What is Need-Blind Financial Aid?

By: Isabel Sipkema, Biology and Educational Studies at Rhodes College ‘22


Many universities and colleges around the country have been implementing a “need-blind” approach to their college admissions to level the playing field for students regardless of their financial need. Need-blind financial aid means that a college or university is not factoring in a student’s ability to pay for their college education into their overall decision whether or not to accept the student to their school. This is done to encourage students to apply for financial aid, as students now know that it will not affect a school’s admission decision in any way. 

Overall, need-blind financial aid can only positively affect a student’s application process, as it will not matter for your application if you choose to apply for financial aid or not. Regardless if a student is accepted to their university/college or not, their need for financial aid will not have affected their admission decision in any way. This can give a student a sense of reassurance when applying for college. If you would like to figure out if the colleges or universities that you are applying to have need-blind financial aid, be sure to check out their admissions page on their website. It will have clear information regarding if their admission process is need-blind or not. 

The amount of financial aid that you receive is separate from whether a university or college is need-blind or not. Not all universities/colleges can afford to give all students the financial aid that they are asking for and therefore will consider how much financial aid you will receive after your admission result has been determined. Once you have been accepted into a university or college, a university will then use your financial aid application to determine what financial aid award you will be receiving. However, it is essential to remember that if a university or college is need-blind, a school will not review your financial aid award until they have made the decision if you will be accepted or not into their school. 


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