I have to laugh. I am wrong with my calculations (and I realized after I posted that my 50/50 shot makes no sense whatsoever if only 19% of students get merit aid!), but I still have no idea what the 49% refers to. tk,what cohort does that 537 number you identified represent??
That number is derived from numbers in the Grinnell College Common Data Set for 2011-2012, which is posted here: Common Data Set - Institutional Research | Grinnell College
Go to sections H2 and H2A on pages 24-25.
537 apparently is the number Kiplinger used for ""undergraduates without need"
. However, it actually includes the sum of:
1. 481 students who were not determined to have need (1638 undergrads minus the 1157 determined to have need), PLUS
2. 56 students who were determined to have need (but got merit aid, too.) This is the number in section H2 row "g".
Think of it this way:
49% is the number of "no-need" students who get merit aid. However, some of those "no-need" students also get some need-based aid (even if it's just some "self help" aid such as subsidized loans).