Most colleges admit all qualified applicants but can't afford to give enough financial aid to all the students who need it. Some of these colleges divvy up their limited funds equally, and end up giving many students less than they need. Others give lots of scholarships to the top students and underfund the rest.
A handful of private colleges are trying a different strategy. These schools promise that all regularly admitted students--but not necessarily wait-listed or international students--will get enough aid so that they can graduate with little or no debt. (Remember, however, that each school calculates a prospect's need for aid differently. Some may decide your family can afford more than you'd like.)
To keep their financial aid budgets from soaring, these colleges limit the number of needy students they admit, which means they reject some otherwise qualified students who can't afford their
Typically, admissions officers at "need-aware" colleges read through applications and rank the students in terms of attractiveness to the college. They usually admit the top students without regard to incomes. As the officers move down their lists, they start to look at their financial aid budget to see whether they can afford to fully fund those applicants. Colleges such as Reed, Carleton, and Gettyburg say that they accept at least 90 percent of their students on merit and consider income only for the last few seats in each class.
Aid and admissions officers at these "need-aware" schools argue that their policy is better for
students than what is sometimes called "admit-deny," as in admit a student but deny sufficient
In addition, some college officials say that being "need aware" allows them to give some needy students an edge in admissions.
Naturally, some "need-aware" colleges end up enrolling very few low-income students. But as this chart shows, many "need-aware" colleges enroll many more low-income students than colleges that claim to admit students solely on their qualifications.
Generous colleges that say they don't consider a student's financial need when deciding on admissions.
- YouTube the New Essay in College Applications
- Colleges Where Need for Aid Can Hurt Admission Odds
- High School Senior's Advice on Picking Right College
- 7 Steps to Find a Great Affordable College
- Do Colleges Prefer Rich Applicants
- How to Pick the 'Right' College
- Latin America Leads in School Laptops
- NCAA Men's Basketball Graduation Rate Disparity Between Races Grows
- NCAA March Madness & Diploma Sadness
- Organize Your Study Space
- Cleaner Greener College Living
- You're In! And Here's a Free T-Shirt
- Why College Students Cheat
- Fraternities & Sororities: Going, Going ... Greek?
- Alternative Spring Breaks Combine Service & Learning
- How to Relax and Ace Your College Exams
- Making Majors out of Math Skills
- Free Online Course Offerings Grow in Abundance and Popularity
- Will You Get Enough Financial Aid?
Education: Colleges Where Need for Aid Can Hurt Admission Odds | Kim Clark
(c) 2010 U.S. News & World Report