Will Applying For Financial Aid Affect Your College Admission Chances?

Flickr user Ryan Lane

There are several factors that come into play in the admissions decision, making it a little difficult to answer this question with a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘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.

In these colleges, applying for admission into a particular program and applying for financially assistance are two completely separate processes handled by completely separate departments. When evaluating your application, admissions officers do not consider or even know about your application for financial assistance. After they have made their decisions and students are informed about their acceptance, they then work with the financial aid office to get the assistance they need.

It may be slightly different when applying to colleges that are not ‘need blind’. With these colleges, your ability to pay can influence your admission to some degree but not in exclusion. These colleges consider both – your academic grades and your ability to pay. A student with high academic grades will be accepted irrespective of their ability to pay and they will be granted 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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