These schools reported to U.S. News that they meet the entirety of their students’ financial need.
Posted: February 16, 2011
Some schools, though not many, claim to be able to meet their students’ full financial need. Determining your financial need begins with calculating your expected family contribution (or EFC) using information you provide on the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA takes into account your family’s earning power, size, and savings, among other factors.
Your financial need to attend a given institution is the difference between the cost of attendance, which varies from school to school, and your EFC, which remains constant (though some schools will calculate your EFC based on their standards, which vary from school to school, and can produce an EFC higher than the one calculated using the FAFSA). Schools use grants and subsidized loans to help fill the void between your expected family contribution and the cost of attending.
[Learn more about your expected family contribution.]
During the recent recession, numerous schools striving to meet the full financial needs of students were unable to do so because of shrinking endowments, dwindling donations, and sharp decreases in state funding. Though the economic recovery is far from over, some schools are now able to offer more than they have in the past.
A spokesman for the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering claims that the school meets the full need this year despite economic setbacks. The school offers a $3,500 direct subsidized loan to all students and meets any remaining need with grants. Tuition and fees for the 2010-2011 school year cost $38,425.
“This policy is rooted in the beliefs of Olin’s founders, the directors of the F. W. Olin Foundation, that finances should not be an obstacle to an excellent engineering education,” says Olin spokesman Joseph Hunter. “Due to the financial downturn, we had to reduce the merit scholarship guaranteed to every enrolled student to 50 percent of tuition, but we continue to meet full need for all students who need that support.”
Washington and Lee University, where undergraduate tuition and fees for the 2010-2011 school year total $40,387, was absent from last year’s list, but made the cut this year. University spokesman Jeff Hanna claims that the school made adjustments to its financial aid budget in order to meet the full need of its students via both grants and work opportunities.
[Learn how to turn community service into college cash.]
Below is a list of the 63 schools out of more than 1,700 surveyed by U.S. News that claim to meet their students’ full financial need. All schools listed report that they meet 100 percent of need for all students. Several schools including Vanderbilt University and Johns Hopkins University were a few percentage points shy of meeting full need, but were not included in the table.
Click HERE to see the list of 63 schools that made it!