Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
By Kim Clark
September 14, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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