Seven Standout Colleges – Need-based AND Merit Aid
It’s appropriate that “HYP” is the commonly used acronym for the triumvirate of schools often considered most elite in the U.S. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are indeed exceptional schools; I very nearly went to Princeton both for undergrad and graduate school (twice for graduate school, actually). However, the “hype” that these schools garner is inappropriate in comparison to the lack thereof received by a good number of schools around the country. In this short post, I’ll thrust some of my own hype on some very deserving schools, following the money theme of my most recent posts.*
I wrote a recent post about colleges that meet 100% of demonstrated need for all students, and another post that highlights some private schools that offer some generous merit aid packages for students who do not qualify for need-based aid.
There are a very few, very select collection of extraordinarily unique, special, and elite (*cough* …hype) schools that do both. These schools meet 100% of all demonstrated need AND offer generous merit packages.**
Bryn Mawr College
Mount Holyoke College
St. Olaf College
University of Chicago
Only seven schools in the U.S. meet those standards; naturally, it’s hard to make a more exclusive list (for those into exclusivity/hype).
And because I like to toss hype on a lot of schools (apparently I’m a bigger fan of hype than of exclusivity), let’s make an honorable mention list of schools pulling in those that meet more than 90% of demonstrated need or are otherwise very near misses for the strict categories above.
Harvey Mudd College
University of Richmond
University of Rochester
University of Southern California
University of Virginia
That’s sixteen schools that are (comparatively) extremely generous with both merit aid and need-based aid. Notably, only one public university makes this list; Virginians, be thankful for your incredible in-state option!
*I don’t mean to diminish Harvard, Yale, or Princeton in any way, and need to readily highlight here that these three schools are among the very best at making themselves affordable for anyone who can get in.
**I’ve defined schools that offer “generous merit packages” as those that give non-need-based merit awards to at least 10% of their students and those awards average more than $10,000 per year.