How much will your income effect your chances of getting in?

im a first generation college student - but my average household income before taxes is 100,000 (we didn’t grow up in a great neighborhood, but it wasn’t bad. Its average) How would this effect my chances of getting in?

Depends on the school. Most of the top schools are “need blind” meaning they don’t look at income for admissions. Look up the admission policies of the schools you are interested in and see if they are need blind.

I wouldn’t worry about your family’s income affecting your chances of admission. I encourage you to run the NPCs for schools of interest. Finding school you can afford is important.

The vast majority of ALL schools are need blind for admission. It will not make a difference at all but a small segment of schools. Definitely run the NPCs on each school’s web site to get an idea of the cost.

It won’t effect your chances of being admitted.

But it will effect your chances of attending.

Contrary to the posts above, many private colleges DO consider ability to pay as part of the admission process. However, it’s just one consideration out of many. Often it just means that if a student is a borderline admit, financial aid might influence the final decision.

You shouldn’t use “need blind” policy as a major means of selecting colleges to apply to, just make sure you have a variety of colleges.

“First generation” is a trait desired by many colleges, so that gives you a boost. Many (probably most) first generation students need financial assistance, so the colleges already know that.

Many families with $100K income still qualify for aid. Family size, medical expenses, etc., factor in. Be sure to use the many web resources to look at “net price” for various income groups, and debt for graduating seniors. Even though a college may say they meet “full need” (which is a whole other story), they can say that even though they may be meeting need with hefty loans. Make sure you apply to a few schools with no or low loans and lower debt.

A quick look at student debt can be found at College Scorecard:

All kinds of good info, including average net price (cost after grants and scholarships) sorted by family income level can be found at College Navigator:

Most colleges post their Common Data Set on their website. Just enter “Common Date Set” in their search box. There is a wealth of information in there. A little overwhelming at first, but everything is labeled and standardized so you can find the item numbers you are interested in. This is the best way to find out how many students are in frats and sororities, for instance (Item F 1).

Evidence please? I think many people would like to see the specific schools that do this. I do know Reed is Need Aware for the final students being considered for admission each year. They have specifically stated that. What other ones have admitted it?

Actually, most colleges are need-blind in admissions, but most colleges do not give good financial aid for some or all students.

Thanks @ucbalumnus @“Erin’s Dad” I didn’t know that was the case for almost all schools

@alooknac my mom is claiming unemployment, but my dad is a business owner, all my brothers and sisters are 22-31 and are out of the house. Paying for college isnt a problem for my dad, its just I am worried they’d chose someone with the same stats, scores, ECs and GPA over me, because they make around 40k annually with both parents working.

@musiclover16 that’s why I mentioned you have a little “hook” in the fact that you are first-generation.

To others who dispute my contention that “many” colleges are need-aware in admissions, it’s not like they broadcast that fact, but a little googling will bring up many reputable sources that state that only a few colleges ARE really need blind, such as

Colleges that are truly need-blind will usually advertise that fact on their website, and those that are need-aware only for the last few admittees will usually state that too. The ones that are factoring in ability to pay just do so quietly for the most part.

@alooknac did you actually read the second source (which is much more detailed and accurate)? It states the majority of public Us are need blind which is true (I would say the VAST major of public Us are). Since many private Us are also need bling that mean Most are not need aware. Additionally, the Petersons article doesn’t do a good job of discriminating between need blind admissions and meeting need. It entwines the two in the article so their article is muddled and inaccurate. Feel free to post those schools that are need aware. I know many posters would like to know what schools those are.

The sorts of schools you’ll be realistically targeting (based upon your ACT) are NOT the sort of school that will care about your income.

Please notice that my first post refers to PRIVATE colleges.

I will not post which colleges are need aware. Based on my personal study and limited research, I am convinced that most private colleges are need aware and it would be a daunting task to try to name them all. Of course you are free to have a different opinion or do comprehensive research documenting your stance. I was just trying to be helpful to the original poster and I stand by my comments. I don’t think need-blind or need-aware status is an important consideration for most applicants so I don’t recommend that anyone spend a lot of time on this question.

To all readers: wikipedia has some listings (see, but this area is a moving target, so take all such lists with a grain of salt. I mentioned in my previous posts other considerations that I think are important, and where to find that information.

So of the 3000 four year colleges 64 are need sensitive (according to your wiki citation)? I guess that could be considered many. I would not.

Nationwide, most colleges and universities (even most private institutions) are need-blind for admission.

For those that are need-aware, what happens is that as the financial aid money begins to run out, decisions are made to admit/deny based on who much the various students that are admissible will cost in terms of financial aid. When that happens, if there is a student that is extremely desirable, the aid will be found, but if there are a number of students who are equally desirable but some would need less aid than others, the ones who need less aid will get the admissions offer. Obviously, in this situation a full-pay applicant is likely to be favored in admission.

Other than for the small number of colleges that have the specific mission of serving low-income population groups (e.g. Berea, College of the Ozarks), or specific programs focused on improving admission for low-income students, there is no reason for the OP to fear that not being low income will be negative at application time.