Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology
By Kim Clark
September 14, 2015

This list is from 2015. Check here for the most up-to-date list of the colleges that give every freshman a scholarship.

Want to be absolutely sure you get a scholarship?

MONEY has identified 99 colleges that have generally made it a practice to give every single freshman a scholarship. They also have graduation rates that are at or above the median for their type (public or private), a key indicator of college quality.

Bear in mind that these schools are only a little more generous than most. A recent survey found that the average private college now awards scholarships to 89% of freshmen.

Of course, practices can change. A few colleges that used to offer lots of scholarships, such as Converse College in South Carolina, have tried lowering their tuition and reducing their aid budgets instead. That gives families less bragging rights but a clearer and earlier indication of how much they’ll actually have to pay.

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Schools that have used the high-sticker-price/many-scholarship strategy, such as College of the Atlantic, are also tweaking their aid policies in other ways. College of the Atlantic doesn’t guarantee every freshman a scholarship but promises a $1,800 (over four years) “learning enhancement fund” for all incoming freshmen to use for a research project. In 2013, the last year for which federal data are available, about 95% of the college’s freshmen got scholarships averaging a little more than $31,000.

The reason most private colleges are continuing—and even ratcheting up—the practice of charging high sticker prices and awarding lots of scholarships is simple: It works.

Studies show that many students and parents are affected by a phenomenon sometimes called “the Chivas Regal effect” and interpret high prices as an indicator of quality. And other research shows that about a third of students can be swayed to choose one college over another by scholarships.

Smart college counselors advise students looking for schools that offer lots of scholarships to make sure they don’t get so dazzled by a big scholarship that they ignore the true net price they’ll have to pay: A $20,000 scholarship to a $60,000 college means you’ll have to pay much more than you would if you got no scholarship at a $30,000 college. (You can compare average net prices of degrees, based on typical aid packages and the length of time it takes most students to graduate, for more than 700 colleges using the MONEY College Planner.)

In addition, students should seek the kind of aid that best fits their circumstances and that they are most likely to get renewed each year they are in school.

Merit aid. Aid awarded without regard to the student’s financial situation can sound attractive. But many scholarships have strings attached that mean you’ll lose the scholarship if your grades slip. The best kind of merit grants, such as those offered by Cooper Union, only require you to pass your courses to renew them each year.

Need-based aid. Schools that give big grants to meet your financial need typically require you to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year so they can adjust your grant according to their estimate of your current financial needs. That means you may get bigger grants if, for example, a younger sibling starts college while you’re still in school. But it also means the school could cut your grant if, say, a parent gets a raise. A few schools, such as Illinois Institute of Technology, however, promise they won’t cut either merit or need-based grants as long as you pass your classes.

College State MONEY’s Best Colleges rank Estimated sticker price for 2015-16 Average size of grant to freshmen (2012-13)* MONEY’s estimated net price of a degree for fall 2015 freshmen**
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art NY 9 $63,075 $38,575 $113,376
College of the Ozarks MO 26 $28,625 $10,368 $62,835
Berea College KY 48 $33,496 $21,474 $49,343
Saint John’s University MN 71 $51,077 $19,653 $132,539
Webb Institute NY 85 $64,912 $41,500 $93,164
John Carroll University OH 93 $50,757 $20,414 $128,840
Saint Vincent College PA 123 $45,001 $18,271 $110,730
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology IN 128 $57,544 $17,585 $160,279
Xavier University OH 148 $48,870 $16,033 $144,176
Mount St. Mary’s College CA 155 $53,613 $13,815 $184,781
Illinois Institute of Technology IL 158 $55,853 $24,488 $151,704
Doane College NE 172 $40,289 $12,853 $114,530
College of Saint Benedict MN 182 $52,566 $19,574 $136,746
Elms College MA 185 $46,865 $16,906 $145,009
Dominican University IL 210 $41,949 $14,545 $123,732
Roberts Wesleyan College NY 217 $42,907 $14,630 $132,375
Marquette University WI 222 $51,131 $13,996 $166,572
Washington & Jefferson College PA 229 $54,389 $18,749 $147,308
College of the Atlantic ME 236 (tie) $52,513 $24,883 $89,139
Westminster College PA 236 (tie) $46,057 $17,856 $124,018
Franklin College IN 236 (tie) $42,038 $12,472 $121,315
Agnes Scott College GA 246 $49,749 $20,754 $114,022
Alfred University NY 268 (tie) $41,769 $15,086 $122,106
Wesleyan College GA 268 (tie) $33,919 $9,590 $103,006
Gwynedd Mercy University PA 268 (tie) $44,143 $12,433 $155,375
Messiah College PA 283 (tie) $45,161 $13,732 $132,224
Eastern Nazarene College MA 283 (tie) $40,485 $15,735 $136,817
Baldwin Wallace University OH 295 (tie) $41,212 $15,242 $120,843
Le Moyne College NY 295 (tie) $47,129 $15,285 $146,653
Luther College IA 305 (tie) $50,973 $20,203 $138,047
Duquesne University PA 305 (tie) $46,812 $14,437 $141,913
Hanover College IN 318 $46,393 $16,874 $101,746
Carlow University PA 328 (tie) $40,339 $11,777 $120,715
Neumann University PA 328 (tie) $41,382 $8,294 $108,901
Rockhurst University MO 333 $47,498 $21,124 $115,055
Hamline University MN 359 (tie) $48,805 $18,031 $138,279
Augustana College SD 359 (tie) $40,174 $16,147 $110,253
Northwestern College IA 359 (tie) $41,188 $14,395 $108,084
Central College IA 367 (tie) $47,394 $17,412 $133,543
Andrews University MI 367 (tie) $37,341 $10,613 $130,937
University of Dallas TX 379 $51,130 $17,551 $145,370
St. John Fisher College NY 389 (tie) $43,434 $12,427 $133,153
Cedar Crest College PA 389 (tie) $47,326 $17,547 $170,475
Juniata College PA 399 (tie) $51,771 $19,204 $127,718
Houghton College NY 399 (tie) $41,580 $14,011 $122,281
Concordia University, Nebraska NE 399 (tie) $36,303 $12,962 $108,107
Malone University OH 399 (tie) $39,815 $14,577 $125,268
Wells College NY 411 $52,333 $23,598 $109,875
Dordt College IA 436 (tie) $40,732 $10,607 $121,466
Cardinal Stritch University WI 436 (tie) $41,287 $13,881 $185,919
Bethel University MN 451 (tie) $46,548 $13,416 $153,461
Goshen College IN 451 (tie) $42,808 $15,079 $129,390
Wisconsin Lutheran College WI 451 (tie) $38,137 $12,576 $119,398
Union University TN 458 $46,326 $13,699 $158,490
Monmouth College IL 466 $44,222 $19,113 $106,004
Allegheny College PA 473 $54,711 $21,128 $131,422
Concordia College MN 484 $45,202 $16,109 $125,727
St. Ambrose University IA 498 (tie) $42,125 $14,537 $124,840
Bay Path University MA 498 (tie) $46,763 $15,933 $174,242
Oklahoma Wesleyan University OK 498 (tie) $36,653 $8,462 $131,106
Capital University OH 509 $46,606 $18,283 $126,845
Transylvania University KY 515 (tie) $45,862 $15,087 $129,682
William Jewell College MO 515 (tie) $45,472 $18,558 $115,662
Illinois College IL 515 (tie) $41,016 $15,462 $108,527
Bellarmine University KY 536 (tie) $55,161 $20,064 $160,087
Simpson College IA 536 (tie) $45,547 $17,312 $135,839
Eureka College IL 536 (tie) $32,408 $6,927 $120,077
Millsaps College MS 546 $49,021 $19,941 $130,852
Millikin University IL 556 $42,744 $16,028 $119,922
Concordia University CA 566 $45,714 $11,509 $151,822
Nebraska Wesleyan University NE 573 $41,465 $11,697 $141,726
Lipscomb University TN 577 (tie) $42,417 $11,693 $143,556
Randolph-Macon College VA 577 (tie) $50,180 $17,468 $127,936
Lycoming College PA 594 (tie) $49,084 $19,007 $127,340
Laguna College of Art & Design CA 594 (tie) $45,303 $7,036 $168,110
Marywood University PA 598 $48,841 $15,760 $145,737
Mount St. Joseph University OH 616 $37,703 $12,617 $126,194
Centenary College of Louisiana LA 625 (tie) $46,828 $16,634 $135,362
Nazareth College of Rochester NY 625 (tie) $46,265 $12,652 $145,612
Hollins University VA 633 (tie) $50,590 $21,587 $142,095
Morningside College IA 633 (tie) $40,210 $13,371 $112,075
Hartwick College NY 642 $53,465 $19,916 $124,089
Stephens College MO 655 (tie) $44,506 $14,686 $137,789
Wheelock College MA 655 (tie) $50,229 $13,896 $163,992
Benedictine College KS 659 $39,683 $12,793 $117,116
Stetson University FL 664 $56,432 $23,408 $138,008
Mercyhurst University PA 671 (tie) $47,060 $19,444 $119,727
Seton Hill University PA 671 (tie) $46,094 $15,368 $86,999
King’s College PA 673 $47,710 $13,814 $149,057
Meredith College NC 676 $44,018 $11,921 $145,893
Bluffton University OH 681 $43,945 $15,760 $129,075
Spring Arbor University MI 685 $35,745 $11,597 $133,334
Hendrix College AR 694 (tie) $55,039 $24,195 $118,776
Alma College MI 694 (tie) $46,560 $19,868 $115,848
University of New England ME 707 $52,764 $16,406 $147,752
Northland College WI 710 $43,046 $18,222 $106,979
Berry College GA 717 (tie) $45,991 $13,955 $124,289
Barton College NC 717 (tie) $41,167 $10,374 $135,012
Arcadia University PA 723 $54,594 $19,883 $150,351

* Latest year for which data are available from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

** MONEY’s estimated cost of degree is calculated by multiplying the estimated average net price for all undergraduates by the average time it takes students at that school to graduate, which is typically more than four years. It also includes an inflation factor.

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