It is finally time to select a school and apply for admissions. As you are browsing through all of your options and selecting an institution, you might be wondering what factors will be considered when making an admissions decision. Your grades, your interests, volunteer work, activities, and SAT scores can all affect whether or not you are accepted to a college or university but does your ability to pay for school affect the decision? Read on and learn whether or not filling out a FASFA to receive financial aid will have an impact on your admission decision when applying to a school.
Types of Schools That Consider Ability to Pay in the Admissions Decision-making Process
Whether or not applying for financial aid will have an impact on your admissions decision depends entirely on the school that you are applying to. Ability to pay is generally only a factor when applying to a private university that is run on a for-profit basis. These schools are not what is referred to as "need-blind" because they have stockholders who invest into the school and expect to make a profit. To make a profit, these universities must charge each student for admissions. When you are filling out an application for admissions, you may notice that the application asks whether or not you will by applying for financial aid as well. If you answer yes and you are applying to a private school where your financial need can be considered, this could be a factor in whether you are accepted to the school.
Public Colleges and Many of the Wealthiest Private Schools Have Needs-blind Admissions
Many colleges like wealthy students who can afford to pay school without financial aid because the expenses these students pay are used to underwrite the college's costs that students applying for financial aid cannot afford to pay. While this is true, it is not always the case, and many schools run their admissions decision-making process on a needs-blind basis. If you have a financial need and you plan on submitting a FASFA application, schools with a needs-blind admissions review will not even consider your ability to pay when making a decision. Public schools do not let the review committee know the financial status of applicants, and some of the wealthier private schools use this same process. These schools are those that receive large endowment packages and do not have to worry about putting the school at risk of going over-budget by accepting a majority of students who lack the ability to pay.
If you have a strong academic profile, you are highly more likely to get accepted regardless of your ability to pay for school. If you are considered to be a middle-of-the-pack applicant and you have a financial need, your need for aid could affect the admissions decision if you are applying to a school that uses an ability to pay in the review process. Make sure you take the time to see what is considered during admissions review and choose a school that is most likely to accept you.