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Need Blind Universities In The World

need blind universities for students

Need-blind admission is a term used in the United States denoting a college admission policy in which an institution does not consider an applicant’s financial situation when deciding admission. This policy generally increases the proportion of admitted students needing financial aid and often requires the institution to back the policy with an ample endowment or other sources of funding. Most need-blind universities in the world cannot afford to offer adequate financial aid to all admitted students; some are not need-blind while others admit students on a need-blind basis but do not offer them sufficient aid to meet their full demonstrated financial need. In addition, many schools that admit domestic first-year students without regard to need do not extend this policy to international or transfer students. Need-blind universities in the world that meet full need for all applicants are usually very selective as they tend to receive more applications than other schools.

Institutions set their own definition of meeting the full demonstrated need. There is no universal standard that an institution must abide by to claim that it meets full demonstrated need. Additionally, some institutions meet full demonstrated need entirely through grants, merit scholarships, or talent scholarships, whereas others include loans that need to be repaid or work-study directly at the college campus in addition to the other forms of financial aid. For these reasons, an admitted student’s financial aid package can vary significantly at different schools that all claim to meet full demonstrated need.

Need Blind Universities In The World

Guide To Need-Blind Admission

When college admissions officers are reviewing and assessing applications, financial aid can be an important part of the process.

What Is Need-Blind Admission?

Need-blind admissions is an admissions policy that some colleges and universities practice. The policy is pretty simple and quite advantageous to students. When an admissions officer is evaluating an application, they are not taking into account the student’s ability to pay. This means that the college will not be considering your financial situation at all. Need-blind need-blind universities in the world are particularly advantageous for students who will be depending on a high amount of need-based financial aid support to pay for college. However, just because a college is “need-blind” does not mean that every applicant will receive financial aid. This is why you must complete the Net Price Calculator to estimate your potential need-based financial aid at any college or university.

What Are Need-Aware Admissions?

On the other hand, need-aware admissions, or need-sensitive admissions, is a policy where colleges do take into account an applicant’s ability to pay. In some situations, the admissions officer will have access to your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) which is the amount of money that your family can contribute to paying (according to the college’s financial aid process). This will vary from college to college as some admissions officers will have access to this data, while others won’t. Most colleges practice need-aware admissions because most colleges have limited budgets for financial aid. As you can imagine, need-blind universities in the world where financial aid is not taken into account could get very expensive.

The downside to need-aware admissions for a student is that some applicants will be rejected or waitlisted because they can’t afford to pay. With this said, the applicants who will be most impacted are applicants who are on the borderline. Usually, a majority of applicants are not impacted by need-aware admissions policy.

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List Of All Need-Blind Colleges

The vast majority of colleges are need-aware or need-sensitive, so let’s focus on the other colleges that are need-blind.

Colleges And Universities That Are Need-Blind 

For Domestic & International Applicants

The following need-blind universities in the world are for both domestic and international applicants:

  • Amherst College
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Minerva Schools
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University

The following colleges are need-blind and meet 100% of US applicants’ needs.

  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • Boston College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Brown University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Columbia College, Columbia University 
  • Cornell University
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • Dartmouth College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University 
  • Grinnell College
  • Hamilton College
  • Harvard College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Middlebury College
  • Minerva Schools at KGI
  • Northwestern University
  • Olin College
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Rice University
  • Soka University of America
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Michigan (in-state students only)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Virginia
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vassar College
  • Wellesley College
  • Williams College
  • Yale University

The following colleges have need-blind admissions but do not meet 100% of your financial need. That does not necessarily mean they will be unaffordable to you! 

  • Babson College 
  • Baylor University 
  • Boston University 
  • Bucknell University 
  • Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Cooper Union 
  • Denison University 
  • Earlham College
  • Fordham University
  • Hampshire College
  • Ithaca College
  • New York University 
  • Saint Louis University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Southern Methodist University 
  • St. John’s College
  • St. John’s University
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Syracuse University 
  • Texas Christian University 
  • University of Miami 
  • University of San Diego

PS: If there’s anything more you’d like us to know about. Add it to the comments section!


1. What is a “need-blind” university?

A need-blind university is one that does not take an applicant’s financial condition into account when making admissions choices. This implies that students will be admitted to the institution entirely on the basis of their qualifications and skills, regardless of their financial ability to pay for tuition.

2. How do need-blind universities afford to admit students regardless of their ability to pay?

Need-blind universities often have huge endowments and generous benefactors, allowing them to grant financial help to students who cannot afford full tuition. Some institutions also have relationships with outside groups to assist students with additional financial aid.

3. Are there many need-blind universities?

In the United States, there are just a few universities that are need-blind. Harvard University, Yale University, and Princeton University are a few examples.

4. How do I know if a university is need-blind?

Need-blind universities will often highlight this fact on their websites and in their materials. It is also possible to check it by contacting the university’s financial support office.

5. Are there any downsides to attending a need-blind university?

While need-blind institutions provide wonderful prospects for students, qualifying for financial help or scholarships may be more difficult because the applicant pool is also highly qualified. Furthermore, the cost of enrollment at these colleges is sometimes greater than at other universities.

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need blind universities for students

Need Blind Universities In The World

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