Financial Aid

Financial Aid

As the cost of a college education climbs, financial aid has become a critical component in the decision-making process for many Moses Brown families.  Our counseling staff is experienced with families whose financial circumstances play a role in college search and selection. We have a close relationship with the College Planning Center of Rhode Island, a free resource for families to meet with financial aid advisors. Families should use the online booking system on the site to schedule an appointment.  

The College Counseling Office hosts a financial aid night each December.

It is important to note that families who receive financial aid at Moses Brown may not qualify for financial aid in college. Conversely, families who do not qualify for financial aid at Moses Brown may still qualify for need-based or merit-based aid at the college level. It is crucial to thoroughly research the policies, procedures, and deadlines for the institutions to which students intend to apply. Some financial aid paperwork is due when early college applications are due in November of senior year.

We advise parents to discuss important financial considerations with their child before embarking on the college search. When visiting college campuses, we recommend that families arrange to meet with a financial aid officer if they have specific questions.

Here are some terms that families may hear related to financial aid.

Net Price Calculator: An online tool on each college’s financial aid website that provides a rough estimate of what the family can contribute to the student’s education. It allows families to identify some information the college will need and estimate what the college might expect financially.

Need-Based Aid: Financial aid based solely on the demonstrated financial need of the family. Factors such as grades, test scores, leadership, or athletic ability have no bearing.  It is important to note that many colleges – particularly those that are most selective – offer need-based funding only.

Merit-Based Aid ("Scholarships"): Financial aid determined by academic, artistic, or athletic talent without consideration to a family’s financial need.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): Application for federally-funded need-based aid. Determines the amount the government is expected to contribute in the form of grants, work study, and loans. Required by every institution if applying for financial aid.  Uses federal methodology (income) to determine a family’s financial need. Students re-apply every year.

CSS PROFILE: An additional financial aid application required by many private colleges, particularly selective private colleges. Determines eligibility for non-government aid, such as the institution's own grants, loans, and scholarships. Uses institutional methodology (income and assets) to determine a family’s financial need. Students must re-apply every year.

Institutional Aid: Scholarship or grant money given by the college. At some colleges, students are automatically considered when they apply. At other colleges, a separate application is required. This money does not require repayment.

Private Scholarships & Fellowships: Aid available through private foundations, organizations, or corporations. Generally merit-based, though some have a need-based component.

Meeting 100 Percent of Demonstrated Need: Some colleges will meet 100 percent of demonstrated need through a package of grants, loans and work study. Schools that do not meet full need will "gap" admitted students, meaning there is a gap between what the college costs and what a family must provide (usually though loans.) A student’s financial aid package may appear larger in terms of dollar amount, but if the college does not meet 100% of need, “gapping” can make that college more expensive than a college whose aid package is smaller by dollar amount, but meets full or close to full need.

Need Aware or Need Sensitive: Some colleges may take into account a family’s financial need when making an admission decision. This policy is typically used in the case of applicants on the margin (slightly out of academic profile) when difficult decisions must be made in reference to need.