The 25 US colleges that give the most financial aid, ranked

Columbia University is one of the top schools that gives the most financial aid.

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Columbia University is one of the top schools that gives the most financial aid.
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Keith Bedford/Reuters

  • College is expensive, so it’s important to pick a school that offers a good financial aid package.
  • Student Loan Hero recently found the top US colleges that give the most financial aid.
  • It found that US colleges offer an average of $20,494 in financial aid, but the colleges on this list of the top 25 offer at least twice that amount.

College doesn’t come cheap.

The average cost of tuition and room and board at a four-year public college is $20,770; at a four-year private institution, that number jumps to $26,950, according to the College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing 2017” report.

That’s why it’s important to pick a college that offers a good financial aid package.

Student Loan Hero recently rounded up the top US colleges that give the most financial aid to students in need using data from Peterson’s. It looked at 1,244 US colleges.

It found that an average of $20,494 is offered in financial aid to students, but the colleges we highlight below – the top 25 from Student Loan Hero’s ranking – offer at least twice that. In most cases, the average financial aid package at each of these schools is just short of the total cost of tuition.

Wellesley College offers an average financial aid package of $47,527 – and that ranks lowest on this list, with the numbers only going up from there.

Below, see the top 25 colleges for financial aid.


25. Wellesley College

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Flickr/Graham Milldrum

Average financial aid package: $47,527

Annual tuition and fees: $48,802

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,361


24. Trinity College

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Trinity College/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $47,679

Annual tuition and fees: $52,760

Students receiving need-based aid: 976


23. University of Notre Dame

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Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $47,884

Annual tuition and fees: $49,685

Students receiving need-based aid: 3,997


22. Middlebury College

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Middlebury College/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $48,000

Annual tuition and fees: $50,063

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,085


21. Pomona College

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Pomona College/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $48,034

Annual tuition and fees: $49,352

Students receiving need-based aid: 917


20. Smith College

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Smith College/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $48,115

Annual tuition and fees: $50,044

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,459


19. Washington and Lee University

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Facebook/Washington & Lee University

Average financial aid package: $48,392

Annual tuition and fees: $49,254

Students receiving need-based aid: 771


18. University of Southern California

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University of Southern California/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $48,399

Annual tuition and fees: $52,992

Students receiving need-based aid: 6,128


17. Brown University

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jiawangkun/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $48,420

Annual tuition and fees: $53,419

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,702


16. Georgetown University

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Valerii Iavtushenko/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $48,999

Annual tuition and fees: $50,547

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,400


15. Barnard College

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Popova Valeriya/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $49,012

Annual tuition and fees: $50,394

Students receiving need-based aid: 998


14. Stanford University

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turtix/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $49,124

Annual tuition and fees: $47,940

Students receiving need-based aid: 3,255


13. Dartmouth College

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Dartmouth College/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $49,141

Annual tuition and fees: $51,438

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,097


12. Haverford College

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Facebook/Haverford College

Average financial aid package: $49,186

Annual tuition and fees: $51,024

Students receiving need-based aid: 629


11. Princeton University

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Jay Yuan/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $49,502

Annual tuition and fees: $45,320

Students receiving need-based aid: 3,126


10. Colgate University

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Colgate University/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $49,912

Annual tuition and fees: $51,955

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,047


9. University of Chicago

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Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $49,967

Annual tuition and fees: $52,491

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,483


8. Duke University

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Chadarat Saibhut/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $50,312

Annual tuition and fees: $51,265

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,651


7. Webb Institute

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Webb Institute/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $50,710

Annual tuition and fees: $48,775

Students receiving need-based aid: 33


6. Vassar College

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Tamar Thibodeau/Vassar College/Facebook

Average financial aid package: $50,820

Annual tuition and fees: $53,090

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,548


5. Harvard University

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Jannis Tobias Werner/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $51,308

Annual tuition and fees: $47,074

Students receiving need-based aid: 3,687


4. Amherst College

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Mark Yarchoan/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $51,775

Annual tuition and fees: $52,476

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,066


3. Williams College

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Facebook/Williams College

Average financial aid package: $51,890

Annual tuition and fees: $51,790

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,014


2. Yale University

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $52,894

Annual tuition and fees: $49,480

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,732


1. Columbia University

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LENS-68/Shutterstock

Average financial aid package: $55,521

Annual tuition and fees: $55,056

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,973