The Concept of Need in Higher Education


Need is something that most people need in order to live. This can include food, shelter, medical care, etc. However, need can also refer to a desire that has the power to improve a person’s quality of life. In fact, some scholars claim that need is an important psychological feature that can be observed and assessed rationally. The concept of need can be used in the business world too.

For example, need based scholarships are awarded to students who are in financial need. These awards can be given by the government or by private foundations and corporations. They are usually tied to student and family resources. A need-based scholarship is typically associated with the federal Pell Grant, although it can be awarded by any college.

Some colleges have their own need based applications and/or need-based merit-based programs. Others use College Board’s CSS Profile, which is a streamlined application designed to assess a student’s need for financial aid. Other need based schools require that students fill out the FAFSA, which is a federally administered form.

Need-aware schools are a little more complicated, but they can offer a competitive student a solid financial package. Most need-aware schools also have need-blind counterparts. These schools will admit students with financial need, but will not discriminate based on it. It’s possible that students at need-blind schools will have to pay some tuition out of pocket. Regardless of the type of school a student attends, it’s essential to make sure that you understand how it works.

There are numerous need based scholarships to be had. Using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a student and his or her parent can apply for grants. Additionally, there are many nonprofit organizations that award need based scholarships.

Using the FAFSA to calculate the total amount of need based financial aid available to you will provide you with a rough idea of how much you are eligible for. However, this will not be a complete picture of your financial situation. You will need to meet with a college’s financial aid counselor to talk about your situation in more detail. While there is no one size fits all solution, a good rule of thumb is that the more resources that you have at your disposal, the better off you’ll be.

Need-aware colleges will not necessarily admit students based on their ability to pay, but they will factor this into their decision making. Many need-aware schools will even go so far as to award need based scholarships to high-achieving students who are likely to need help paying for college. If you think you may qualify for a need-based scholarship, it’s important to have a realistic discussion with your family about your financial needs.

While the concept of need is certainly not new, the study of it has received less attention in recent years. However, it is still a worthy subject to pursue. When looking for a college, it’s best to take into consideration both need-blind and need-aware institutions.