Avoiding Higher Ed Grinches

Would you rather go to New York University or the University of Pennsylvania?

If you must rely on financial aid to attend an elite school, NYU might not be in the cards.

Why? Because NYU is incredibly stingy.

At least on paper, Penn, along with a few other highly selective schools, will help 100% of the students who need it. In contrast, NYU meets the full financial need of just 26% of its students, who require help.

And it gets worse.

Students who do receive assistance from NYU only get enough to cover 72% of their need. In contrast, Ivy League schools, along with schools like Claremont McKenna College, Emory University, Grinnell College and Haverford College say they meet 100% of a student’s need.

Why am I picking on NYU? For starters, it’s among the wealthiest schools in the nation, but it seems to have a hard time sharing the wealth.  This higher ed scrooge illustrates nicely why you should always examine a school’s financial aid practices before falling in love with it.

Explore my blog and you’ll find lots of ways to measure a school’s generosity. You should also take a peek at today’s New York Times, which contains the latest quarterly Education Life. This special section includes a survey of the financial aid policies of many private schools.

You can find the survey results entitled, How Sensitive Are They?, by visiting the Education Life page.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution.

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