US Colleges that Meet 100% of Demonstrated Need

The following colleges have a stated commitment to provide all admitted US citizens and US permanent residents with a financial aid package that covers 100% of their calculated financial need. (Some colleges also cover all demonstrated need for undocumented students, which we’ve covered here.)

In general, schools that meet 100% of demonstrated need strive to be affordable financial options for the students they admit by providing need-based financial aid that is directly tied to each student and family’s resources.

How Colleges Calculate Your Financial Need

Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance and the amount your family is expected to contribute. It’s determined based on information a student submits in a college’s required financial aid application materials, typically including the FAFSA and one or more supplemental documents. Some colleges require the CSS Profile to learn about the student’s financial situation, while others have their own unique financial aid application.

If you are offered admission to a college that meets 100% of demonstrated need, the college will use your submitted financial aid materials to calculate an annual expected family contribution (often referred to as your “EFC”). The expected family contribution is based on a family’s earnings, assets, household size, and other factors. It will generally be lower for lower-income families and higher for higher-income families. The EFC may be as low as $0 for students from families with the greatest financial need.

Then, the college will subtract your expected family contribution from the cost of attendance, which is the total annual sum that includes tuition, fees, housing and meal costs, and personal expenses. The remainder is considered your financial need and you will receive a comprehensive financial aid package that is equivalent to this remaining cost. In other words, the total cost of attendance minus your expected family contribution equals your demonstrated financial need. At colleges that meet 100% of need, your financial aid package will cover the entirety of your demonstrated need.

Financial Aid Packages Can Include Different Types of Financial Assistance

Financial aid packages may be composed of grants and scholarship funding (money you do not need to repay), student loans (money you do need to repay), and student employment funding. Some institutions do not include student loans as an expectation in their financial aid package, meeting 100% of demonstrated need with only grant funding (also referred to as “gift aid”).

US Colleges that Meet 100% of Demonstrated Need

College Location Loan Policy
Amherst College Amherst, MA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Babson College Wellesley, MA May include federal student loans in financial aid package
Barnard College New York, NY May include federal student loans in financial aid package
Bates College Lewiston, ME May include federal student loans in financial aid package
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA May include federal student loans in financial aid package
Boston University Boston, MA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Brown University Providence, RI Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA May include federal student loans in financial aid package
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Pasadena, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package
Carleton College Northfield, MN May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Colby College Waterville, ME Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Colgate University Hamilton, NY Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Columbia University New York, NY Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Connecticut College New London, CT For families with a total income below certain levels, the financial aid package will not include loans.
Cornell University Ithaca, NY For families with a total income of $60,000 or less and total assets of less than $100,000 (including primary home equity), the finanial aid package will not include loans.
Curtis Institute of Music Philadelphia, PA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Dartmouth College Hanover, NH For families with total incomes of $125,000 or less who possess typical assets, the financial aid package will not include loans. 
Davidson College Davidson, NC Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Denison University Granville, OH May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Duke University Durham, NC For families with a total income of $40,000 or less, the financial aid package will not include loans.
Emory University Atlanta, GA For families with total incomes of $50,000 or less, the financial aid package will not include loans.
Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, PA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering Needham, MA May include federal student loans in financial aid package
Georgetown University Washington, DC May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Grinnell College Grinnell, IA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Hamilton College Clinton, NY May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Harvard University Cambridge, MA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Haverford College Haverford, PA For families with a total income of $60,000 or less, the financial aid package will not include loans.
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Kenyon College Gambier, OH May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Lafayette College Easton, PA For families with a total income of $50,000 or less, the financial aid package will not include loans.
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Macalester College Saint Paul, MN May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge, MA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Middlebury College Middlebury, VT May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Minerva Schools at KGI San Francisco, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Northeastern University Boston, MA Meets 100% of demonstrated need for every admitted student eligible for federal financial aid
Northwestern University Evanston, IL Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Oberlin College Oberlin, OH May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Occidental College Los Angeles, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Pitzer College Claremont, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Pomona College Claremont, CA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Princeton University Princeton, NJ Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Reed College Portland, OR May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Rice University Houston, TX Through The Rice Investment, middle-income families with typical assets will receive grant aid to cover full tuition if total income is up to $130,000 per year, and half tuition for families with total income between $130,001-$200,000. Students receiving aid under The Rice Investment will have all demonstrated need met without any loans.
Scripps College Claremont, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package
Sewanee, The University of the South Sewanee, TN May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Smith College Northampton, MA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income. *Beginning in Fall 2022
Soka University of America Aliso Viejo, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
St. Olaf College Northfield, MN May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Stanford University Stanford, CA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Thomas Aquinas College Grand Rapids, MI Meets 100% of demonstrated need for every qualified incoming first-year undergraduate students
Trinity College Hartford, CT May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Tufts University Medford, MA Families with incomes of $60,000 or less will typically receive a financial aid package that includes no loans.
Union College Schenectady, NY May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
University of Chicago Chicago, IL Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
University of Miami Coral Gables, FL May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC Families with a total income that is at or below 200% of the poverty guideline may qualify for the Carolina Covenant, an aid program that provides an opportunity to attend and graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill debt-free. Covenant covers 100% of demonstrated financial need without loans.
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
University of Richmond Richmond, VA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
University of Rochester Rochester, NY May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
US Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, CO Provides a 100% fully funded education covering tuition, room, and board
US Military Academy (West Point) West Point, NY Provides a 100% fully funded education covering tuition, room, and board
US Naval Academy Annapolis, MD Provides a 100% fully funded education covering tuition, room, and board
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY For families with a total income below certain levels, the financial aid package will not include loans.
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC May include federal student loans in financial aid package 
Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO Families with incomes of $75,000 or less will typically receive a financial aid package that includes no loans.
Wellesley College Wellesley, MA Families with incomes of $60,000 or less will typically receive a financial aid package that includes no loans.
Wesleyan University Middletown, CT US students from families who earn $120,000 or less (with typical assets) will receive a financial aid package with no loans.
Williams College Williamstown, MA Families with incomes of $75,000 or less will typically receive a financial aid package that includes no loans.
Yale University New Haven, CT Meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need without loans, regardless of family income