Ivy League colleges do not offer merit-based or athletic scholarships. Instead, they provide need-based financial aid — with all Ivy Leagues meeting 100% of students’ demonstrated need. In order to qualify for need-based aid, you will need to submit the CSS Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Every year, the FAFSA application opens on October 1st and is due by June 30th. Each school has its own priority deadlines, so it’s a good idea to submit your application as soon as you are able to! The same goes for the CSS Profile. For more information about the FAFSA, check out our article Everything You Should Know About FAFSA.
Now, you’re probably wondering what “demonstrated need” means. Basically, demonstrated financial need is calculated by subtracting the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) from the school’s cost of attendance (COA). Again, all Ivy Leagues meet 100% of demonstrated financial need. For some schools, financial aid packages include student loans, which will have to be paid back. Some schools, however, such as Harvard and Columbia, only award need-based grants, which do not need to be paid back.
In conclusion, in order to understand how financial aid works at Ivy League colleges, you’ll need to understand The Differences between Need-Based and Merit-Based Financial Aid. And remember, Ivy Leagues only grant need-based aid!