All around the country, students are going back to college for the new semester, looking forward to new classes, new experiences, and new debt. It’s widely accepted that the cost of higher education has risen considerably over the past decades, and a clear piece of evidence of this trend is the rise in the collective outstanding student debt toll: $1.41 trillion.

Financial aid has become an outright necessity. It acts as a doorway to higher education for many students who would be locked out otherwise. That doorway leads to the chance for greater lifetime earnings with the help of a degree.

With that in mind, it almost becomes obvious why someone would need to go to college, and it makes it obvious why financial aid (such as scholarships or private student loans) is so important, especially for needy students approaching the second half of their education. Failing to pay for school now and graduate could leave them in a debt pitfall without a degree.

The Student Loan Report decided to take a look at the public colleges in the United States where upperclassmen received the most need-based financial aid. Many of these colleges have high tuition to match their high standards of education. By accepting upperclassmen who are supported by need-based financial aid, they are able to educate an economic demographic that would have been barred from its doors, opening up the possibility to make advancements with higher earnings.

Note: Only the top 100 colleges are currently visible. Click on the arrow at the bottom of the table to see the next page.

Colleges Where Upperclassmen Receive the Most Need-Based Financial Aid

RankSchoolStatePublicPrivateNB Fin Aid JuniorsNB Fin Aid SeniorsAvg. Need-Based Financial Aid
1 University of Michigan MI Public 22242 20126 21,184
2 University of California, Santa Cruz CA Public 18933 17200 18,067
3 New Jersey Institute of Technology NJ Public 17965 17660 17,813
4 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill NC Public 17808 16846 17,327
5 State University of New York College at Potsdam NY Public 17400 16321 16,861
6 University of California, Riverside CA Public 17153 15899 16,526
7 University of Vermont VT Public 15191 14476 14,834
8 Winona State University MN Public 13800 15203 14,502
9 University of Washington WA Public 13200 13650 13,425
10 Purdue University IN Public 13784 13052 13,418
11 Virginia Military Institute VA Public 13323 11914 12,619
12 University of Washington, Tacoma WA Public 11300 13250 12,275
13 University of Washington, Bothell WA Public 11650 12550 12,100
14 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College LA Public 11300 9600 10,450
15 Rutgers University–New Brunswick NJ Public 10673 9639 10,156
16 University of Massachusetts Amherst MA Public 10524 9425 9,975
17 North Carolina State University NC Public 10361 9499 9,930
18 California State Polytechnic University, Pomona CA Public 10398 9084 9,741
19 Sonoma State University CA Public 9904 9507 9,706
20 California State University, Fresno CA Public 10176 9171 9,674
21 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus MN Public 10188 9108 9,648
22 University of Pittsburgh at Bradford PA Public 9767 9499 9,633
23 St. Mary's College of Maryland MD Public 10834 8423 9,629
24 The University of Tennessee TN Public 9928 8829 9,379
25 Western Illinois University IL Public 9299 9430 9,365
26 San Diego State University CA Public 9200 9200 9,200
27 The Ohio State University OH Public 9159 9061 9,110
28 Michigan State University MI Public 9665 8528 9,097
29 Rutgers University–Newark NJ Public 10494 7515 9,005
30 California State University, San Bernardino CA Public 9419 8506 8,963
31 University of Louisville KY Public 9329 8589 8,959
32 Clemson University SC Public 8994 8913 8,954
33 Rutgers University–Camden NJ Public 9199 8552 8,876
34 Louisiana Tech University LA Public 8749 8585 8,667
35 University of New Hampshire NH Public 8888 8379 8,634
36 Rowan University NJ Public 9084 7968 8,526
37 New College of Florida FL Public 9592 7439 8,516
38 Towson University MD Public 8653 8308 8,481
39 Western Washington University WA Public 8840 8097 8,469
40 Texas A&M University TX Public 10063 6848 8,456
41 California State University, East Bay CA Public 8839 7665 8,252
42 University of Maryland, Baltimore County MD Public 8113 8284 8,199
43 University of Mississippi MS Public 8738 7599 8,169
44 Colorado School of Mines CO Public 8571 7665 8,118
45 Binghamton University, State University of New York NY Public 8548 7462 8,005
46 Ramapo College of New Jersey NJ Public 8715 7195 7,955
47 Texas A&M University–Commerce TX Public 8652 7240 7,946
48 University of Montevallo AL Public 8608 7205 7,907
49 Radford University VA Public 7980 7760 7,870
50 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley TX Public 8299 7353 7,826
51 The University of Texas at El Paso TX Public 8184 7387 7,786
52 University of Louisiana at Lafayette LA Public 8270 7187 7,729
53 University of Missouri–St. Louis MO Public 7755 7669 7,712
54 Longwood University VA Public 8080 7292 7,686
55 Texas Tech University TX Public 7989 7308 7,649
56 University of Colorado Denver CO Public 7938 7323 7,631
57 University of Oregon OR Public 8019 7186 7,603
58 University of Arkansas AR Public 7821 7364 7,593
59 University of Nebraska–Lincoln NE Public 7690 7359 7,525
60 University of Minnesota, Duluth MN Public 8046 6973 7,510
61 University of Northern Colorado CO Public 7907 7062 7,485
62 Stockton University NJ Public 7680 7226 7,453
63 Lincoln University PA Public 7147 7579 7,363
64 Stony Brook University, State University of New York NY Public 7818 6812 7,315
65 Kentucky State University KY Public 7124 7440 7,282
66 University of Maryland Eastern Shore MD Public 7710 6834 7,272
67 Dixie State University UT Public 7545 6862 7,204
68 The University of Kansas KS Public 7554 6811 7,183
69 Oregon State University OR Public 7187 7154 7,171
70 William Paterson University of New Jersey NJ Public 7659 6542 7,101
71 University of Maine ME Public 7433 6661 7,047
72 University of Florida FL Public 7312 6745 7,029
73 University of South Carolina Aiken SC Public 7546 6400 6,973
74 The University of Iowa IA Public 7183 6714 6,949
75 Virginia State University VA Public 6900 6900 6,900
76 University at Buffalo, the State University of New York NY Public 7187 6513 6,850
77 Bowling Green State University OH Public 6936 6707 6,822
78 University of Alaska Fairbanks AK Public 7126 6443 6,785
79 Iowa State University of Science and Technology IA Public 6967 6496 6,732
80 Oklahoma State University OK Public 7124 6303 6,714
81 Georgia Southern University GA Public 7279 6118 6,699
82 Northeastern State University OK Public 7086 6239 6,663
83 Auburn University AL Public 6953 6328 6,641
84 College of Charleston SC Public 6598 6657 6,628
85 University of Oklahoma OK Public 6608 6608 6,608
86 New Mexico State University NM Public 7170 6009 6,590
87 Virginia Commonwealth University VA Public 6870 6299 6,585
88 State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology NY Public 6721 6409 6,565
89 University of Michigan–Dearborn MI Public 6922 6189 6,556
90 The University of North Carolina at Charlotte NC Public 6522 6575 6,549
91 University of Houston TX Public 6739 6178 6,459
92 Texas State University TX Public 6876 5980 6,428
93 Wayne State University MI Public 6819 6014 6,417
94 Cleveland State University OH Public 6722 6055 6,389
95 Massachusetts Maritime Academy MA Public 7047 5720 6,384
96 Old Dominion University VA Public 6697 5986 6,342
97 Morgan State University MD Public 6668 5914 6,291
98 The University of Alabama in Huntsville AL Public 6754 5688 6,221
99 Temple University PA Public 6338 5990 6,164
100 University of Cincinnati OH Public 6240 5944 6,092
101 Glenville State College WV Public 6466 5642 6,054
102 Lamar University TX Public 6509 5568 6,039
103 University of Wisconsin–Parkside WI Public 6124 5896 6,010
104 The University of Tennessee at Martin TN Public 6147 5871 6,009
105 Grand Valley State University MI Public 6608 5399 6,004
106 Texas A&M International University TX Public 6001 6001 6,001
107 Valdosta State University GA Public 6000 6000 6,000
108 Murray State University KY Public 6421 5571 5,996
109 Morehead State University KY Public 6109 5876 5,993
110 Wright State University OH Public 6036 5947 5,992
111 Concord University WV Public 6169 5804 5,987
112 University of Colorado Colorado Springs CO Public 5929 6034 5,982
113 Montana Tech of The University of Montana MT Public 6470 5489 5,980
114 Central Michigan University MI Public 6932 5019 5,976
115 Emporia State University KS Public 6159 5784 5,972
116 Millersville University of Pennsylvania PA Public 6265 5639 5,952
117 Mississippi State University MS Public 5842 5940 5,891
118 Fitchburg State University MA Public 6265 5506 5,886
119 State University of New York at Fredonia NY Public 6104 5530 5,817
120 State University of New York at Oswego NY Public 6229 5332 5,781
121 University of South Florida FL Public 6126 5421 5,774
122 Salisbury University MD Public 5941 5523 5,732
123 Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi TX Public 6027 5384 5,706
124 University of Wisconsin–Whitewater WI Public 5839 5568 5,704
125 Northern Illinois University IL Public 5709 5689 5,699
126 University of Michigan–Flint MI Public 5987 5410 5,699
127 Rogers State University OK Public 5960 5432 5,696
128 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania PA Public 5670 5630 5,650
129 Southern Connecticut State University CT Public 5659 5549 5,604
130 University of Central Florida FL Public 5965 5234 5,600
131 Eastern Oregon University OR Public 5667 5520 5,594
132 Middle Tennessee State University TN Public 6025 5073 5,549
133 State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry NY Public 5824 5267 5,546
134 Eastern Kentucky University KY Public 5987 5079 5,533
135 Northern Michigan University MI Public 5866 5194 5,530
136 University of Missouri–Kansas City MO Public 5204 5834 5,519
137 Miami University OH Public 5544 5475 5,510
138 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania PA Public 5679 5327 5,503
139 Western Kentucky University KY Public 5832 5170 5,501
140 South Dakota School of Mines and Technology SD Public 5634 5343 5,489
141 Ball State University IN Public 5556 5411 5,484
142 Central Connecticut State University CT Public 5438 5423 5,431
143 University of Southern Indiana IN Public 5786 5049 5,418
144 Minnesota State University Mankato MN Public 5729 5103 5,416
145 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania PA Public 5857 4967 5,412
146 Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University FL Public 5946 4874 5,410
147 East Carolina University NC Public 5593 5112 5,353
148 Vermont Technical College VT Public 5470 5232 5,351
149 Southeastern Louisiana University LA Public 5531 5005 5,268
150 University of North Florida FL Public 5312 5215 5,264
151 West Virginia University WV Public 5358 5139 5,249
152 Eastern Connecticut State University CT Public 5124 5242 5,183
153 Ohio University OH Public 4856 5510 5,183
154 Fort Lewis College CO Public 5270 5085 5,178
155 The University of Akron OH Public 5133 4920 5,027
156 Jackson State University MS Public 5153 4767 4,960
157 Kent State University OH Public 5080 4789 4,935
158 Coastal Carolina University SC Public 4915 4915 4,915
159 Youngstown State University OH Public 5303 4514 4,909
160 University of Memphis TN Public 5391 4373 4,882
161 University of South Carolina Upstate SC Public 5045 4679 4,862
162 Georgia Southwestern State University GA Public 5140 4518 4,829
163 George Mason University VA Public 4338 5298 4,818
164 Ferris State University MI Public 4800 4760 4,780
165 Lewis-Clark State College ID Public 4845 4677 4,761
166 University of Wisconsin–Stout WI Public 4752 4767 4,760
167 The University of North Carolina Wilmington NC Public 4645 4863 4,754
168 University of Northern Iowa IA Public 5047 4417 4,732
169 Northern State University SD Public 4730 4730 4,730
170 Eastern Michigan University MI Public 5080 4340 4,710
171 Westfield State University MA Public 5034 4384 4,709
172 University of Utah UT Public 4843 4548 4,696
173 Cameron University OK Public 4976 4408 4,692
174 Boise State University ID Public 4836 4510 4,673
175 Southern Arkansas University–Magnolia AR Public 4969 4372 4,671
176 Utah State University UT Public 4691 4558 4,625
177 Valley City State University ND Public 5324 3866 4,595
178 Metropolitan State University of Denver CO Public 4884 4259 4,572
179 Michigan Technological University MI Public 4744 4391 4,568
180 The University of Alabama AL Public 4808 4298 4,553
181 Minot State University ND Public 4836 4268 4,552
182 Southeast Missouri State University MO Public 4714 4366 4,540
183 University of North Georgia GA Public 4372 4707 4,540
184 Mayville State University ND Public 4839 4193 4,516
185 University of Wisconsin–Green Bay WI Public 4485 4449 4,467
186 Indiana University of Pennsylvania PA Public 4057 4844 4,451
187 University of Hawaii at Manoa HI Public 4364 4514 4,439
188 The College of William and Mary VA Public 4113 4750 4,432
189 Keene State College NH Public 4549 4298 4,424
190 Tennessee Technological University TN Public 4734 4111 4,423
191 University of North Alabama AL Public 4500 4276 4,388
192 University of Central Missouri MO Public 4526 3939 4,233
193 State University of New York College at Geneseo NY Public 4569 3885 4,227
194 Kean University NJ Public 4552 3807 4,180
195 Dickinson State University ND Public 4371 3867 4,119
196 Grambling State University LA Public 4123 3923 4,023
197 Lincoln University MO Public 4132 3802 3,967
198 Southern Oregon University OR Public 3943 3977 3,960
199 Kennesaw State University GA Public 4034 3774 3,904
200 University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point WI Public 3963 3748 3,856
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Methodology

The data used in this report was licensed from Peterson’s Financial Aid dataset. All values in this dataset are self-reported by the colleges themselves to Peterson, and all values are relevant to the academic year of 2015 - 2016.

The main, highlighted piece of data in this report is the average financial aid awarded to upperclassmen undergraduates by the school as well as other sources. This financial aid is designated as need-based aid from colleges, the federal government, private organizations, and state governments. Need-based aid refers to federal student loans; scholarships; federal, state, or school grants; state-awarded loans, and more.

Peterson provided two need-based financial aid averages for both Juniors and Seniors. The average of those two values were taken to find the overall average financial aid awarded to upperclassmen. This final average was sorted in Excel to determine which colleges’ student bodies received the most financial aid. The top 200 schools were included in this report.

©2017