Does Having Financial Need Affect Your Acceptance Odds?

UPenn Campus - UPenn is a need-blind university

Flickr user InSapphoWeTrust

When it comes to college, there are two major things most students and families think about: getting accepted and paying for it. They are two big pillars of the college process, and one can greatly affect the other. So it begs the question: does having financial need affect your acceptance odds?

Need-Blind Admissions

The majority of colleges and universities in the US practice need-blind admissions. This means they will not take your financial need into consideration when making an admission decision. They will not look at your ability to pay neither will they consider your potential need for financial aid.

Need-Aware Admissions

However, not all colleges and universities are completely need-blind. While the admissions authorities at need-aware colleges may not accept or reject applications based on financial need, it may be that financial need affect your acceptance odds depending on a few other factors.

If you have submitted an outstanding application, with impressive grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and recommendation letters, you have a high chance of getting accepted, regardless of financial need. The question of financial aid may not enter the equation.

On the other hand, there is a chance that financial need may impact your acceptance odds if your application isn’t as impressive. In this case, most colleges are more likely to put you on their wait-list, while giving preference to financial-need students with stronger applications or borderline students who do not need financial need.

Covering Costs

The important thing to remember is that even if you get accepted, you may not be offered enough financial aid to cover all your costs. The college will offer you a financial aid package in accordance with their procedures and their available funding. You are responsible for finding a way to get the additional funding that you require.

Which is why it’s so important to file the FAFSA, apply for as many scholarships as you can, and—if it comes to it—find a private student loan that fits you best.

College Raptor Staff

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