Sweet Briar makes ScholarMatch’s 2016 Honor Roll of best colleges nationwide for low-income students

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Janika Carey

The Class of 2016 lines up for Sweet Briar College’s commencement ceremony. The Class of 2016 lines up for Sweet Briar College’s commencement ceremony.

Sweet Briar College is featured on ScholarMatch’s 2016 Honor Roll, a list of the 301 best colleges and universities in the United States for low-income and first-generation students.

“ScholarMatch’s rankings cut through perceived school reputation and instead draw to the top institutions that are truly offering robust student support and achieving excellent outcomes with this population,” according to a press release.

For the second year in a row, ScholarMatch worked with the White House and its college database to analyze 1,400 institutions. The nonprofit’s analysis includes metrics that are relevant for students from households earning less than $50,000 annually, including loan default rates and average debt load at graduation for this income bracket.

Sweet Briar recently earned praise from Student Loan Report for preparing its graduates to pay off student loan debt. The College ranked 10th among colleges and universities in Virginia and in the top-10 percent nationwide. In 2016, 100 percent of Sweet Briar’s first-year students received some form of financial aid.

Now, Sweet Briar — along with the other 300 schools on ScholarMatch’s Honor Roll — can be found using the website’s simple search tool, ScholarMatcher. The free tool is particularly useful to students who may not have access to a college counselor. With just a few clicks, students can create a list of colleges and universities that have been carefully screened and graded specifically for low-income students.

“The key is to help these students early so they don’t ‘undermatch’ — a phenomenon that leads low-income and first-generation students to apply only to schools beneath their qualifications,” the nonprofit said.

You can read more about ScholarMatcher in this Obama administration White House Fact Sheetthis article in Fast Company, this article in the Wall Street Journal, and in this recent New York Times piece. 

Founded by author Dave Eggers, ScholarMatch is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that makes college possible for low-income youth by providing free college counseling services.