Financial aid is a top priority for most prospective college students. The higher the percentage of students who receive financial aid directly from the school, the more desirable the college should be to attend. This data refers to the percentage of undergraduate students receiving financial aid for the 2012 academic year directly from the institution they attend. The financial aid figures are provided by the IPEDS database from the U.S. Department of Education.
IPEDS did not have financial aid figures for all of the colleges on our list. We did not, however, want to penalize those colleges without data. To that end, we simply excluded those schools from the rankings in this category.