List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • The better colleges tend to be the more expensive colleges.

    High tuition does not equal quality. Additionally, you cannot assume the extra money spent at a costly university makes it into the classroom.
  • Financial assistance is available only for the best and brightest students.

    Eligibility for need-based aid is determined by financial circumstances, not academic ability. However, merit-based aid is highly competitive and based on student’s academic record, personal characteristics, and special talents.
  • Most families don’t qualify for need-based financial aid.

    A large number of families do, in fact, qualify for need-based aid. While wealthier families may not qualify for federal grants, they may receive institutional grants or subsidized loans. Ultimately, you will never know if you don’t apply.
  • Most colleges and universities will present a similar need-based aid package.

    Each college and university calculates need differently and has varied financial aid policies. Students should prepare to receive need-based aid packages that differ from one another and may affect the affordability of an institution.
  • Most families don't qualify for need-based financial aid.

    Many families qualify for need-based aid. For example, at Davidson, one third of our students receive need-based aid. The only sure way to know if you qualify is to apply. Fill out the necessary forms and let the financial aid folks decide!
  • If I do not qualify for need-based financial aid I will have to pay sticker price somewhere.

    Many colleges and universities will offer merit-based aid in order to attract students. The average private institution in the U.S. offers enough merit aid to discount their tuition by 33.5%. Remember, though, that the most generous institutions are not usually the ultra-selective ones.
  • The financial aid package I receive from a college is final and cannot be adjusted.

    You can choose to appeal a need-based aid package or ask the college to consider extenuating circumstances. It is not usually possible to appeal merit-based scholarship decisions.
  • Financial aid and scholarship deadlines are flexible.

    Colleges and universities present deadlines for specific reasons. Students may not receive full consideration for aid if they do not complete all paperwork in time. Prepare early.