financial aid tracker


Use CollegeData to find colleges that are likely to reduce your college cost.

When researching colleges – and when making your college choice — it may be beneficial to track a college’s financial aid history to get an idea of how much financial aid it awards to students, on average. 

“Financially friendly” colleges are those that are generous with scholarships and grants, also called “gift aid.” Gift aid reduces your college cost because you don’t have to repay it, unlike college loans. Here’s how to use CollegeData to spot financially friendly colleges.

View the College’s Financial Aid History in the College Profiles

CollegeData’s college profiles (which you can access using College Search) will show you the average amounts of financial aid a college has awarded to students in the past. You’ll find this data on the Financials tab, as shown below.


Scroll down to find detailed financial aid data, including the average percent of financial need met per student, averages for gift aid (scholarships and grants) and self-help aid (loans and work-study), average student debt at graduation, and the number and percent of students who received merit scholarships.


Some colleges reduce aid packages after freshman year, so it’s also important to review the average financial aid awarded to all undergraduates as well as to incoming freshmen. The college profile features data for both groups.

For more information about different types of financial aid and how to spot financially friendly colleges, see the articles below.

1.  What Is Financial Aid?

What is financial aid? How do you qualify and apply for it? Do you have to pay back financial aid you recieve? Here's an overview of the basics.



2. Finding Financially Friendly Colleges

The most generous college is not necessarily the one with the biggest financial aid package. It's the one that most reduces your college cost. 



3. What is Work-Study in College and How Does it Work?

Federal work-study is a form of financial aid that offers you a part-time job, on or off campus. Here are some tips to make it work for you.



4. How to Get Merit Aid from Colleges

When it comes to money for college, getting "merit aid" tops the list for many. But what exactly is merit aid and how do you get it? 



5.  Types of College Loans to Consider

Taking out a loan is a reality for many students paying for college. Here are the basic types of student loans you'll encounter.