Admit it. We all have needs. We need to eat. We need to breathe. We need to exercise. When it comes to education, we need to find a school fit that corresponds to who we are intellectually, socially and financially. This week, Hamilton College in upstate New York announced a need-blind admission policy. The first step to financial aid success in the boarding school, independent school or college admission process is to research a school’s admission policy. Crisp Consulting + Coaching believes you should be aware of the two basic school admission needs.
Need Blind. A need-blind school does not consider the applicant’s financial situation during the admission decision. Schools with substantial endowments are able to support this policy. Need-blind admission is not equated with full-need financial aid. In most cases, the majority of college aid will go to students who prove financial need, but the school may also award scholarships, such as athletic scholarships.
Need Sensitive(Aware). A need-sensitive, or need-aware, school makes most of its admissions decisions without considering the student’s financial situation. In order to fulfill budgetary obligations, there are reserved spaces for students who are able to meet the college program’s full cost of attendance without the need of loans, grants or scholarships.
Needed Responsibility. You need to investigate the admission policy. If a school’s web site does not explicitly say it practices need-blind admission, it most likely practices need-sensitive admission. If a school practices need-blind admission but doesn’t state it has a full-need financial aid policy, you financial aid package may not be what you expect. During your independent school, boarding school or college visits, make appointments with the financial aid office to discuss these policies, explain your financial circumstances, and academic qualifications. A positive and supportive relationship is critical to success.
Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant working with families in Asheville, Charleston, and Savannah to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor, administrator, and teacher, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.