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Do colleges consider Common App essay when awarding merit aid?

parentOfJuniorparentOfJunior Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
My daughter hopes to get some merit money from schools where she will be in the top xx percent of applicants, based on her stats. Do you think writing a 'perfect' essay is going to improve her chances? I say, no, but she is convinced otherwise. Her major is health sciences, so I see little reason why the colleges will care about the quality of her writing (beyond being able to spell and express her thoughts in a clear manner)
Post edited by parentOfJunior on

Replies to: Do colleges consider Common App essay when awarding merit aid?

  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 35,922 Super Moderator
    It depends on the college. For those in which no separate application for the scholarship is required I would generally agree with you. Those are probably more numbers based. For scholarships for which a separate application is required I think the essay is very important.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,246 Forum Champion
    depends, but not likely.

    Merit aid is often given PURELY to improve the stats for the school. That may mean that they want a certain student's high test scores, they may want a certain student for his URM status, or they may want a student for regional diversity.

    writing a perfect essay doesn't help the school's stats. It doesn't help rankings. And, as most schools know, there is no proof that the student actually wrote the essay (or at least is ultimately responsible for its "perfect" status....since so many kids have their English teachers, etc, proofing their essays.)

    For your D to get large merit, her SAT/ACT scores should be in the top FEW % of the school....not just the top quartile.

    also, she should apply to a school that would give her ASSURED large merit for her stats, so she's certain to have at least that award.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    It could be the sprinkles on the icing on the cake, maybe. And only if the reader likes the sprinkles. Not anything to count on. An Ace of an essay to one person can be a dud to another. My son got an Ace on an essay that is very competent counselor and anyone who knows the process would say was a dud. He happened to get a reader who was interested in the exact obscure thing he was writing about that 99.99999 of the world could not get two sentences through. So a tremendous amount of luck goes into an essay catching the person's eye,mind, heart enough for him to want to offer a student money to come to the school.
This discussion has been closed.