Can rich families qualify for college financial aid?

by Grace

At what point is a family “too rich” to qualify for need-based financial aid?  The answer varies, but generally speaking the higher the cost of a particular college the better the chance of getting financial aid for that school.

At some elite, expensive colleges and universities, a family making $150,000 to $200,000 could qualify for a decent chunk of need-based aid. There are a lot of factors at play, but it would be unusual to get $25,000 or so in need-based aid in some cases. A family with two children in college simultaneously could qualify for need-based aid with even a higher income because the financial aid methodology assumes that parents can’t pay as much money when they have multiple children in college.

So yes, in some cases it is possible to qualify for need-based aid even with an income approaching $250,000.  Try the Net Price Calculator to check if you might qualify for financial assistance, but be forewarned that aid may come in the form of a loan.

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