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# Does Oberlin stack merit aid and need-based aid?

Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
Their net price calculator seems to indicate that they do, but I've never heard of any college doing this so I thought I'd verify it here.

For example, if Oberlin determines that a student needs \$20,000 to meet need but also gives that student a \$10,000 merit scholarship, will the student receive \$30,000 in total aid?

## Replies to: Does Oberlin stack merit aid and need-based aid?

• Registered User Posts: 11,977 Senior Member
edited July 2017
not likely. what is more likely is that your total amount of need may be met by a combinatipn of "merit" \$ and "need based" \$\$.
In the end, ALL FA / scholarship \$\$ comes out of one big "pot".
• Registered User Posts: 15,065 Senior Member
Normally the need is not determined until all forms of aid are applied. The more aid applied (merit, outside awards, talent award, etc) the more the cost goes down and the need goes down too. The COA is \$50k so say the school thinks the student will need \$30k. The school awards \$20k in merit, so now the student needs \$10 in need based aid.

• Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
@menloparkmom
@twoinanddone

I just find this unlikely because that would mean that Oberlin calculated my financial need (from their net price calculator at least) to be greater than what schools such as Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and Penn would calculate it as (according to their net price calculators). Is it really possible that Oberlin offers better financial aid than the aforementioned schools? Seems a bit off for some reason. My family doesn't have any unusual circumstances that might throw off the net price calculator—no summer home, business ownership, etc.
• Registered User Posts: 15,065 Senior Member
Are you talking about the NPC or actual aid granted?

Any school can calculate aid any way they want. The calculators may not show what you will actually get.
• Registered User Posts: 3,069 Senior Member
Is it really possible that Oberlin offers better financial aid than the aforementioned schools?

Yes, it's possible. In distributing institutional need-based aid, every college has their own formula to calculate need and their own way of doing it.
• Registered User Posts: 64,274 Senior Member