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Schools known for good merit aid

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Replies to: Schools known for good merit aid

  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    ^^ She was acccepted to the program that she wanted and that was the reason why she went there. This program does not award any scholarships. Her awards are just general academic awards.
  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon Registered User Posts: 12,128 Senior Member
    She was accepted at all schools that she applied with very good academic rewards at each. She had her ranking list for the programs. She did not get to her #1 (althouth university accepted her with large academic scholarship). So she decided to go to her #2. She loves it there, and thinks that it was actually the best match for her.

    That's what we call a homerun. Good job.

    I'm just trying to give others the benefit of your experience. Again, from my first responsive post I said I had no doubt that the experience was genuine. I think it is interesting and wanted to expand upon it so some others might follow the breadcrumbs.
  • orangepoporangepop Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    I'm also posting this on the college search board.

    I see a lot of interesting college web sites but when I read they only offer need-based aid, I look elsewhere. We normally would have qualified for need-based aid but my son has some substantial student assets that makes it appear that we won't qualify for any, if I am understanding things correctly.

    So, I want to narrow down those who offer academic scholarships, and further narrow down to those who offer any full-tuition (or preferably even full-ride) scholarships to be competed for.

    Is there a way to do this? I've done things like the search on petersons.com but couldn't get this narrowed down this way. I've seen the list on CC of colleges that offer full rides but I also want to narrow down other ways and search.

    Is this possible?

    Many private colleges look so great but then I find out that even their best merit scholarships don't come close to paying even half of the yearly cost. I'd love to find some that would offer something more substantial (but I understand most of these deals would be at public universities or such). But worth a try, I guess!

    Thanks.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,480 Senior Member
    USN&WR Ultimate Guide has a list of schools in the front of that big book that lists schools that give merit money. You can then look up each college in the book and it will give you the averages of amounts given per student. Also going on the college website will tell what merit scholarships are given.

    Oddly enough the best deals are not at public univesities, but at the privates. It is particularly difficult to get substantial merit money or FA from the publics with some exceptions.

    You are right about merit awards being small for the most part. My second son got a lot of awards but under $5k which was a drop in the bucket when you are talking about private school costs. This last son did get some nice merit money, but again $20K is not even half of a $52K COA. It is frightening. If you are looking for full tuition or full costs, you need to look at some college where your kid is waaaaaaaaaaaaay up there in terms of their stats. You also need to look at some obscure schools. THat is, if you want some substantial offers. I know a family here whose kids were featured in the NYT for their great merit packages, and it is a tough process getting the money they get, and they do pack in those safeties.
  • b@r!um[email protected]!um Registered User Posts: 10,382 Senior Member
    It's not exactly what you are looking for, but finaid.org has a list of colleges that give full-tuition merit scholarships.
  • SeniorSlackerSeniorSlacker Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    If you are up for some reading, this thread delves into the topic of full-ride scholarships:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/148852-what-i-ve-learned-about-full-ride-scholarships.html
  • lindz126lindz126 Registered User Posts: 1,915 Senior Member
    my son recvd a full ride scholarship to Washington and Lee University in Va--based on academics and leadership. (soo grateful) Emory also offers merit full rides.
  • mammallmammall - Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    A word of advice to the OP and others pursuing merit scholarships for their kids -- it may be important to NOT check the FA box indicating that you want need based aid on the application. Our daughter had very good results in getting merit aid at schools but at several schools she was not even a semifinalist for consideration. Her GC called for an explanantion and was told that it was noted that even though these were merit awards being given out these schools preferred not to give merit aid to kids without financial need.
  • lkf725lkf725 Registered User Posts: 4,781 Senior Member
    ^ I have experienced this as well pertaining to independent "merit" scholarships. I never could understand how merit scholarship applications had any business asking about your financial status. Maybe they should just say up front that there are merit scholarships for financially needy students and that financially secure geniuses need not apply. :rolleyes:
  • ST2ST2 Registered User Posts: 878 Member
    orangepop - From personal experience I can offer the following schools for very substantial merit aid:
    WashU - Scholarship Programs At-A-Glance
    Emory
    Rice
    U of Miami
    Tulane
    Duke
    U of Rochester
  • FauxNomFauxNom Registered User Posts: 1,220 Senior Member
    mammall - Are you saying DO check the need-based aid box because schools prefer to award merit aid to kids with financial need?

    lindz - Do you have any thoughts on what it takes to win the Johnson Scholarship at W & L? Do you think that leadership or community service (or even sports) count to the same degree as GPA and test scores?
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,480 Senior Member
    Mammall, I never heard of that one. Usually merit in need trumps everything in getting a good package. I know that there are some smaller merit awards, usually $5k or less that are used to lure otherwise full pays to a school, but I don' t know of a single school that would discriminate against kids with need looking for merit money. Usually financial aid officers love that combination as they can use the merit money and aid money in tandem. What schools would discriminate that way? I know some schools are not 100% need blind and checking FA could effect admissions but if you need the money, you need the money. Not to check the box, to me seems crazy.
  • lindz126lindz126 Registered User Posts: 1,915 Senior Member
    fauxnom--not really sure how they weigh each area. pretty competitive though...had 15% admit rate I believe this year--and they award 10% of incoming class
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    Mammall,
    We did not qualify for need based at any college, and my D got substantial Merit scholarships at every one that she applied. That included Case Western which is fanous to give huge merits. If she had gone there, we would have paid only $5000 out of $31,000 in tuition. She decided to go to a different school, where we are paying part of Room &Board, whole tuition and the rest of Room and board is covered. I never heard of merits being connected to financial need.
  • CollegeSolutionCollegeSolution - Posts: 3 New Member
    The problem with throwing out names of schools with merit money is that this list is always changing and isn't necessarily accurate. A school that's generous one year, won't necessarily be the next. Also a school that might throw merit money at a kid with a 3.8 GPA might not get excited about a teen with a 3.5 GPA, but other schools will.

    When looking for schools for my daughter, I found that the best way to pinpoint how generous a school is with merit money is to consult its yearly Common Data Set. Every college and university compiles its own Common Data Set, which is a gold mine of statistics that includes information on financial aid, as well as graduation rates, freshmen class profile, student retention, and many other areas including merit money.

    The format for any school's Common Data Set document is identical which makes comparisons of different institutions a snap. If you get your hands on these documents, you'll obtain far more data than you would get curling up with any college guide. An easy way to find a school's Common Data Set is to Google the term, as well as the school's name. You can also type "Common Data Set" into a college's search engine. If that doesn't work, look online for a school's institutional research section.

    [commercial material edited out, per TOS "Posts promoting web sites, products, or services are not allowed."]
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