Will Applying For Financial Aid Affect Your College Admission Chances?

Does applying for financial aid for college affect your admission odds?

Flickr user Ryan Lane

There are several factors, besides applying for financial aid, that come into play in the admissions decision. Thus, it’s a little difficult to answer this question with a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

For the most part, no

In most cases, submitting an application for financial aid will have absolutely no impact on your admission chances as the majority of colleges operate within a ‘need-blind’ agenda.  This essentially means that financial need does not play any role in the admissions decisions for low-income applicants. At these colleges, two completely separate departments and processes handle admission into a particular program and financial assistance.

When evaluating your application, admissions officers do not consider or even know about your application for financial assistance. They made their decisions and inform students about their acceptance. Then, they work with the financial aid office to get the assistance they need.

Need-based colleges

It’s a bit different when students apply to not ‘need-blind’ colleges. With these colleges, your ability to pay can influence your admission to some degree but not an exclusion. These colleges consider both – your academic grades and your ability to pay. A student with high academic grades will be accepted regardless of their ability to pay. Colleges grant them financial aid more easily too. However, borderline and weak students with high financial need may find it more difficult to get admission into the college of their choice.

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