Are public universities need blind?

Dear friends – I am wondering if applying for need-based financial aid (submitting FAFSA) changes the admission chances at state flagship colleges like University of Maryland (esplly for in-state students). Are admissons to major public universities considered independently of financial need? Thank you for responses.

There may be a few public Us that are not need blind but it looks like U Md is not one of them. https://www.admissions.umd.edu/apply/admission-review-factors-and-process

Thanks for your response. Maybe I am missing something, but how did you infer from the link that UMd is not one of them?

Financial need is not listed in the criteria used.

However, some criteria used could be correlated to financial need. For many “traditional” college admissions criteria, the opportunity to excel in them is often greater when there is more parental money. Some other criteria may be added to the other side of the equation, e.g. “Socio-economic background”.

Most colleges and universities don’t care how much financial need you have, and they don’t make any huge effort to meet any need you might have beyond what is guaranteed when you file the FAFSA. So stop worrying about whether a place is need-blind or not for admission. Apply. File the FAFSA.

The only places where need-sensitive becomes an issue, is at places that do try to come up with decent aid packages for everyone that they admit, but that also aren’t rich enough to be able to do that for everyone they might like to admit.

It’s sort of irrelevant for the University of Maryland. They don’t claim to meet full financial need, so it doesn’t really matter if their admissions process is need-blind or not. There would be no point to it. They can admit a student with need but offer skimpy aid — because they have no policy to meet full need. Most of the aid you’d get from U of M would be federal aid (Pell grant if you qualify, and federal loans and work study). It’s at their discretion whether they’ll provide a university grant.

https://academiccatalog.umd.edu/undergraduate/fees-expenses-financial-aid/need-based-financial-assistance/#:~:text=University%20of%20Maryland%20Grant,and%20who%20demonstrate%20financial%20need.

In any case, if you need the aid to attend the school, what would be the point of not applying for it?

In general, need-blindness (or lack thereof) really only matters for schools that give robust financial aid, promising to meet the full financial need of every enrolled student. Those colleges are working with a budget of X dollars to distribute, and they have to fulfill their promise. Most of those schools have to manage their financial aid budget by managing who they admit. Among those that meet full financial need, all but the very richest colleges have to look at the amount of need their applicants have.

… and also have not figured out how to target a given level of overall FA need for the admit class accurately enough by increasing or decreasing admissions weighting of correlated factors (e.g. legacy, first generation) without having to look at individual applicants’ FA need.

In the link in Post#5, please note that Federal Student Loans are included in the list of Need Based Financial Assistance. This is true of many Universities, not just UMD

Yes, of course. Only a handful of elite schools do not include loans as part of the FA package.