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Merit-based Aid

What is Need-Blind?

Colleges are either need-blind or need-aware in their admissions policies. A college that is need-blind makes acceptance decisions without considering a student’s financial need or ability to pay. A college that is need-aware will consider what the student can pay when evaluating their application. So need-blind must be better, right? Well, not necessarily. The fact that a school maintains a need-blind admissions policy…

Considering Different Offers

Since it’s college acceptance season, there are a lot of great articles out there about evaluating offers. Apologies for offering less original content here but reinventing the wheel doesn’t help. Here is a great article from the New York Times that will help you be a more informed consumer of your various offers.

About Appealing Aid Awards

(Is that alliteration or what?) Did you get an aid award that’s not what you’re hoping for? Recently the New York Times wrote about appealing financial aid awards. For the article, Ron Lieber sent a questionnaire to aid officers at some of the priciest private schools asking about their appeals process. Occidental College’s completed questionnaire is extremely helpful for understanding…

Funded and Unfunded Aid

Congratulations! You got accepted into several schools, and each offered you some financial aid. When you compare the offers, it’s important to make apples-to-apples comparisons. The first thing to figure out is, did you get funded aid or unfunded aid? Funded aid consists of grants and scholarships. Funded aid reduces the cost of going to college. Unfunded aid is loans…

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