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Student Loans Reports

Most Affordable Schools for Incoming Freshmen with Financial Need

According to LendEDU’s third annual Student Loan Debt by School by State report, student loan borrowers from the Class of 2017 graduated with a daunting $28,288 of debt, on average.

That figure is up by $313 from last year’s report. Additionally, 58 percent of all graduates from the Class of 2017 at non-profit four-year colleges left campus with some amount of student loan debt. 

Statistics like these reinforce the notion that higher education is incredibly expensive and affording it can be quite the challenge for the average student.  This is why taking out student loans, whether federalprivate, or both, is a necessity for most. 

For incoming college freshmen who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of paying for college, the task is magnified tenfold. But there is no need to panic, because help is always around the corner. 

Fortunately, there are other ways to pay for higher education that do not require taking on student loan debt, like grants and scholarships. Both grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid and can provide tremendous help to a family or incoming student that is struggling to come up with the funds to afford, or even begin, a college education. 

So which colleges and universities in the United States provide the most financial assistance to incoming freshmen who need the help?

Using licensed data from Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid Database, LendEDU was able to find the 250 colleges and universities in the U.S. that distribute the most financial aid in the form of need-based scholarships and grants to freshman students that were determined to have a need for such assistance. 

For this particular report, the information reflects the 2016/2017 academic year and contains financial aid data for over 1,000 non-profit four-year public and private colleges. The institutions included are the 250 schools that provided the greatest average amount of need-based financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships to incoming freshmen that were determined to have financial need. 

Further, we also included the percentage of freshmen that needed financial aid and received it in the form of grants or scholarships so that prospective students can determine the likelihood that they would receive such assistance from each respective school. 

The goal of this study is to assist the prospective college student and his or her family in uncovering those colleges and universities in the U.S. that will likely provide the most financial aid so that the task of affording higher education becomes a little less difficult. We hope it helps!

Table of Contents:

Top 250 Colleges & Universities That Provide the Most Need-Based Grant & Scholarship Money to Incoming Freshmen in 2018

Average Amount Given – The average amount of need-based scholarship and grant money an incoming freshman who was determined to have financial need received from his or her university. 

Percent of Students – Percent of freshmen who were determined to have financial need who received at least one need-based scholarship or grant from their respective college or university


The data found within this report derives from the Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid Database that was licensed by LendEDU. Data from Peterson’s is voluntarily submitted by U.S. colleges and universities that choose to submit their financial aid information. This particular data reflects financial aid statistics from the 2016/2017 academic year, the most current dataset available. The dataset used here also only includes non-profit four-year private or public undergraduate universities and colleges. 1,080 universities and colleges submitted their financial aid information for this particular dataset. Both statistics used in the above table were pulled directly from the Peterson’s dataset, and LendEDU reported the figures as we received them. No calculations or adjustments were made to the figures.  

See more of LendEDU’s Research