Juniors and Seniors: Finding Financially Friendly College

Finding Financially Friendly Colleges
 
What is a financially friendly college?
 
Some colleges are simply more generous when it comes to financial aid, and they do a better job of reducing your cost to attend. You can find "financially friendly" colleges on COLLEGEdata. Just use College Match to search for schools using these factors:
 
    • Financial need met. Your "financial need" is the amount that colleges calculate you can't afford to pay. Some colleges cover 100 percent of your financial need, but many cover much less.
 
    • Merit aid offered. Merit aid is money you don't have to pay back. You can search for colleges based on the percent of freshmen receiving merit aid -- overall or only freshmen without financial need.
 
  • Student loan debt. What is the average student loan balance students have when they graduate? If the average loan balance is lower, it may mean that the college is more generous with grants and scholarships.
 
Is financial aid reduced after freshman year?
 
To avoid an unpleasant surprise after your first year of college, see how the financial aid awards for freshmen compare to those offered to other undergraduates. They should be similar. Check the Money Matters page of any school's College Profile on COLLEGEdata for details.
 
For more signs of financial friendliness, including clues you can find on the college's website, read the full article at: