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Resources for Economically Disadvantaged/Underresourced Students


If you come from a family with limited economic means, there are opportunities to save money as you navigate the college application and enrolling process.  Here are some items to consider:

Testing fee waivers


Free test preparation resources


Free Application for Federal Student Aid



Schools with need-blind admissions that meet full need


There are over 4,000 postsecondary institutions in the U.S., but only around 100 offer need-blind admissions where students who require financial assistance are not placed at a disadvantage for admission.  Only a subset of those schools that offer need-blind admissions meet full need (and some that meet full need do not have need-blind admissions).  Here is an initial list of schools with need-blind admissions that meet full need, which is subject to change:

  • Alice Lloyd College, Pippa Passes, KY

  • Amherst College, Amherst, MA

  • Barclay College, Haviland, KS

  • Berea College, Berea, KY

  • Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME

  • Brown University, Providence, RI

  • University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

  • Columbia University, NY, NY

  • Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, PA

  • Deep Springs College, Deep Springs, CA

  • Davidson College, Davidson, NC

  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

  • Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

  • College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, MO

  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

  • Pomona College, Claremont, CA

  • Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

  • St. Louis Christian College, Florissant, MO

  • Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

  • Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

  • Webb Institute, Glen Cove, NY

  • Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, Media, PA

  • Yale University, New Haven, CT

"No Loan" Colleges

Frequently need-based aid begins with student loans.  Money Magazine has published an article about colleges that do not require loans as the basis for need-based financial aid.  Please read the fine print as some of the colleges still expect a small contribution from the student.  Here is the article:  Colleges That Don't Use Student Loans in Financial Aid Offers | Money.

Highflying Students

These are resources for economically disadvantaged students with particularly strong academic backgrounds.

Questbridge - Approximately four dozen rigorous and selective colleges and universities provide full scholarships through this program.  I recently worked with an applicant who received a full scholarship to Stanford University through this program.  The program requires applicants to write a large number of essays during a short period of time.

Matchlighters - Matchlighters Scholars Program (

Posse Foundation -

Gates Millenium Scholarships - Scholarships for minority high school seniors planning to attend college.  Gates Millennium Scholarship - Access Scholarships

Jack Kent Cooke Scholarships - Our Scholarships - Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (

Other resources:

Third Way:  Providing Low-Income Students the Best Bang for Their Educational Buck – Third Way

Reach Higher Initiative / Better Make Room -

College Point -

Contact me for a free initial consultation.

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