It’s no secret that college is expensive. Most students need to save up a college fund to cover the cost. Read on to learn about need-blind colleges and how they can help you!
College finances are crucial, and many schools consider your financial info from the FAFSA when admitting students. To offset high costs and make college more accessible, some schools take an approach that focuses on admitting students based on their qualifications rather than their finances.
For many expensive top universities in the US, being need-blind is a must for a fair shot at admission, ensuring fairness for less affluent students. Wondering what this really means? We've got the answer for you below! We’ll also offer a list of need-blind colleges in the United States below.
Need-blind colleges admit students without considering their ability to pay tuition fees. They don’t allow financial information to affect their application decision. You'll have to provide financial documents such as the FAFSA, CSS profile, or university-specific forms. At a need-blind college, they'll assess your financial aid package after admitting you.
By doing so, these universities attract more students needing financial aid and make their applications more competitive. Students should know if their college is need-blind, as it may help when picking what university they want to attend.
However, most colleges fall into the need-aware category rather than need-blind, meaning that they do account for student finances when considering applications. Going to need-blind universities places more of a financial burden on the school.
So, while it’s important to apply to colleges regardless of needs status to have more options, it’s a plus for a school to be need-blind.
Private colleges are more able to be need-blind than public. They can do this because they take many private donations from their alumni for current students. While public schools offer university financial aid and scholarships, taking out a government student loan is more available for students and less costly for a public school.
Many need-blind universities also promise to meet 100% of their applicants’ demonstrated financial need. This means that it may be possible to get a full-ride scholarship to a need-blind college of your choice.
These colleges are known for their commitment to meeting a student's full financial need without including loans in the financial aid package. That means they use grants, scholarships, and work-study programs to pay for your tuition, room, board, and more. The goal is to let you graduate without a mountain of debt.
These colleges also commit to meeting your full financial need, but they might include loans in your aid package. So, while they try to ease the financial load, you might still have some student loans to deal with after graduation. However, these schools typically offer competitive financial aid packages to minimize loan dependency.
In this group, colleges don't promise to cover all your financial needs. They might have need-blind admissions, but they can't provide substantial aid to everyone. So, if you get in, you might have to rely more on outside scholarships, loans, or your own funds to pay for college.
When you're looking at colleges, it's crucial to figure out which category they fall into. Understanding their financial aid policies can help you plan better for your education costs. And don't forget to explore scholarships and other aid options to lighten the financial load.
* We've also added an asterisk next to the names of schools that meet full financial need without requiring loans in our list of 114 schools. This should make your decision-making process a bit easier.
Source: Amherst College, Babson College, Barnard College, Baylor University, Berea College, Biola University, Boston College, Boston University, Bowdoin College, Carnegie Mellon University, Chapman University, Claremont McKenna College, Colby College, Colgate University, College of the Ozarks, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Cornell College, Dartmouth College, Davidson College, Denison University, DePaul University, Elon University, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), Emory University, Florida State University, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Georgetown University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Harvey Mudd College, Haverford College, Hiram College, Ithaca College, Julliard, Kenyon College, Lafayette College, Lawrence University, Lehigh University, Lewis & Clark College, Marist College, Middlebury College, Mount St. Mary's College, New York University (NYU), Northeastern University, Olin College, Penn State - University Park, Pomona College, Providence College, Purdue University, Randolph College, Rice University, Saint Louis University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Soka University of America, St. John's College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Swarthmore College, Syracuse University, Texas Christian University (TCU), The College of New Jersey, Thomas Aquinas College, Tulane University, University of Chicago, University of Florida, University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of New Hampshire, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, University of Richmond, University of Rochester, University of Southern California (USC), University of Vermont, University of Virginia, University of Washington, Ursuline College, Vanderbilt University, Vassar College, Wabash College, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, Williams College, Yeshiva University, Princeton, MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, UPenn, Caltech, Duke, Brown, John Hopkins, Northwestern, Columbia, Cornell, UChicago, UCLA
Most top universities in the United States have built-in programs that automatically apply need-blindness to applicants who meet a specific requirement, such as being in the top ten percent of your high school academically. Need-blind schools use the status to attract the top percentage of students for their highly acclaimed university programs.
Here is a list of top need-blind universities for international students:
These universities are all about making higher education accessible, regardless of your financial circumstances. So, take a closer look and find the one that suits your academic goals best!
The top ten need-blind colleges fall into two categories: Ivy League and Private Ivy-Plus level schools. Ivy Plus schools are equivalent to the Ivy League in education but don’t have the Ivy League distinction.
Need-blindness is a function of most private schools. Private schools, especially Ivy Plus schools, offer unique financial aid programs to accepted U.S. applicants. Private universities tend to have enough resources from being so prestigious that they are willing to fund students' needs, from tuition to board, without asking questions.
Private schools do not require students to complete the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If they did, they would have access to their applicant’s financial information. Since they don’t take government loans, these universities usually offer scholarships and financial aid opportunities.
All Ivy League students offer need-blind admissions for their students, with a few elected to extend that offer to international students. All Ivy League schools are private institutions. As such, Ivy League scholarships and financial aid often come from each college’s specific donations funded programs rather than through public government-funded student loans.
Ivy League schools offer financial aid endowment programs to meet student needs better. This financial aid program completely replaces the need for any scholarship. If you make it into an Ivy League school, the financial aid options available will ensure that students should be able to afford the school, especially if they stand out merit-wise.
Although need-blind colleges are a wonderful option for students with demonstrated financial need, other factors are important as well! When applying to college, there are a number of things you should consider, including:
It’s important to choose a college using a well-rounded approach. Make your decision based on where you think you will thrive, not just based on financial factors!
If you’re an international or transfer student, remember to look into specific financial aid requirements, as many schools only offer need-blind admissions to domestic students.
Below, you’ll find some common questions about need-blind colleges.
Not all American universities are need-blind colleges, but many top-ranked schools are. These colleges do not consider student applications based on their financial needs. Only some colleges can be need-blind because it places more of a financial burden on the school.
All Ivy League schools admit U.S. applicants without taking financial need into account. Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Yale are the only need-blind colleges among the Ivy League universities for international students.
Indeed, Harvard is need-blind, extending its policy to all students, including international applicants.
Need-blind colleges consider applicants for admission without regard to their ability to pay, while full-need colleges meet the demonstrated financial need of admitted students through a combination of grants, scholarships, and work-study, without requiring loans.
Need-blind colleges ensure that their accepted students receive full support regardless of their financial needs. These highly ranked universities take on the financial burden through private donation funding. By doing so, future students from all backgrounds can attend a school with peers who will challenge them and take on a great opportunity.
Need blindness is a perk of colleges that have great distinction. While it’s not something every college can afford to do, private universities use it to give back to their students and foster a greater community. The donations they receive from their numerous successful alums sow the seeds of the successful students who will define the future.
Most of these schools have incredibly competitive applications, so if you plan on applying, best of luck!