The 568 Presidents’ Group


Colleges come in all shapes and sizes with populations that mirror all facets of our great country. Each university brings something unique to the table but some universities view themselves differently than all the rest. In the college world, the exclusive 568 Presidents Group are a group of school’s that march to a beat of a different drummer.

This group, comprised of 23 elite private college’s, came about due to a common concern. While the FAFSA formula was in place to determine how much federal aid a family needs to pay for college, these universities wanted an alternative way to judge a family’s financial situation that could determine a family’s eligibility for their institutional aid. After collaboration with each other and in conjunction with The College Board, the Institutional Methodology or IM for short, was born.

It is important to note before getting too far that this group’s focus is solely need-based aid, not merit based or any other form of scholarship. IM was put into place solely to look at how a family could afford college, based on their financial situation and the group felt that the federal formula had flaws that needed to be corrected. They utilized what the group refers to as a collaborative approach that their website defines as a “set of common standards for determining the family’s ability to pay for college.”

So what exactly are the main differences that the IM takes into account?

The first difference is the consideration of a family contribution from the “non-custodial parent in the case of divorce or separation.” Other differences outlined on the website include a consideration of how a family business performs, the impact of real estate expenses and valuation as well as the impact of medical or dental expenses. All of the group’s decisions focus on the core idea of a need-blind approach to institutional aid.

The following is a list of the 23 colleges and universities that comprise the 568 Presidents’ Group:

Amherst College
Boston College
Claremont McKenna College
College of the Holy Cross
Columbia University
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Duke University
Georgetown University
Grinnell College
Haverford College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Middlebury College
Northwestern University
Pomona College
St. John’s College
Swarthmore College
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
Vanderbilt University
Wellesley College
Williams College