51 Colleges With the Best Student Financial Aid

Last Updated Jan 15, 2010 7:41 PM EST

What colleges award the best financial aid for students?

Answering that question has never been easy. Today, however, I'm sharing a list of 51 schools that provide great student financial aid. The 51 colleges and universities on this list promise to meet a student's demonstrated financial need with grants not loans.

Many colleges toss loans into their financial aid packages, but these 51 schools do not. If the financial aid formula, for instance, says that your child needs $22,000 in assistance to attend a $50,000 school on this list, then the college would kick in $22,000 in cash and probably a work study job. Now that's a great deal.

I didn't come up with the names of these no-loan colleges and universities myself. I pulled the names from a study that researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Amherst College presented at the latest College Board Forum.

The academics assembled the list of no-loan schools after visiting colleges' websites, as well as through research on the websites of The New York Times, Inside Higher Ed and Wikipedia. Because financial aid programs can change, contact a school before assuming it's still offering great financial aid packages.

51 Colleges With Best Student Financial Aid

Amherst College
Arizona State University
Bowdoin College
Brown University
Cal Tech
Claremont McKenna
Colby College
College of William and Mary
Columbia University
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Duke University
Emory University
Georgia Tech
Harvard University
Haverford College
Indiana University
Lafayette College
Lehigh University
Michigan State University
MIT
North Carolina State
Northern Illinois U.
Northwestern University
Pomona College

Princeton University
Rice University
Stanford University
Swarthmore College
Texas A&M University
Tufts University
University of North Carolina
University of Chicago
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Illinois
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
US Military Academy
US Naval Academy
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Washington and Lee University
Washington U. St. Louis
Wellesley College
Wesleyan University
Williams College
Yale University

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes about college for TheCollegeSolutionBlog. Follow her on Twitter.

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