Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

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Our counselors answered:

Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

Melissa Kunes
Senior Director, Office of Student Aid Penn State University

Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

Here is my video response to the question.

Ainsley Parker
Regional Director of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

Here is my video response to the question.

Peter Silberman
Assistant Dean of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

Here is my video response to the question.

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

Colleges and Full Payment of Tuition

This boils down to whether a college is need-blind or need-aware, and this policy is stated quite clearly on a college's website. Colleges that are need-blind - and others for that matter - keep a separate institutional entity to handle financials not the admissions office. The reason is so that the admissions people can assess only the candidate, not his or her family's financial status. Still, need aware means that a college can take the financial picture into account when making a decision. This may well be a factor even for some elite schools when they are making decisions about transfer applicants.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Ability to pay

A need-blind school will not consider your parents ability to pay when they consider your application. Need-blind indicates that there is a "fire-wall" between the admissions office and the financial aid office. A college that is need-aware, does take into consideration your parents financial resources.

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

Yes, but does not apply to all schools

most elite colleges are more focused on the list of seats to be filled more than the finacial aid needs. the so called needs blind policy will not consider student's financial aid needs until student accepted first without the details for financial aid. in today marketplace, more and more schools are paying great attention to full paid tuition applicants, that explained why so many campuses are packed by international students. I think our domestic students should also consider carefully about selecting the right school that has the financial strenghts and less financial signs of needing for more full paid international students.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

It depends on the school. Running a college is not cheap, schools have to pay their bills, and tuition is no small part of how they do it. Consequently, not every incoming student can be on financial aid. Schools with large endowments that can make admissions decisions without any concern to tuition income—a policy known as need blind admissions—are in fact few, and so it can be a factor as they pull together a whole class. Will some wholly unqualified applicants be admitted just because they can pay? It isn’t likely, because they would not be apt to last, but all things being equal a full paying applicant could have an advantage. In the end it is simply another example of a decision being based on what the school needs and what an applicant can bring to the community.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

At need sensitive schools, of which there are few, absolutely!

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

Some colleges do. The most prestigious colleges tend to also be the wealthiest and have need blind admissions policies. Being a paying customer will not cause many of these colleges to look at you more favorably unless you are also donating much more. Colleges with smaller endowments, many of which are very good, may on the other hand consider the amount of need when evaluating students and putting together their class.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

Do colleges look more favorably on applicants who can pay full tuition?

"Need blind" do not take into consider a student's ability to pay while "need aware" colleges do. Check the website of the specific colleges you are considering to see in which category they fall.