The Truth About “Need-Aware” Colleges.

In 2013, The George Washington University publicly admitted that they are a “need-aware” college. In other words, they factor in an applicant’s need for financial aid when need-blinddeciding if they will admit that applicant to their institution. Understandably, this revelation caused an uproar among students and their parents. While some had strong words for colleges, others scurried to try and foot the entire bill for their student’s college tuition.

Fortunately for colleges and students around the world, “need-aware” isn’t as bad as it sounds. Kal Chany, the author of the Princeton Review’s Paying for College Without Going Broke, explained the truth behind “need-aware” institutions and how it differs from those that are “need-blind”.

The first step is to realize that “need-aware” does not mean that colleges are going to first accept all the children who don’t need financial aid and then everyone else. When a college institution is “need-aware”, financial need is only one factor – and this one factor normally only comes into play for students who are high-need and we’re the strongest candidates.

With this in mind, there is really no need to worry about whether the college your student is applying to is “need-aware” or “need-blind”. As long as your student is applying to colleges in which he/she is in the top 20%, there should really be no need for the financial factor to come into play.

If you would like to read more about this, check out the Forbes article “Does Applying for Financial Aid Hurt Your College Admissions Chances?”. If you have any questions financial aid or the FASFA, please call our office at 314-993-4285 or e-mail us at

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