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Need-Blind Colleges: A Full List By Prep Expert

Colleges consider a variety of factors when making admissions decisions. Like most students, you’re probably no stranger to the fact that colleges will weigh your gpa, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities when you apply for admission. 

However, what many students don’t realize is that colleges also consider your ability to pay tuition, too.

Tuition is a major source of funding for colleges and universities, so there is an incentive to accept students who will require minimal financial aid.

This puts students whose families are not able to bear the cost of tuition at a disadvantage. 

Let’s face it- college is expensive, and many families cannot afford to pay tuition costs without financial aid packages.

If you know that your family doesn’t have the means to pay your tuition costs, you don’t have to worry. There are many colleges that have need-blind policies, meaning that a student’s ability or inability to pay tuition will not factor into their decision process.

While these schools do not guarantee full-ride tuition or competitive financial aid packages, the benefit of need-blind colleges is that their policy helps even the playing field, preventing exceptional students from being overlooked due to finances.

Some need-blind colleges and universities have a few conditions, like only being need-blind for in-state applicants or non-transfer students, but there are also many that have no conditions attached.

This guide will give you a full list of need-blind colleges (both conditionally and unconditionally) that you can apply to during your senior year:

Need-blind colleges and universities

  • Adrian College
  • Antioch College
  • Babson College
  • Barnard College 
  • Berea College
  • Boston College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • College of William & Mary
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Davidson College
  • Denison University
  • Duke University
  • Elon University
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Georgetown University
  • Grinnell College
  • Hamilton College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Lehigh University
  • List College
  • Middlebury College
  • Northwestern University
  • Olin College
  • Pomona College
  • Purdue University
  • Rice University
  • Soka University of America
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Tulane University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vassar College
  • Wake Forest University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wellesley College
  • Williams College

Financially preparing for college

Whether or not you apply to a need-blind school, you need to be prepared for the financial realities of attending college. According to Business Insider, the average cost of one year of tuition for in-state students is $10,740, and the average cost for out-of-state students is $27,560.

Multiply those numbers by four years of college, and you don’t even need to actually do the math to know that tuition costs are through the roof.

While need-blind schools ensure your family won’t be at a disadvantage if you need help to cover these costs, it’s important for you to remember that even need-blind schools do not promise accepted students will receive financial aid.

If you get into a need-blind school that doesn’t offer you financial aid, you’ll still have to pay a steep bill.

While this is easier said than done, it is not impossible to cover tuition costs if you plan ahead.

Here are some steps you can take to help improve your college financial situation:

Estimate your expenses early

Because many colleges increase their tuition rates every year, it will be impossible for you to determine exactly how much you will spend on tuition, room and board, and meal plans until it is close to time for you to apply to schools.

However, you can always look at the financial aid pages on the websites of your top schools to get a rough estimate of your anticipated costs and potential financial aid packages.

If you know early on that your top school does not give much financial aid, you will have more time to prepare to pay tuition costs. If you have a rough estimate of how much you will need to pay for undergrad, you will know how many scholarships you should apply for and how much money you will need to save.

Apply for scholarships

Look for scholarships early and often. Remember, scholarships are not loans- you don’t have to pay them back! 

There are many websites that you can use to find scholarships. Here are three scholarship websites I recommend:

Apply for as many scholarships as possible, especially ones that require essays. A lot of students pass on applying for scholarships that require them to spend a lot of time answering questions or writing essays, which will significantly boost your chances of getting one of these scholarships.

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships with small awards. Earning a few $100 and $500 scholarships will add up quickly!

Carve out a little bit of time each day to apply for scholarships, and you may find yourself having a lot more money than you expect when it’s time to head to school.

Boost your gpa

Many colleges and universities offer their top financial aid packages to students with stellar grades. Work hard in each of your classes and earn a gpa that will improve your chances of earning a full ride.

While your gpa is important for scholarship consideration, don’t hurt your overall chances of admission by opting to take the easiest courses. Financial aid will be the least of your worries if you don’t get accepted into college in the first place!

It is better to take challenging courses, like AP, IB, or dual credit courses, and work with a private tutor to ensure you earn good grades than to try to earn a perfect gpa by taking the easiest classes your high school has to offer.

If you need help in your tough courses, remember that Prep Expert offers private tutoring.

Earn high SAT and ACT scores

Your standardized test scores will help qualify you for certain scholarships. Make sure you spend time studying for the SAT or ACT, and enlist the help of a prep course or private tutoring to increase the likelihood that you’ll score in the top percentile.

If you score high enough on the PSAT your junior year, you will have the chance to earn a scholarship if you’re considered for a spot as a National Merit Scholar or National Achievement Scholar.

Take your standardized tests seriously and invest time into earning an impressive score. A high SAT or ACT score will improve your chances of college admission as well as your likelihood of earning a scholarship.

Prep Expert offers tried and true SAT and ACT prep courses and private tutoring that will help you improve your standardized test scores. Learn more when you visit our website.

Prep Expert

Written by Prep Expert

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