wabash College
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Washington University
Wellesley College
Wesleyan University
Williams College
Yale University
Yeshiva University

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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