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For many students the most discouraging factor in applying to colleges is the subject of financial aid. How in the world will I be able to pay to get this degree that could cost upwards of $60,000? Besides earning scholarships, one of the best ways to avoid some of this worry is to apply to schools that are renowned for their financial aid services. These schools give outstanding financial need, and sometimes will even cover all costs for students who are eligible. This article will include some of the top universities for offering need-based financial aid.

According to “Schools that meet 100 percent of need can use a combination of loans, scholarships, grants and work-study to fill the gap between the cost of attendance – tuition, fees, room, board and other expenses – and the expected family contribution, a number determined by the information you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, including tax data, assets and family size.” They also report that according to data received only 62 of the 1,137 colleges and universities covered full need. You can find the full list of school’s that offer 100% need based financial aid on but this article will focus on highlighting three of the sixty two colleges and universities.

Boston College

Boston College is a private four year university which is located right outside of Boston, Massachusetts. It has a medium sized student body and is located in the suburbs for students looking for city access but not quite city feel. Since it is medium sized the average student to faculty ratio is low allowing for intimate contact with professors and small class sizes. One deterrent for some may be that this institution is Catholic so it will have such themes within the curriculum but hopefully that won’t deter you from applying.

Bryn Mawr College

Boys slow your horses, this college is for all my ladies. Bryn Mawr is a private, 4-year institution but, it only offers admission to women. It is located in the town of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania which is fairly close to Philadelphia by train. Since they are so small they offer programs with other local universities including Haverford and University of Pennsylvania. One fun fact is that “Bryn Mawr was the first women’s college to offer graduate education through the Ph.D.” (Bryn Mawr) So go on girl get that degree!

Tufts University

Tufts University is another private University which is also 4-years. It is located in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts and offers degrees up to the doctoral level. A friend of mine, Elizabeth*, from high school actually attends this institution and is absolutely ecstatic that she is a Jumbo. They have a variety of majors from liberal arts to engineering which will allow every student to find their mold in the university. However, if you have taken a large amount of AP or IB exams you should know that Tufts only accepts 5 of the exams for credit, one per subject area.

Besides these schools it would be wise to consider a military service route to obtain your education. Some of the highest accredited universities are ran by the military. They offer degrees in a wide variety of fields but tend to focus on STEM backgrounds. This is a great option for students who aren’t sure they’re up for a “traditional” college experience. Schools such as the United States Naval Academy are top tier in their physical conditioning and mental conditioning as well. For some, this may be unattractive due to not wanting to serve in the United States military, but if this is something you would consider, schools such as this, or schools with ROTC programs are your best bet.

All in all, you should not let money be a deterrent from attending college. Study hard, play hard, and top universities will acknowledge your achievements. By applying to schools that are known for giving out amazing financial aid packages you are less likely to be deterred from pursuing your education when you receive the financial aid letter. Please do your research and find the best school for you, because as elitist as this may sound, money isn’t everything.

A/N: This article is not sponsored in any way
*Name redacted

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the author

Stephanie Jones is a student at Villanova University studying Computer Engineering. When she isn't reading or writing she enjoys watching tv shows on netflix, tumbling, and texting her friends. Memes are a sure fire way to make her laugh and she is always available for contact at

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