The 25 US colleges that give the most financial aid, ranked

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columbia university graduation.JPGKeith Bedford/ReutersColumbia University is one of the top schools that gives the most financial aid.

  • College is expensive, so it's important to pick a school that offers a good financial aid package.
  • Student Loan Hero recently found the top US colleges that give the most financial aid.
  • It found that US colleges offer an average of $20,494 in financial aid, but the colleges on this list of the top 25 offer at least twice that amount.

College doesn't come cheap.

The average cost of tuition and room and board at a four-year public college is $20,770; at a four-year private institution, that number jumps to $26,950, according to the College Board's "Trends in College Pricing 2017" report.

That's why it's important to pick a college that offers a good financial aid package.

Student Loan Hero recently rounded up the top US colleges that give the most financial aid to students in need using data from Peterson's. It looked at 1,244 US colleges.

It found that an average of $20,494 is offered in financial aid to students, but the colleges we highlight below - the top 25 from Student Loan Hero's ranking - offer at least twice that. In most cases, the average financial aid package at each of these schools is just short of the total cost of tuition.

Wellesley College offers an average financial aid package of $47,527 - and that ranks lowest on this list, with the numbers only going up from there.

Below, see the top 25 colleges for financial aid.

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25. Wellesley College

25. Wellesley College

Average financial aid package: $47,527

Annual tuition and fees: $48,802

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,361

24. Trinity College

24. Trinity College

Average financial aid package: $47,679

Annual tuition and fees: $52,760

Students receiving need-based aid: 976

23. University of Notre Dame

23. University of Notre Dame

Average financial aid package: $47,884

Annual tuition and fees: $49,685

Students receiving need-based aid: 3,997

22. Middlebury College

22. Middlebury College

Average financial aid package: $48,000

Annual tuition and fees: $50,063

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,085

21. Pomona College

21. Pomona College

Average financial aid package: $48,034

Annual tuition and fees: $49,352

Students receiving need-based aid: 917

20. Smith College

20. Smith College

Average financial aid package: $48,115

Annual tuition and fees: $50,044

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,459

19. Washington and Lee University

19. Washington and Lee University

Average financial aid package: $48,392

Annual tuition and fees: $49,254

Students receiving need-based aid: 771

18. University of Southern California

18. University of Southern California

Average financial aid package: $48,399

Annual tuition and fees: $52,992

Students receiving need-based aid: 6,128

17. Brown University

17. Brown University

Average financial aid package: $48,420

Annual tuition and fees: $53,419

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,702

16. Georgetown University

16. Georgetown University

Average financial aid package: $48,999

Annual tuition and fees: $50,547

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,400

15. Barnard College

15. Barnard College

Average financial aid package: $49,012

Annual tuition and fees: $50,394

Students receiving need-based aid: 998

14. Stanford University

14. Stanford University

Average financial aid package: $49,124

Annual tuition and fees: $47,940

Students receiving need-based aid: 3,255

13. Dartmouth College

13. Dartmouth College

Average financial aid package: $49,141

Annual tuition and fees: $51,438

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,097

12. Haverford College

12. Haverford College

Average financial aid package: $49,186

Annual tuition and fees: $51,024

Students receiving need-based aid: 629

11. Princeton University

11. Princeton University

Average financial aid package: $49,502

Annual tuition and fees: $45,320

Students receiving need-based aid: 3,126

10. Colgate University

10. Colgate University

Average financial aid package: $49,912

Annual tuition and fees: $51,955

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,047

9. University of Chicago

9. University of Chicago

Average financial aid package: $49,967

Annual tuition and fees: $52,491

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,483

8. Duke University

8. Duke University

Average financial aid package: $50,312

Annual tuition and fees: $51,265

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,651

7. Webb Institute

7. Webb Institute

Average financial aid package: $50,710

Annual tuition and fees: $48,775

Students receiving need-based aid: 33

6. Vassar College

6. Vassar College

Average financial aid package: $50,820

Annual tuition and fees: $53,090

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,548

5. Harvard University

5. Harvard University

Average financial aid package: $51,308

Annual tuition and fees: $47,074

Students receiving need-based aid: 3,687

4. Amherst College

4. Amherst College

Average financial aid package: $51,775

Annual tuition and fees: $52,476

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,066

3. Williams College

3. Williams College

Average financial aid package: $51,890

Annual tuition and fees: $51,790

Students receiving need-based aid: 1,014

2. Yale University

2. Yale University

Average financial aid package: $52,894

Annual tuition and fees: $49,480

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,732

1. Columbia University

1. Columbia University

Average financial aid package: $55,521

Annual tuition and fees: $55,056

Students receiving need-based aid: 2,973

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