Universities in the U.S. offer two types of scholarships; the first and less popular scholarship is the “Need-based.” The “Need-based” scholarship means that universities do not look at your financials when deciding whether you will be admitted or not. After you are admitted, universities will evaluate your family’s income and based on those, they will give you a scholarship that allows you to fund your studies in the university. This is a great option for any bright and motivated student, but especially those that have limited financial resources. For example, Harvard University is one of the dozens of universities in the country that offers this type of scholarships. If you are admitted into Harvard University and your family’s annual income is lower than $65,000, you do not have to pay anything. If your family’s income is in between $65,000 and $150,000, you would have to pay Harvard University 10% of your family’s income, and so on.
Unfortunately, there are not many universities in the U.S. that offer this type of scholarship. Typically it is big private and high ranked universities that can afford this practice in order to recruit the best students regardless of their financial situation. Some other universities that offer this type of scholarship are: Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Brown University, Columbia University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. Admission rate in these universities is low, which means that competition to be admitted is high. We recommend you to be very intentional and seek special Epro Advisors’ guidance if you decide to apply to one of these 100 or 200 top universities, which some of them offer what is called the “Need-based” scholarship.” Basically, universities that fall outside the top 100 or 200 ranking offer the second and most popular type of scholarships, the “merit-based.”
“Merit-based” scholarships are offered to students based on their academic and athletic profile, but the student’s financial situation is taken into consideration before the university makes an admission decision. Think of it like any other private business. If you are looking for a long term supplier of goods or services, chances are that this supplier is going to review your financial situation before making a decision whether to sell you the products or services or not. The same rationale is applied to the university world. Most of them want to ensure that you, your family or anybody willing to sponsor you, is capable and willing to pay for your university cost of attendance. A typical requirement that universities make is for the person supporting you to provide bank statements to prove that there is enough money to cover at least one year worth of university costs. Assuming that you are able to meet the university’s financial requirements, there are different factors that contribute to the amount of scholarship you will receive. But remember, your family income will not be used by the majority of the universities in the U.S. to decide how much scholarship amount you receive.