MONEY financial aid

10 Best Private Colleges Where Everybody Gets a Scholarship

No freshman pays full price at these highly rated colleges.

The cost of private college has gotten so painfully high that most schools now award scholarships to the vast majority of their students.

At least 223 colleges go even further—giving every single one of their freshmen a scholarship. (Freshmen who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, that is. Very few colleges give significant aid to international students.)

While most students are able to renew their scholarships for all four years, some upperclassmen may lose merit scholarships due to bad grades. They could also receive less need-based aid because of improvements in their family’s financial circumstances.

Of course, for some schools, offering scholarships to every admitted student is an act of desperation, tantamount to a fire sale to fill the seats at a troubled college.

But MONEY has sifted through the data and identified some surprisingly top-notch schools, such as Cooper Union, College of the Ozarks, Berea, and Webb Institute, where the founders required that every student receive a scholarship. The other schools on this list have made universal freshmen scholarships a practice in recent years.

Use this tool to create your own college rankings based on what really matters to you.

Based on our latest ratings, here are the 10 best colleges where no freshman pays sticker price. We also have a complete list of all 99 colleges in our ratings that give every freshman at least some scholarship money.

Note: The average grant size is based on the 2012-13 academic year, the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. MONEY’s estimated cost of degree is the estimated average annual net price for all undergraduates multiplied by the average time it takes students to graduate, which is typically more than four years. It also adjusts for projected inflation.

  • 10. Mount St. Mary’s University

    Mount Saint Mary's University campus
    courtesy Mount Saint Mary's University

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 155

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $53,613

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $13,815

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $184,781

    Read more about Mount St. Mary’s.

  • 9. Xavier University

    Xavier University
    Xavier University

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 148

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $48,870

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $16,033

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $144,176

    Read more about Xavier.

  • 8. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 128

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $57,544

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $17,585

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $160,279

    Read more about Rose-Hulman.

  • 7. Saint Vincent College

    Saint Vincent College
    Saint Vincent College

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 123

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $45,001

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $18,271

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $110,730

    Read more about Saint Vincent.

  • 6. John Carroll University

    John Carroll University
    John Carroll University

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 93

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $50,757

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $20,414

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $128,840

    Read more about John Carroll.

  • 5. Webb Institute

    Webb Institute
    courtesy of Webb Institute

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 85

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $64,912

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $41,500

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $93,164

    Read more about Webb Institute.

  • 4. Saint John’s University

    St. John’s Univeristy
    Steve Woit

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 71

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $51,077

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $19,653

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $132,539

    Read more about Saint John’s University.

  • 3. Berea College

    Students Jessica Puckett-Davis, Ahmad Shuja, and Keosha Morgan study outside of Draper on a nice Spring day, Berea College, May 22, 2009.
    O'Neil Arnold

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 48

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $33,496

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $21,474

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $49,343

    Read more about Berea.

  • 2. College of the Ozarks

    College of the Ozarks
    Tommy Thompson

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 26

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $28,625

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $10,368

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $62,835

    Read more about College of the Ozarks.

  • 1. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

    Cooper Union
    Mario Morgodo—Cooper Union

    MONEY Best Colleges rank: 9

    Estimated sticker price for 2015-16: $63,075

    Average size of grant to freshmen in 2012-13: $38,575

    Estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015: $113,376

    Read more about Cooper Union.

    For more advice for college-bound students and their parents, and to create your own customized rankings of colleges based on the factors that are most important to you, check out the new MONEY College Planner.

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