Bloomberg wants better financial aid: These colleges offer top packages

Former New York City Mayor and potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg made headlines over the weekend for making the largest donation ever to a public university.

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The businessman and politician gave $1.8 billion to John’s Hopkins University to support the institution’s financial aid system.

“No qualified high school student should ever be barred entrance to a college based on his or her family’s bank account. Yet it happens all the time,” Bloomberg wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times. “America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook. Denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity.”

Bloomberg went on to say that at America’s top-tier colleges, more students come from the top one percent than the bottom 60 percent of the income scale.

While the politician – who many believe is eyeing a presidential run next cycle – may have boosted aid prospects at John’s Hopkins, here’s a look at the top schools for financial help, as compiled by The Princeton Review.

Vanderbilt University

The Princeton Review’s annual rankings put Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, as number one when it comes to the best financial aid.

For the 2018-2019 school year, total expenses – including dining and room and board – are more than $70,100.

However, according to data compiled by Google, the average cost for students after aid is about $18,000 for the private institution.

Bowdoin College

Bowdoin is a private, liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine, where enrollment stands around 1,800 students.

Tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 school year total an estimated $53,400 for the year, according to the college’s website. However, after aid is factored in, the average cost is closer to $19,000.

Colgate University

There are 2,900 undergrads at this private, liberal arts college in Madison County, New York.

While total tuition and fees average are nearly $70,000, average costs after aid are about $23,000.

Vassar College

Another institution in the Northeast ranks fourth when it comes to financial aid prospects. Vassar College is a small institution located in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Total tuition and fees come out to $70,510 – but when aid is factored in, families end up paying closer to $22,000.

Washington University in St. Louis

Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Washington University in St. Louis carries total charges just shy of $70,000.

When aid is factored in, average costs are closer to $33,000.

Worst aid deals

On the flip side, some schools that have not-so-great financial aid packages include New York University in New York City, The College of New Jersey and the State University of New York – Purchase College.