Tip: Find Out How Happy Students are With Financial Aid

When looking for a school– and thinking about how to pay for it– one helpful piece of information is this: how happy are students with financial aid? This means two things: (1) how happy are they with the actual financial aid package they receive, and how fair do they think this is, and (2) how happy are they with the human being at the school assigned to help students with the difficult task of finding money for school?
How can you find this information? For one thing, ask around. Talk to students and find out what they think of the financial aid system at their schools. For another, check out various college ranking systems to find the best and worse schools for financial aid.
According to The Princeton Review, these are the 10 schools where students are happiest with financial aid:

  1. Princeton
  2. Stanford
  3. Pomona College
  4. Harvard
  5. New College of Florida
  6. Thomas Aquinas College
  7. Beloit College
  8. College of the Atlantic
  9. Wabash College
  10. Claremont McKenna College

And, according to The Princeton Review, these are the 10 schools were students are most unhappy with financial aid:

  1. New York University
  2. Emerson College
  3. Penn State
  4. Rutgers
  5. University of Mary Washington
  6. Hampton University
  7. Amherst College
  8. University of Colorado
  9. Spelman College
  10. SUNY Purchase

My alma mater, Rutgers, is on this list, which is no surprise! The people in the financial aid office were scary mean, at least when I went there. It was a shock to me when I went to grad school and somebody in the financial aid office offered to help me with my financial aid materials. Imagine that!