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A Complete Guide To Need-Blind Colleges For International Students

Written by Prakriti Yadav

Mass media graduate with a flair for writing and an eye for creativity. Constantly seeking wonder, magic and Meraki. Also, a curious soul who is always willing to learn.

July 29, 2021

If you have a vision of the American dream to study in a US university, you might just be aware that education in the States can be quite expensive, especially for international students including travel costs, fees, living expenses, etc. But this should not deter you from pursuing a college degree from the US as some schools provide need-based financial aid and a few offer need-blind admissions. The number of need-blind colleges for international students is relatively lesser, though. In this article, we will provide you with a guide to need-blind admission.

What is need-blind admission? In a need-blind admission procedure, the students are evaluated without any importance or consideration given to their families’ capacity to fund their education and the focus is solely on their merit and qualifications. This ideally applies to all need-blind colleges.

Guide to need-blind admission-

Need Blind vs Need Aware Colleges  | Need-Blind Colleges For International Students

Need Blind vs Need Aware Colleges -There are a lot of fundamental differences between ‘need-blind’ and ‘need-aware’ admission policies. As their names indicate, need-blind admission policies in all need-blind colleges do not take into account a student’s financial status and focus solely on his merit and qualifications while need-aware colleges take into account the student’s financial status and ability to fund his or her own education at some point in the evaluation process, even if it is not the sole criteria for admission. Some of the famous need-blind colleges for international students are Boston College, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, MIT, etc. 

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Does Need Blind Admission Imply That Your Education is Fully-Funded?

Not really. Even if the institution in question does offer financial aid to students, you will be expected to make a few financial contributions to your education calculated based on an analysis of your parents’ income, your income, and your other financial resources. It is possible that you may also be expected to participate in a work-study program or a part-time job to cover a part of the costs. That said, most students enrolled via a need-blind and full-need policy benefit a lot from the high amounts of scholarship money or grants they receive. 

The Top Need-Blind Colleges For International Students

While various US universities do offer a need-blind admission policy in some form, not all of them are applicable for international students. Some of the top universities offering need-blind admission sans full need-financial aid are  Boston College, Brown University, Dartmouth College, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Duke University colleges with need-blind admission.  The five US universities that offer both need-blind admission and full-need financial aid are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, and Amherst College. 

These colleges with need-blind admission are five of the most prestigious universities in the US and frankly, the world. They regularly feature at the top in various world university rankings, including the QS rankings in which MIT and Harvard often feature in the top 5 best universities in the world. Amherst is one of the top universities in the world for liberal arts education. 

Because of their high repute and selective admission policies, they are some of the toughest universities to gain admission to, but each of these universities promises to cover a majority of your education costs to attend the university, regardless of your origin or economic status. 

Keep in mind that many other US colleges and universities also offer generous grants and scholarships to deserving students under various policies, so even if they don’t have an official need-blind policy, do not hesitate to apply to them. You can calculate the estimated expenses using their net price calculator and determine how to meet the expenses with your available funds and resources. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on the need-blind colleges for international students. To know more about related fields, do check out our other blogs. 


1. What colleges are truly need-blind?

Some of the truly need-blind colleges are MIT, Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, and Amherst University,

2. How many US universities are need-blind?

There are around 100 US universities that are need-blind.

3. Which US universities give need-blind for international students?

Harvard University, Amherst University, MIT and Princeton University are US colleges are need-blind for international students and they also provide full-need financial aid for international students.

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