For students applying for financial aid, receiving a package that actually meets your financial need to attend college is extremely important. Below is a U.S. News & World Report article that documents the 66 institutions which reported that they meet the full financial need of their admitted students. This means that after a student submits required financial aid paperwork (FAFSA, CSS Profile, tax returns, etc.), the financial aid office reviews all of that information to determine the student’s EFC (Expected Family Contribution). They then subtract the EFC from the cost to attend the institution to calculate how much aid the student would still need in order to attend. For the institutions in the article below, that amount is what is met in full by a financial aid package of grants, loans, and work study. Institutions not on this list will put together a financial aid package that is less than the full calculated need of the student. With these schools, the family is expected to cover the gap of money not met by the financial aid package. (Please note that these calculations represent financial aid packages and not merit scholarships.)
If you have questions about this process, please contact your college counselor.