Does the Ivy League Offer Scholarships?
If you’re hoping to attend an Ivy League school, you may be aware of the high sticker prices for a prestigious education. For many cost-conscious families, the Ivy League cost of attendance can come as a shock. Luckily, most accepted students at the Ivies receive some form of tuition help. We’ll walk through how scholarships and financial aid work at the Ivy League, as well as what you might be expected to pay.
What does it cost to attend an Ivy League School?
Last year, the total cost of room, board, and tuition for each school was:
- Brown University: $70,226
- Columbia University: $70,826
- Cornell University: $67,541
- Dartmouth University: $64,539
- Harvard University: $67,580
- Princeton University: $66,709
- University of Pennsylvania: $71,200
- Yale University: $69,430
As previously mentioned, few families are responsible for the total cost of attendance. The Ivy League is known for its generous financial aid. Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, and Yale actually promise to meet 100% of a family’s demonstrated financial need, without using loans in their financial aid packages. Cornell and Dartmouth also have ample financial resources; Dartmouth is no-loan for families making under $100,000 annually, and Cornell guarantees that any family with a total income of less than $60,000, and total assets of less than $100,000, will have no parent contribution and no loans.
Can I apply to any scholarships at Ivy League schools?
None of these schools offer merit scholarships. All funding is need-based financial aid. However, all Ivy League schools promise that admitted students will be given financial aid packages that make attending affordable.
What should I expect to pay to attend an Ivy League school?
Each Ivy League school offers a sliding scale of financial aid. Below, you can find specific numbers based on your family’s situation. Some schools offer tables of approximate expected family contribution, and others just offer financial aid calculators based on specific family circumstances.
You can calculate your family’s approximate contribution using Brown’s financial aid calculator.
You can calculate your family’s approximate contribution using Cornell’s financial aid calculator.
You can calculate your family’s approximate contribution using Columbia’s financial aid calculator.
You can calculate your family’s approximate contribution using Dartmouth’s financial aid calculator.
You can calculate your family’s approximate contribution using Harvard’s financial aid calculator.
Here is a table breaking down Princeton’s average financial aid packages by income bracket. You can also use their net price calculator for a more accurate estimate.
|Annual Family Income||Average Annual Grant||What Is Covered|
|Less than $65,000||$67,350||Full tuition, college fee, room & board|
|$65,000–$85,000||$62,865||Full tuition, college fee, and 76% room & board|
|$85,000-$100,000||$59,140||Full tuition, college fee, and 54% room & board|
|$100,000-$120,000||$55,540||Full tuition, college fee, and 32% room & board|
|$120,000-$140,000||$53,180||Full tuition, college fee, and 17% room & board|
|Greater than $250,000 with extenuating circumstances||$22,880||46% tuition|
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
You can calculate your family’s approximate contribution using Penn’s financial aid calculator.
Here is a table breaking down Yale’s average financial aid packages by income bracket. You can also use their net price calculator for a more accurate estimate.
|Annual Income||Median Net Cost||Median Scholarship||Percentage Who Qualify|
|Less than $65,000||$4,450||$70,686||98%|
|Greater than $250,000||$50,957||$16,979||23%|
What can I do to improve my financial aid from one of these schools?
Remember that students who are admitted will receive a competitive financial aid package. Your goal here should be simply to earn your slot in the admitted class.
What if I can’t pay my expected family contribution?
If you are admitted to an Ivy League school but cannot afford to attend, consider reaching out to the financial aid office to see if they can adjust your package. If your financial situation has changed since you completed the FAFSA, the financial aid office is likely to improve the aid you receive.
If the Ivy League remains financially out of reach, you still can use your acceptance at one of these schools to negotiate for increased merit aid at other schools. Your case would be as follows: “Harvard is a school with so much prestige and name recognition, yet I prefer School A. If you, School A, could offer a few thousand dollars in additional merit aid, I would feel more confident that I was making a good choice turning down Harvard.” This strategy sometimes makes the school you ultimately attend more affordable.
A lot of students pay for college with a combination of grants, loans, and work study. Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with different kinds of financial aid. In particular, be sure to read these CollegeVine articles on making college affordable—How to Afford College: Exploring Your Options, Parents: 12 Must-Know Financial Aid Terms, and How Does Work Study Work?
If you like this article, check out some of our other content on financing college:
- No-Loan Colleges: What They Are and a Complete List
- What You Need to Know for a Successful Scholarship Season
- 15 College Financial Aid Resources
- 15 College Scholarships for High School Juniors
Want access to expert college guidance — for free? When you create your free CollegeVine account, you will find out your real admissions chances, build a best-fit school list, learn how to improve your profile, and get your questions answered by experts and peers—all for free. Sign up for your CollegeVine account today to get a boost on your college journey.
Want more college admissions tips?
We'll send you information to help you throughout the college admissions process.