While the cost of obtaining a college degree in the U.S. has continued to climb, some colleges and universities offer enough financial support to make them virtually free to attend. Most of these institutions are private, and about two-thirds are liberal arts, according to a recent U.S. News and World Report survey. Half base how much they provide a student by the financial need of the family (as determined by the FAFSA form). The others base their contribution on merit alone.
One university where a Full Ride is possible is Harvard University, ranked number 2 in the nation by U.S. News. Harvard is located in an urban setting in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1636, making it the oldest university in the country. The campus covers 5076 acres. The current undergraduate student population is 6,699. It’s a world renown university which provides a world class education.
The application deadline at Harvard is January first. The deadline for early action is November first. ACT or SAT scores are due on the sixth of March. The fee to apply is $75. The acceptance rate is only 6%, but no worthy applicant should be scared away. The average freshman retention rate is a whopping 97%.
The cost of tuition and fees for a year at Harvard is $47,074, (2016-2017). But with a Full Ride, this doesn’t matter. Most colleges that provide a Full Ride do so by combining student loans, scholarships, grants and a work-study program. The most important aspect of planning to go to any such university is to make sure that the amount of student loan required is zero, or close to it. The rest of the aid is free money. It never has to be paid back. It’s prudent to attend college somewhere that provides a suitable education without leaving the graduate with a mountain of student loan debt.
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