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Schools that Meet 100% of Demonstrated Financial Need
For many families, one of the most stressful parts of college planning is anticipating costs. The average American family now pays more than $100,000 out of pocket for a degree from a private four-year college. This can seem like a nearly impossible financial burden for some families, but it’s important to remember that financial assistance is available and it’s often based on need.
In fact, some colleges promise to meet the financial needs of all accepted students. To learn more about what it means to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need and which schools are able to offer this amazing benefit, don’t miss this post.
What is Demonstrated Financial Need?
Demonstrated financial need is essentially how much financial assistance a family will need to cover the cost of attending a college. This figure relies on two separate data points—a family’s expected family contribution, and the cost of attending that specific college.
The expected family contribution (EFC) is essentially how much a family should be able to contribute towards tuition, determined by the FAFSA. In general, the higher the family’s income and the more assets a family has, the higher the EFC will be.
The cost of attending (COA) a college is generally the total sticker price at that particular institution. This includes room, board, tuition, any necessary fees, and even essential personal expenses. Basically, it is the all-in cost of attending that school for one full academic year.
Demonstrated financial need is the gap between the EFC and the COA. Basically, if a family is expected to contribute $15,000 and the COA at the accepted student’s school of choice is $54,000, the demonstrated financial need would be calculated as follows:
$54,000 (Total COA) – $15,000 (EFC) = $39,000 Demonstrated Financial Need
Schools that commit to covering 100% of demonstrated financial need would then be committed to providing a financial aid package worth $39,000 per year in the case above.
Which Colleges Meet 100% of Demonstrated Financial Need Without Loans?
- Amherst College
- Bowdoin College
- Brown University
- Colby College
- Columbia University
- Davidson College
- Harvard University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Northwestern University
- Pomona College
- Princeton University
- Stanford University
- Swarthmore College
- University of Chicago
- University of Pennsylvania
- US Air Force Academy
- US Naval Academy
- Vanderbilt University
- Washington and Lee University
- West Point
- Yale University
Which Colleges Meet 100% of Financial Need Without Loans for Certain Income Thresholds?
Total income less than $60,000 and total assets less than $100,000.
Total income less than $100,000.
Total income less than $40,000, not expected to make any financial contribution.
Total income less than $60,000. Families making more should expect loans ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 a year.
Total income less than $130,000.
Total income less than $60,000
Total income less than $75,000.
If family contribution is less than $7,000 and income is less than $60,000. Other students qualifying for financial aid can expect to have a maximum of $15,200 in loans over four years.
Total income less than $75,000 with “typical assets.”
Which Colleges Meet 100% of Financial Need but Include Loans in Financial Aid Packages?
- Barnard College
- Bates College
- Boston College
- Bryn Mawr College
- California Institute of Technology
- Carleton College
- Case Western Reserve University
- Claremont-McKenna College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Connecticut College
- Colorado College
- Denison College
- Emory University (US only)
- Franklin & Marshall College
- Georgetown University
- Grinnell College
- Hamilton College
- Harvey Mudd College
- Johns Hopkins University
- Kenyon College
- Lafayette College
- Macalester College
- Middlebury College
- Mount Holyoke College
- Northeastern University (US only)
- Oberlin College
- Occidental College
- Pitzer College
- Scripps College
- Skidmore College
- Smith College
- Thomas Aquinas College
- Trinity College
- Tufts University
- Union College
- University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill
- University of Notre Dame
- University of Richmond
- University of Rochester (does not include Eastman School of Music)
- University of Southern California
- University of Virginia
- Wake Forest University
- Wesleyan University
What Else Do You Need to Know About Financial Aid?
It’s important to realize that not all financial aid is created equal. That’s why we’ve taken the time to break down the schools above into three separate categories. Financial aid that consists entirely of grants and work study programs are the most desirable forms of aid, since you don’t need to pay back the money.
Many colleges provide low-interest loans as part of a financial aid package. While this may help to cover the immediate expense of college, it can prove costly in the long run. According to CNBC, in 2019 the average student debt at graduation was $29,800. This comes out to almost $300 per month in monthly payments for the next ten years.
Families should also know where to look for additional financial assistance. While federal institutional aid is a good start, many states also provide aid, and private scholarships are another option.
For more help navigating the process, don’t miss these CollegeVine resources:
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