Selecting which college, you end up attending will be for someone of the biggest decisions they will make in their life. A key factor that goes into this college selection is money. One of the things I have stressed in previous articles is the importance of getting as much financial aid and scholarship money you can before you consider taking out loans. According to the Princeton Review’s 2019 Rankings, here are the top five schools with the best financial aid offerings.

#5 Washington University in St. Louis

With a 16 percent acceptance rate, this university located in St. Louis, Missouri has a tuition of $52,400, not including any other fees or costs such as On-Campus Room and Board. They have one of the best financial aid programs, offering an average of $43,745 for undergraduate need-based gift aid and an average freshman scholarship/grant package of $48,169.

#4 Vassar College

With a 24 percent acceptance rate, Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York has a tuition of $54,410. The institution has generous financial aid programs offering an average freshman total need-based gift of $46,709. About 45 percent of undergraduates have borrowed through some sort of loan program, with an average need-based loan offering of $3,462. In relation to the national average of debt that many graduates leave college with these days, their students leave with relatively low debt totals with only an average of $19,439 per graduate.

#3 Colgate University

With a 28 percent acceptance rate, this university is located in Hamilton, New York. The tuition for attending Colgate University is currently $53,650. In comparison to the previous two, it only has a rating of 98 out of 99 on Princeton Review’s 2019 Rankings for financial aid. This one-point downgrade is due to their average graduates leaving with more debt with an average of $24,761. However, are right in the same ballpark when it comes to average need-based gifts, with freshman receiving an average of $49,397 and undergraduates receiving an average of $48,369.

#2 Bowdoin College

With the second lowest acceptance rate on this list at 14 percent, Bowdoin College is located in Brunswick, Maine. The tuition to attend this university is listed at $53,418. They do not have an average need-based loan gift, sitting at $0 on the rankings. However, the average freshman total need-based gift aid rests at $45,625 and for undergraduates, it’s at $44,824.

#1 Vanderbilt College

The top spot belongs on the rankings for financial aid goes to Vanderbilt College located in Nashville, Tennessee. They have the lowest acceptance rate on this list at 11 percent. The tuition for attending the university is slightly lower than the previous schools, resting at $48,600. They do have an average need-based loan gift average of $3,534 as well as an average freshman total need-based gift aid of $48,559 and for undergraduates it’s $47,294. 21 percent of their graduates leave school after graduation having taken part in some sort of loan program, with graduates leaving with an average amount on loans of $23,973. To review more schools that offer great financial aid, you can access Princeton Review’s 2019 Rankings here.