There are many tools out there for helping you with the college process. The tools dealing with financial aid are the most confusing.
Lynn O’Shaughnessy, in her blog the College Solution point us to a great tool on the College Board site and takes us on a step by step tour of this very useful tool
How do you find colleges with the best financial aid?
One way to simplify your search for colleges is to look for the institutions that typically meet the highest percentage of financial need. Of course, the best scenario is for your child to get accepted into a school that meets 100% of all its students’ demonstrated financial needs. Here’s an example:
Let’s say a student has an expected family contribution of $20,000 and the school that accepts him costs $55,000. The institution would offer the applicant a $35,000 financial aid package. The schools with the very best aid — all elite institutions – don’t include any loans in their packages.
The vast majority of schools, however, will not provide 100% aid packages, but there is a wide variety of generosity among institutions. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could sort schools by this financial aid factor?
Actually, you now can thanks to the College Board’s search engine which allows you to search for schools based on net price and by percentage of financial need met.
Searching by Financial Need Met
I’m going to demonstrate how you can use the percentage-of-need met criteria to find the most generous schools.
Step No. One:
Head to College Board’s home page and click on the blue College Search term on the left-hand side.