Yes, middle class students do get financial aid
It’s a common myth that financial aid is only for low-income students, and if you make too much money, you have no chance of receiving financial aid.
But according to a recent analysis by Slate, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Public colleges offer aid to middle class
In fact, both public and private colleges award financial aid to a significant percentage of middle-class students.
Slate’s analysis found that about 20% of students from families earning between $150,000 and $250,000 receive some amount of institutional aid.
This is because many colleges award aid based on merit as well as need, which allows them to take other factors into account.
While 20% may seem low, this is not much less than the percentage of low-income students who receive aid. Only 30% of students whose parents make up to $65,000 per year receive aid from public colleges.
Private colleges give more financial aid
With more money to offer, private colleges are even more willing to give middle-class students financial aid, the study found.
In fact, a staggering 70 percent of families earning $150,000 to $250,000 receive financial aid at private colleges.
Of course, private colleges tend to cost more than public colleges, thus increasing the need for financial aid. But 39% of these middle-class families receive more than $20,000 per year, which can help them significantly reduce their college costs.
Middle-class students sometimes avoid applying to private colleges because they assume they’ll be too expensive. But since private colleges tend to give more financial aid, they may offer an even better deal than a public college.
Since you never know how much college will cost until you apply, if cost is a concern, it’s worth applying to private colleges as well as public ones in order to compare financial aid packages.
Don’t assume you won’t receive financial aid
As the analysis shows, many middle-class and upper-class students do actually end up qualifying for financial aid, since many colleges take other factors into account besides income.
But regardless of income, students will not receive financial aid unless they fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the first step to receiving grants, scholarships, and work-study, which can all help reduce the need for student loans and make college more affordable.
Many families make the mistake of not filling out the FAFSA because they assume they won’t qualify for aid, and they end up missing out on free money to help pay for college.
It’s important to fill out the FAFSA on time and make sure to fill out all necessary college financial aid applications to increase your chances of receiving aid.
Our experienced counselors can also help you find affordable colleges that offer significant financial aid to reduce the burden of high college costs. Call us toll-free at 1-888-234-3907 or contact us using this form.