Schools that Cover 100% of Your Financial Need

Featured Stories

Filter By Categories

We have great news! There are a lot of schools across the United States that cover 100% of student financial need.


Getting 100% of your financial need covered doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have to pay for some of your college expenses. This will depend on your demonstrated financial need and decisions made by your specific college.


Schools that promise 100% coverage of financial need for all students are saying that they -- the school -- will devise a plan to cover the whole cost of attending their institution. First they will determine how much your family is able to pay based on your completion of the FAFSA or CSS Profile. Whatever value remains when they subtract your family’s contribution from the cost of attendance will be your financial need.


When you get your financial aid package from the school, they will have itemized out how to cover your remaining financial need with scholarships, grants, government loans, and work study.


For a deeper dive into what it means to get full financial need coverage, read this Edmit article.


Now, here is the list of all colleges and universities across the United States that will cover all of your financial need in alphabetical order:


A

Amherst College

B

Barnard College
Bates College
Boston College
Bowdoin College
Brown University
Bryn Mawr College

C

California Institute of Technology
Carleton College
Claremont McKenna College
Colby College
Colgate University
College of the Holy Cross
Colorado College
Columbia University
Connecticut College
Cornell University

D

Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Duke University


F

Franklin and Marshall College


G

Georgetown University
Grinnell College

H

Hamilton College
Harvard University
Harvey Mudd College
Haverford College


J

Johns Hopkins University

K

Kenyon College


L

Lafayette College


M

Macalester College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Middlebury College
Mount Holyoke College

N

Northwestern University

O

Oberlin College
Occidental College


P

Pitzer College
Pomona College
Princeton University

R

Reed College
Rice University

S

Scripps College
Smith College
Stanford University
Swarthmore College

T

Trinity College


U

Union College
University of Chicago
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of Richmond
University of Southern California
University of Virginia

V

Vanderbilt University
Vassar College


W

Wake Forest University
Washington and Lee University
Washington University in St Louis
Wellesley College
Wesleyan University
Williams College


Y
Yale University


You’ll notice that many of these schools are Ivy League and other well-respected institutions. Why is that? These colleges and universities are trying to recruit top talent and don’t want to exclude great candidates because of financial barriers. Many of these schools have a lot of money, much of it set aside to ensure that they can provide enough aid for those who cannot pay the cost of attendance in full.


There are a lot of other great schools that cover most, but not all, financial need. We break them down in other articles by location and school type. Search the specific region, type of school or even specific institution on Edmit’s website to see what other schools are offering great aid packages.

 

Below is a breakdown of schools that cover 100% of your financial need by location. 

 

Schools on the West Coast

 

The west coast, with its redwood trees up north and its subtropical beaches down south, is diverse in more than just temperatures and biomes. It is also home to some of the most revered schools, of all different types, in the country.

 

In this article, we are honing in on the west coast schools that offer their accepted students 100% coverage of all demonstrated financial need.

 

The west coast may be diverse and the schools may be varied, but the locations of these particular schools are not. Eight out of the nine schools on this list are in California—Reed College being the only school in Oregon. And though California is vast, all of these California schools are in Los Angeles county—Stanford University being the only exception. Even more specific, out of the seven remaining schools, five are in the same town—Claremont, California!

 

Therefore, for this list, we’ve decided to break down these generous schools by city instead of exclusively by state:

 

Portland, Oregon

Reed College

 

Claremont, California

Claremont McKenna College

Harvey Mudd College

Pitzer College
Pomona College

Scripps College

Los Angeles, California

Occidental College

 

Pasadena, California

California Institute of Technology

 

Stanford, California

Stanford University


Interested in exploring other west coast schools that offer a lot, but not full, coverage of financial need? This list also includes schools in Washington.

 

 

Schools in New England

 

Interested in going to school in the New England area? Check out this list of schools in New England offering 100% financial need coverage.

 

Maine

Bates College
Bowdoin College

Colby College

Rhode Island

Brown University


Connecticut
Connecticut College

Trinity College

Wesleyan University

Yale University


Vermont

Middlebury College


Massachusetts

Amherst College
Boston College
College of the Holy Cross

Harvard University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mount Holyoke College

Smith College
Wellesley College

Williams College

New Hampshire

Dartmouth College

 

Also check out a couple of our Hidden Gems segments showcasing Boston College and College of the Holy Cross.

 

If you can’t or are not interested in attending one of these schools, there are also a lot of great New England schools covering a lot, but not all, of your financial need. Check it out!


Also, look! Some of these schools are ranked Most Generous Ivy League Schools for Middle Class Families.

 

 

Schools in the Mid-East Region

 

There are a whole lot of schools in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington DC that are offering 100% coverage of demonstrated financial need for all students.

 

Some schools are huge and some are small. Some are located in the big city of New York and others are tucked away in small towns. Take a look at these great colleges and universities working to make their schools affordable for all.

 

New York

Barnard College
Colgate University
Columbia University
Cornell University

Hamilton College

Northwestern University

Union College

Vassar College


New Jersey

Princeton University

Pennsylvania

Bryn Mawr College

Franklin and Marshall College

Haverford College

Lafayette College

Swarthmore College

University of Pennsylvania


Maryland/Washington DC

Georgetown University

Johns Hopkins University



 

Interested in checking out Princeton, Columbia or Georgetown? We breakdown exactly how to pay for these schools:

Paying for Princeton University

Paying for Columbia University

Paying for Georgetown University


Also, look! Some of these schools are ranked Most Generous Ivy League Schools for Middle Class Families.

 

 

Schools in the Southeast

 

Explore the nine schools across four southeast states that meet 100% of financial need for all accepted students.

 

North Carolina

Davidson College
Duke University

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wake Forest University


South Carolina

University of Southern California

Virginia

University of Richmond
University of Virginia
Washington and Lee University


Tennessee

Vanderbilt University



 

Did you know that there are only two public schools in the US at this time that offer 100% coverage of demonstrated financial need and they are both in the southeast? The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the the University of Virginia are both public research universities committed to attracting the best students through affordable education.

 

To see a list of all public schools in the US offering great financial need coverage, check out this list of public schools that cover at least 89% of need.

 

 

Schools in the Southwest

 

The southwestern part of the United States is large and sprawling. And for all the great schools in the south, only one covers 100% of financial need for all of their enrolled students.

 

Rice University

Officially William Marsh Rice University, this private research university is located on a 300-acre campus in Houston, Texas.

 

Rice has a nearly four thousand undergraduate population, with a slightly smaller graduate program. As this is a research university, it is a great place for those interested in participating in or creating research projects. In fact, Rice conducted about $130 million worth of externally funded research during the 2016 - 17 academic year.

 

We are showcasing Rice University in this article, because it is the only school in the southwest covering 100% of demonstrated need for all students, but Rice actually has an even more robust financial aid program than that. Students from families with incomes up to $200,000 who qualify for The Rice Investment do not take out loans as part of their need-based financial aid packages. All costs are covered by grants and scholarships. Students within this financial bracket may be eligible for coverage of half or full tuition and room and board coverage.

 

Learn more about the Rice University scholarships program and other merit-based aid.

 

Other Schools in the Southwest

Interested in other schools with great aid packages in the southwest? Check out this list of schools that cover the most financial need after Rice.

 

 

Rocky Mountain Schools

 

There are many colleges and universities across the United States that are willing to cover 100% of financial need for all of their students. Amazingly, if you’re an avid Rockies skier or hiker looking to attend school in the mountains, you’re only going to find one school with this level of financial coverage right now.

 

Let’s take a peak into Colorado College!

 

Colorado College

Nestled at the base of the Rockies and looking up at the tallest peak, Colorado Springs hosts this unique college. The school’s academics are structured around the Block Plan, in which students take only one three-and-a-half-week course at a time. Learn more.

 

On top of covering the financial need for any students who has demonstrated that need, the school also offers other merit- and non-merit-based scholarships. Colorado College automatically considers every person in the incoming class for three merit-based scholarships. The school also offers three merit-based scholarships that require further application. If this is of interest, read more here.

 

The school encourages their students to try new things, explore the Rockies and hopefully not have to worry about their finances in the process.

Explore Other Avenues

Colorado College may be the only school in the area that promises to cover all of your demonstrated need regardless of your family’s financial situation, but there are other ways to afford the mountainous college of your choice.

 

Try to find schools that will give you full tuition or full-ride scholarships based on merit or check out this list of Rocky Mountain schools that cover the majority of your need.

 

Happy hiking!

 

 

Schools in the Plains Region

 

As we move across the country looking for the best aid offers in the United States, it’s time to look into the plains region.

 

The US plains is a vast and sprawling part of the country, containing a lot of states with a variety of landscapes and cultures. With such a large space to cover, you might be surprised to know that only three states house colleges that cover 100% of financial need for every student.

 

Schools that promise 100% coverage of financial need for all students are saying that they -- the school -- will devise a plan to cover the whole cost of attending their institution. First they will determine how much your family is able to pay based on your completion of the FAFSA or CSS Profile. Whatever value remains when they subtract your family’s contribution from the cost of attendance will be your financial need.

 

When you get your financial aid package from the school, they will have itemized out how to cover your remaining financial need with scholarships, grants, government loans, and work study.



Minnesota

Minnesota is home to two of the colleges with full need coverage: Carleton College and Macalester College. Both small liberal arts colleges, they are quite close together in relation to the size of Minnesota. Macalester lives in the bustling capital of St Paul, while Carlton resides three and a half hours outside the city in a town called Northfield where the motto is Cows, Colleges, and Contentment. As the schools are both private liberal arts schools that are similar in size, rigor and cost, it can come down to location, location, location.

 

Macalester also offers other scholarships based on merit, while Carleton does not.

 

Iowa

Another school in the Plains Region offering 100% coverage of demonstrated financial need is Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

 

Grinnell is also a private liberal arts school, but is quite small. While the two Minnesota schools maintain student bodies just over two thousand, Grinnell’s total undergraduate population is just a hair over 1,700. Grinnell, like Macalester, prides itself on their commitment to social justice.

 

Grinnell offers a number of other scholarships. In fact, if you have Iowa residency, you are guaranteed at least $12,000 every year to help cover the cost of attendance at Grinnell. It can pay off to go to school in-state, even at some private schools.

 

Missouri

St Louis, Missouri: Home of the Gateway Arch, the 1904 Worlds Fair and Nelly. It is also home to the well-known Washington University of St Louis.

 

This intellectually rigorous medium-size private research university, promises to challenge and inspire you. The school has over 90 academic programs and more than three thousand research projects happening every year.

 

WashU is proud of their commitment to the 100% financial need coverage for every admitted student. They also have a number of merit-based scholarships, which you can learn more about on their website.

 

What Else?

Though there are only four schools in the Plains Region that offer full financial need coverage, we also have a list of schools in the area that come really close. Check it out.

 

 

Schools in the Great Lakes

 

Did you know that Lake Superior holds 10% of the entire world’s fresh surface water? Or that Lake Erie is home to a sea monster named Bessie?

 

Whether you’re into earth sciences or creative writing, there are some great schools worth exploring in the Great Lakes region. There are even four schools in the area that cover 100% of student financial need. This means that they make sure your cost of attendance is covered through various means like grants, scholarships, loans, and work study.

 

The four schools that claim to cover 100% of your financial need are:

 

Kenyon College in Ohio

Oberlin College in Ohio

University of Chicago in Illinois

University of Notre Dame in Indiana

 

There are no schools in Wisconsin or Michigan offering full financial need coverage at this time, but there are some that get pretty close. Check out our list of schools that give nearly 100% of coverage in the region.

 

A Closer Look at Kenyon College

Kenyon College takes their coverage a step further and offers full-tuition scholarships to the top students in every entering class.

 

They automatically review every student in the incoming class for “extraordinary leadership, scholarship and community membership.” The students that are selected for this scholarships are able to go tuition-free to Kenyon for all four years of their education, pending continuing evaluation.

 

Learn more about this and other generous Kenyon College scholarships.


If you are unsure about the differences between full financial need coverage and a full ride or full tuition scholarship, read this Edmit article.

Sign up for updates

Popular Tags

Financial Aid and Scholarships* Cost of College* paying for college financial aid FAFSA grants and scholarships Student Loans* Saving for College* federal student loans college tuition 529 plan cost of attendance expected family contribution college financial planning financial aid award private student loans Salary and Career* taxes college savings plan room and board on-campus housing college expenses federal financial aid merit scholarships budgeting for college edmit hidden gems merit-based financial aid parent PLUS loan private universities public universities college applications living expenses CSS profile college costs edmit team education expenses financial need income application fees financial aid appeal off-campus housing loan forgiveness affordable college career college majors loan repayment student loan assistance work-study application fee waivers degree programs edmit scholarship institutional aid SAT choosing a college choosing a major in-state tuition net price prepaid tuition plans private scholarships repayment plans ACT budget college search free tuition international students internships need-based financial aid need-blind colleges qualified higher education expenses southern colleges standardized testing tuition discount tuition guarantee tuition payment plans 401k UGMA UTMA applying to college college ranking systems college spending college visits credit score discretionary income education savings accounts fees full ride scholarship grants health insurance options investment ivy league schools liberal arts degree meal plans midwestern colleges need-aware colleges out-of-state tuition retirement savings school-based scholarships student loan debt western colleges 568 presidents group Inversant MEFA asset protection allowance best price campus life college advisor college deposit concurrent enrollment cost by region cost by state crowdfunding dorms educational expenses esports fee waivers financial literacy fraternities and sororities full tuition gap year home equity loan income share agreements line of credit medical expenses military benefits new england colleges out-of-state students percent need met private college consultant saving small business state aid state schools student bank accounts student organizations title IV schools travel expenses tuition decreases tuition increases tuition insurance tuition reciprocity undocumented students