I have read that many highly ranked colleges (e.g. Ivy League) only offer need-based financial aid. Is merit-aid becoming a rarity at top colleges?

4 Answers

SpanOne Staff Points6050

While many highly selective colleges have shifted their focus to need-based financial aid programs, there are still many colleges, including some top schools, that continue to offer merit aid to attract students...on their own or through 3rd partners. For example, Stamps Scholarships, offered by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, are merit scholarships offered at over 30 partner colleges, including Caltech, Dartmouth, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Tulane, West Point, UC Berkeley, UCLA and USC. Many of them offer full tuition or full ride. To learn more, please visit their website.

Here are a few highly selective colleges with merit scholarships:

Sharon Rosnick Points450

Merit based scholarships are still being offered, however the competition is so competitive at these schools it has become more difficult for them to give out merit based scholarships because the students applying all sit at the top of their class. 

David Wagner Points320
It is true that many of the most selective, most prestigious colleges do not offer merit aid. However, the same colleges that do not offer merit aid will often have the most generous financial aid budgets. Many of these schools will offer financial aid packages with no loans, particularly to high-need students.

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