Best Financial Aid For The Upper Middle Class


College education is important for everyone. However, with the soaring college fees not many students lower to upper-middle-class people could not afford to pay the college fee, as a result, they are ending up choosing a college and course that is not of their choice but is of their budget. However, many colleges and universities are offering financial aid for students to pursue their dream courses and have rewarding careers. Students also keep a close-eye on institutes offering financial aid for their studies. The generous schools cover most of the education expenses to enroll in an institute. Let us know the best financial aid for the upper middle class and the reasons why not middle-class people can afford education in this article.

Best Financial Aid For The Upper Middle Class

Best financial aid for the upper middle class

With college education turning less affordable for students, the financial aid offered by universities is giving new hope to students. However, you should be aware and have good knowledge of the types of financial aid you can get and the institutes offering financial help for merit students. This can be learnt by diving in-depth into the following sections. 

Reasons why not middle-class people can afford education

The price of education has gone skyrocketing since the 1980s. However, according to the New York Times magazine, fortunately, many students are getting financial aid to have quality education from top colleges. Students who fall in the low-income category would get good aid from different sources and the upper middle class could afford it to some extent. 

Based on the research conducted by the Pew Research centre, around 52% of households are categorized as middle-class and the income of this class of people would range somewhere between USD 48,000 to USD 1,45,000. The majority of their income goes into living expenses. The low-income students are given the Pell grant while middle-class students will not have much access to financial aid. Not many would be able to bear the expenses despite offering financial aid due to the rise in education fees. 

Different types of financial aids

Following is a list of financial aid offered by schools to their students. 


Federal government offers grants to universities. The best part is that students can avail of this benefit without having to repay them after completion of their studies. The grants are allocated by colleges, the federal government, private companies and NGOs.


These are offered based on merit. The students who were top in college or scored well in their previous educational year would be given scholarships as financial aid to pursue their higher education. The best thing is that students can also apply for scholarships offered outside the organization. Adding up both of these will cover their educational expenses. 


Many lenders and banks offer educational loans for students. However, these must be repaid by students after getting a job. The interest rate of these loans would be pretty low compared to other loans. There are different federal as well as private loans offered. These can help students cover their educational expenses and other expenses as part of their studies throughout the course duration. 


Work-study is an excellent program wherein the students would be offered financial aid. It is profitable for both the university and the students. Students can earn by doing part-time jobs in the college canteen or as an assistant to professors. It helps them to make good money which can be spent on paying the college fee.

Progressive tuition

The model is followed in many states in the US to keep the college fee affordable for low to middle-income families. The colleges will invest one-third of their income in offering aid to students who belong to low or middle-class families.

Tuition discounts

Though it is not sustainable for colleges financially, the discounts offered will help students enrol in the college of their choice and pursue their courses. It reduces the tuition fee. The best part is discounts are offered based on merit. It does not consider financial requirements and therefore offers help to helping middle-class students. 

Top universities offering financial aid to upper middle class

Here is the list of 10 universities in the US offering financial help for students who want to pursue the course of their dreams. These schools either offer complete or partial financial help based on the family income. Choosing to pursue education in these schools benefits many students.

California Institute of technology

The university is a research-based institute offering complete or partial financial assistance for its students. The majority of aid is in the form of grants and scholarships. However, currently, the university has stopped offering merit-based scholarships. 

The tuition fee of this college with the accommodation would be around USD 71,244. The average assistance that is given to them is USD 49,806. The scholarship that students can get as a freshman is USD 50,165.

Harvard college

It is a college based out of Pennsylvania and is well-known for the courses offered in liberal arts. The university gives 100% financial aid to its students. Enrolling in this college will help students to pursue their education in the best college and free of cost. It is estimated that around 46% of students have received financial help from the university. 

The aid would be in the form of grants, work-study. It offers assistance only to families whose income is less than USD 60,000 or who cannot go for the loan option.

The tuition fee along with accommodation in this college costs around USD 78,240 and the aid that is offered is USD 52,104 with scholarship grants of USD 51,777. 

Washington University

The university will make all the applicants enrolling in the university apply for grants, and financial programs irrespective of income level. The families of students who earn below USD 75,000 per annum would get complete financial assistance as scholarships, work-study programs and grants. The students who are doing their research at the university can also get aid for their whole course. 

Tuition and accommodation expenses in this university would be around USD 76, 766 whereas the average financial aid offered on the need-basis is USD 53,553. The scholarship given to students is USD 55,624. It is for freshers. 

Grinnell college

The college is famous for offering liberal arts programs. It also gives 100% financial assistance to students to pursue the course without you taking any loans. It is the first time the college offers aid without involving any loan. These loans are substituted with grants. Around 86% of students got financial help last year. 

For scholarships, the college has spent over 58.6 million. The tuition fee with the room would cost around USD 72998. The need-based assistance a student can get is USD 45266. Scholarships for freshers will be USD 37,940. 

Williams college

The college in Massachusetts offers 100% aid for students. Different types of financial assistance offered include – loans, work-study programs throughout the course, scholarships and grants. Around 50% of students pursuing their studies have been asked to take a loan and the loan debt to be repaid by them is USD 16,215. 

Free textbooks and course material is distributed to students. The students would also receive study abroad funds. The tuition fee and room cost USD 74,660 and the aid offered is USD 51,521. The scholarship a student can get is USD 51,358.

Princeton university 

Princeton university is one of the best universities in the US to offer financial aid. It provides 100% need-based funds to students as grants and embraces a no-loan policy. It allowed around 83% of students to pursue their graduation courses without having to take any debt. Families whose annual income is below USD 65000 would get complete financial assistance. The tuition and accommodation fees are USD 70,250, and the need-based help offered are USD 52,438. Scholarships for freshers are USD 48000.

Vassar college

The college is known for its liberal arts program and is located in New York. It offers 60% of financial help to students. 

Alongside, it provides need-based help to all its students. It provides financial assistance even to families whose income is USD 2,70,000. It offers grants, loans, work-study programs and scholarships. Families whose income is too low will not have to pay the loans. The tuition fee and room costs are USD 72,990. Need-based help is USD 50,451, and scholarships offered are USD 45,965. 


Now that you have learnt about the colleges offering financial aid and providing less-expensive opportunities, it becomes easier for you to enrol for the course you want to pursue in the college that meets your course and financial requirements. These lists of colleges are viable for students belonging to upper-middle-class families financially. The college lets students have a good education without putting their finances into much more financial trouble or going into knee-high debts. 

Frequently asked questions

1.What can students do if their parent’s income is excluded from getting financial aid?

Many students do not qualify for federal aid due to their family income. However, they can still get aid in the form of loans, loans for parents, private educational loans, work-study and family savings. 

2.What are effective ways students can embrace to fund their college fees?

Use a college savings account to save funds to pay the college fee. They can also look for scholarship opportunities from middle school. They can build a resume to join groups or organizations offering scholarships. They can also look for scholarship programs in their colleges.

3.How do recent changes in financial aid help students belonging to the upper middle class?

The media attention is on college fees being whopping. Students can understand the value of public education and the various earning opportunities that they must grab to pay for the college fee.