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No. of Recommendations: 3
Both my brother and I went to schools on the "most affordable" list that you would not have expected to be affordable, but they actually were affordable. My school did have a lot of students whose parents were wealthy and could afford the full ride, but there were plenty of people there who relied on grants, loans, and work-study jobs to get through. My parents had saved pretty hard, but they weren't wealthy. My roommate/best friend's parents were a police officer and a SAHM, and another friend's only parent was a janitor. The schools did this by admitting everyone need-blind--that is, without regard to ability to pay-- and then they made sure the financial aid package actually covered then need. At the time I attended loans still made up part of the package but I believe now tuition and board are entirely covered by grants.

The only reason they can do that, of course, is due to their large endowments and it's not really a selfless move--they are looking to attract the best students they can and financial aid is a big selling point. But the colleges' commitment to ensuring that the students they choose to admit are financially able to attend is the main reason why our alma maters continue to get a donation from me and my brother every year.
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