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Top Colleges for Financial Aid

An interesting article was posted by CNBC by Jessica Dickler that highlighted the top colleges for financial aid.  The piece focuses on a ranking conducted by “The Princeton Review” on the colleges, both public and private, that measures universities by how much financial aid is awarded to students as well as students’ satisfaction with their financial aid packages.

At public four-year institutions, costs for the 2015–16 school year rose to $19, 548 from $16, 178 five years ago, according to the College Board. Tuition plus room and board at four-year private universities was much higher: $43, 921 on average.  Here are the top five schools, including my alma mater Colgate University.

5. Haverford College
Location: Haverford, Pa.

Tuition, fees, room and board: $66, 500

This small liberal arts college in the suburbs of Philadelphia is making big waves with its financial aid, offering scholarships worth $45, 390, on average, to students in need. The school jumped four spots to round out this year’s top five thanks to being “really, really aggressive about being a student advocate and putting dollars toward student scholarships, ” Franek said.

4. Colgate University
Location: Hamilton, N.Y.

Tuition, fees, room and board: $65, 030

Students here have a healthy dose of school spirit, with good reason: Colgate is one of the best schools in the country even though it has a sticker price to match. Still, their students receive $49, 442 in grant aid, on average, according to Franek. “That makes it much more palatable.”

3. Princeton University
Location: Princeton, N.J.

Tuition, fees, room and board: $60, 530

This elite Ivy League school makes the top of many college lists, but it’s also highly regarded for its war on student debt. Princeton has eliminated all loans for students who qualify for aid. Instead, awards come in the form of grants that do not need to be repaid and the average scholarship is $44, 890 — making the total cost just $15, 640.

“It’s been a pioneer in this area, ” Franek said.

2. Vassar College
Location: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Tuition, fees, room and board: $63, 280

Vassar is one of most expensive colleges in the country but also one of the most generous. The average scholarship is $41, 100, making the total cost just over $20, 000. “They have the financial wherewithal to make a $60, 000-plus tuition affordable for those that need it, ” Franek said.

1. Pomona College
Location: Claremont, Calif.

Tuition, fees, room and board: $62, 700

At the top of this year’s list is a member of the Claremont Colleges, a group of highly regarded schools just outside of Los Angeles.Admission to Pomona is tough but need-blind. The goal is to achieve “significant socio-economic diversity, ” according to Adam Sapp, Pomona’s senior associate dean and director of admissions.

“College affordability is a national issue, and the trustees have affirmed again and again that a commitment to the financial aid model is absolutely our first priority, ” Sapp said.

Author: Yuri Punj

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