Need-blind admissions systems are rare. Most universities cannot offer it and not all that do offer it to all students; many schools offer need-blind admission to American first-year students but not to internationals or to transfer students.
Skeptics point to the consistent number of people accepted with aid at many need-blind schools, claiming that although the school calls itself "need-blind," the number of students receiving aid remains the same each year, leading them to believe that the school has limited aid to give.
Need-blind admission does not necessarily mean a "full-need" financial aid policy--where the school agrees to fund the meet the full demonstrated financial need of all its admitted students. Indeed, the two policies can be in tension because need-blind admissions and full-need financial aid together commit the school to spend an undetermined amount of money regardless of other budgetary constraints. Thus, some need-blind schools will admit students who will nonetheless not be able to attend because of deficient financial aid awards.
There are only eight colleges that are need-blind and full-need for all applicants, including international students. These are Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Middlebury College, MIT, Princeton University, Williams College, Yale University, and Amherst College.
The following schools state they are need-blind and full-need:
For instance, at Hamilton College, Macalester College, Mount Holyoke College and Smith College, at least 95% of students are admitted without their financial aid need being a factor (i.e., 'need-blind), but a slim percentage (1%–5%), generally students wait-listed or with borderline qualifications, are reviewed in modest consideration of the college's projected financial resources. All of these aforementioned colleges grant all acceptees full financial aid packages meeting 100% need.
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