The amount of need-based aid that a school offers is determined by the information a family provides on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA information that is gathered from your income tax return is what schools use to calculate an expected family contribution, commonly called EFC.

Financial aid awards from colleges and universities typically use a combination of loans, scholarships, grants and work-study to cover the difference between the total cost of attendance (COA) and the amount a family is expected to pay (EFC). COA-EFC=NEED. A school that claims to meet 100% of need covers the gap entirely. 

A few institutions that claim to meet full need offer financial aid packages without federal student loans. Some of these schools include Amherst College and Harvard University and Princeton University. Other schools, such as Brown University and Duke University have a no-loans policy for students from lower-income backgrounds.

The majority of schools that "meet 100% need" are highly selective schools. However, many public and private schools give merit aid and/or reduce their tuition for strong academics and good test scores. 

Amherst College (MA)

Austin College (TX) 95%

Babson College (MA) 98%

Barnard College (NY)

Bates College (ME)

Beloit College (WI) 95%

Bentley University (MA) 94%

Boston College (MA)

Boston University (MA) 93%

Brandeis University (MA) 95%

Brown University (RI)

Bryn Mawr College (PA)

Bowdoin College (ME

California Institute of Technology

Carleton College (MN)

Claremont McKenna College (CA)

Clark University (MA) 93%

Colby College (ME)

Colgate University (NY)

College of the Holy Cross (MA)

College of Wooster (OH) 95%

Colorado College (CO)

Columbia University (NY)

Connecticut College (CT)

Cornell University (NY)

Davidson College (NC)

Dickinson College (PA) 99%

Duke University (NC)

Dartmouth College (NH)

Emory University (GA)

Franklin and Marshall College (PA)

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (MA)

Georgetown University (DC)

Grinnell College (IA)

Hamilton College (NY)

Harvey Mudd College (CA)

Haverford College (PA)

Harvard University (MA)

Johns Hopkins University (MD)

Kalamazoo College (MI) 94%

Kenyon College (OH)

Lafayette College (PA)

Lawrence University (WI) 97%

Lehigh University (PA) 95%

Macalester College (MN)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA)

Middlebury College (VT)

Mount Holyoke College (MA)

Northwestern University (IL)

Oberlin College (OH)

Occidental College (CA)

Pitzer College (CA)

Pomona College (CA)

Princeton University (NJ)

Reed College (OR)

Rhodes College (TN) 93%

Rice University (TX)

Saint John’s College (NM) 93%

Saint Olaf College (MN) 99%

Scripps College (CA)

Smith College (MA)

Soka University of America (CA)

Stanford University (CA)

Swarthmore College (PA)

Syracuse University (NY) 96%

Thomas Aquinas College (CA)

Trinity College (CT)

Trinity University (TX) 98%

Tufts University (MA)

Tulane University (LA) 96%

Union College (NY)

University of Chicago (IL)

University of Notre Dame (IN)

University of Pennsylvania (PA)

University of Richmond (VA)

University of Rochester (NY) 97%

University of Southern California

University of Virginia

Vanderbilt University (TN)

Vassar College (NY)

Wabash College (IN) 93%

Wake Forest University (NC)

Washington and Lee University (VA)

Washington University, St. Louis, (MO)

Wellesley College (MA)

Wesleyan University (CT)

Whitman College (WA) 96%

Williams College (MA)

Yale University (CT)

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