Figuring out how to pay for college is challenging. Fortunately, most, if not all, colleges offer financial aid packages. These packages could consist of merit, athletic, or need-based scholarships, grants, student loans, and work-study opportunities. Read on to discover 10 colleges with great financial aid packages for admitted students!
1. Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $78,580
Even though Vassar is a private school, they offer many opportunities for financial aid. Annually Vassar awards around $71 million in scholarships based on need and not on academic or athletic achievement. According to Vassar College’s website, the College has a goal of meeting 100% of all demonstrated financial needs for all admitted students. In 2020–2021, most of the 2,400 students received financial aid awards, ranging from $3,500 to over $75,000. First-year students receive an average of $45,000 in aid. Vassar’s aid packages include grants, loans, on-campus work-study offers, and scholarships.
2. Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $78,078
At Duke, more than half of the undergraduates receive some form of financial support. Duke University also meets 100% of all admitted students’ financial needs and provides funding for any costs not covered by the calculated family contribution. Financial aid includes merit-based and need-scholarships, loans, tuition benefit programs, veterans benefits, and work-study opportunities. The average first-year student receives $57,000 in financial aid from Duke.
3. Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $74,660
Williams College thinks about all of their students’ financial needs- textbooks, study abroad opportunities, Winter Study courses, and health insurance, not just tuition. Only 50% of the students receiving financial aid are asked to take out loans. Williams College prides themselves on the fact that their students graduate with lower average loan debt than students from any other college in the country. Williams College doesn’t expect students to borrow more than $4,000 per year. Awarding over $50 million in aid each year, this college also meets 100% of demonstrated needs, with few or no student loans. The average first-year student receives around $50,000 in aid. Plus, Williams is the only college in the country that guarantees free textbooks and course materials to all students receiving financial aid.
4. Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $77,750
Yale University is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial needs without student loans. The school awards over $180 million in aid for students each year. More than 53% of Yale undergraduate students receive need-based aid, with the average financial award amounting to $55,100. A testament to Yale’s robust financial aid packages is their average student loan debt per student. More than 85% of the Yale Class of 2019 graduated debt-free!
5. Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $74,190
Students with household incomes between $0-$65,000 qualify for a grant to cover room and board, residential college fees, and full tuition. Princeton also meets 100% of demonstrated need-based aid through grants. First-year students receive an average aid package of $56,500. Thanks to Princeton’s no-loan policy, which replaces student loans with grant aid that students do not pay back, 83% of their recent graduates graduated debt-free.
6. Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa
Tuition, room & board, and fees: $72,998
Like many other colleges on this list, Grinnell also commits to meeting 100% of student need-based aid without student loans. At least 86% of students receive some sort of financial aid from Grinnell. Annually, the College spends approximately $58.6 million in grants, scholarships, and other aid. 65% of Grinnell students receive need-based aid, with an average grant and/or scholarship award of $46,609 per student. As of the 2021-2022 school year, Grinnell will no longer include student loans in financial aid packages; loans are replaced with grants.
7. University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $83,448
The University of Chicago offers grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities for admitted students. Beginning with the Class of 2023, the University of Chicago (UChicago) offers the UChicago Empower initiative. This initiative increases access to UChicago by guaranteeing free tuition for families with incomes under $125,000 per year. The UChicago Empower Initiative also allows families earning less than $60,000 per year to have tuition, fees, and room and meals covered by financial aid.
8. Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $77,260
Awarding more than $60 million in scholarship each year, Amherst College is yet another higher education institution that seeks to meet 100% of both international and domestic students’ financial needs. First-year students receive an average of $58,000. Because of Amherst’s generous financial aid packages, 75% of Amherst graduates in the Class of 2020 graduated without student loans.
9. Washington University (WashU) in St. Louis, Missouri
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $76,766
Students with household incomes less than $75,000 per year have their full financial needs met through a mixture of grants, scholarships, and work-study options rather than loans. Committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial needs of their admitted students, WashU announced the WashU Pledge program in 2019. This program provides free undergraduate education to admitted students from Missouri and southern Illinois students that fit within certain financial criteria. WashU also offers scholarships based on academic merit. First-year students are awarded around $53,000.
10. Webb Institute in Glen Cove, New York
Annual tuition, room & board, and fees: $19,865
Webb Institute prides itself on not being a typical engineering college. They provide all U.S. citizens and permanent residents with a full-tuition scholarship (not including room and board and other fees). Students graduate with a dual Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Webb is proud to have a 100% job placement rate for graduates each year. This school may be a niche option, but if you’re looking to go into a specific field of engineering, this could be a great option!
If you’re looking for other schools that offer great financial aid, check out the Find Your Perfect “U” tool. You can search over 6,000 colleges and universities with 11 different filters to find the perfect school for you!