There are 62 schools in the latest U.S. News & World Report survey that claim to cover 100 percent of admitted students’ financial-aid need. They include all the Ivies, as well as other schools across the country such as St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Rice University in Texas, and Colby College in Maine.
Each school calculates what it means to meet a student’s financial need. The package a college offers can include subsidized student loans and work study, along with merit scholarships and federal grants.
The amount of need takes into consideration the family’s estimated financial contribution against the total cost of attendance—tuition, fees, room and board, books, travel, and other expenses.
The Obama administration wants to help students be more empowered as consumers when it comes to shopping around for colleges. To find the best price and financial-aid package, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is developing a “Know Before You Owe” financial-aid shopping guide. (The bureau is seeking feedback on a draft shopping sheet.) The president also proposed as part of his college-affordability agenda last month a college scorecard that families could use to compare schools based on their need, affordability, and goals.
As tuition continues to rise and state support for higher education drops, it will be interesting to see how the list of institutions that cover the gap in family finances and college expenses might change in the coming years—and how they market those offers.
A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.