If you apply for financial aid to a non-need blind school, can you still get in without getting financial aid? And for need blind schools, do they only look at your financial aid needs after you get in?
If an international student applies to a non need blind school or a need based school, that student, provided that he or she satisfies the requirement for financial aid will either get in with some aid or won’t get in at all hence that scenario is impossible for an international student.
For a need blind school, whether or not a student applies for financial aid will not impact the decision to accept that student whatsoever. A student who applied for financial aid will have to get accepted first and only after that acceptance will the institution look at whether or not that student applied for financial aid and provided that the student satisfied the requirement for financial aid, will then decide how much financial aid to offer.
To sum it up, applying for financial aid will significantly lower your chance of getting into a need-based college.
There was one particular student from a few years ago who applied for financial aid in all her colleges. In the end, she got into her need-blind colleges, including Harvard; however, she did not get accepted into lower ranked need-based colleges due to the fact that she applied for financial aid.
I hope this post gives you a better insight into the financial aid system in America and how it works within need-based and need-blind institutions.