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Easy way to figure out who offers merit aid?

christinelinchristinelin Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
I have a big list of schools. I'd like to figure out the easiest way to research who offers merit aid and who doesn't. Is just plugging them in individually to collegedata.com my best bet? Is there any comprehensive list out there I can just eyeball?
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Replies to: Easy way to figure out who offers merit aid?

  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,628 Senior Member
    I do a search with "college name" "merit scholarship", and they usually have some information on their financial aid website.

    Some schools ask for GPA and test scores and maybe rank and give a merit estimate in their net price calculator (also on their website).
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,628 Senior Member
    Also there are public schools known to offer some merit scholarships, but it might depend on stats whether you get one and how much.

    And there are private schools that give merit, but you might need grants from them based on need as well to make them affordable.

    And some schools only give need based aid.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,566 Senior Member
    We have found a huge difference in the base price of schools (before scholarships). In our experience the more expensive schools will sometimes give larger scholarships, but not necessarily enough to make up for their high price.

    You probably should run the NPC on each of the schools that you are considering. If your parents are not divorced nor separated, only own one residence, and do not have a small business, farm, nor rental property, then the NPCs are usually relatively accurate. We did find some that ask for academic information and then give an estimate of likely merit scholarship awards.
  • christinelinchristinelin Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    Sorry, I think I wasn't entirely clear: I am just looking for a comprehensive list that might say which schools do and do not offer merit at all (for example, Ivies offer no merit). It may be that @mommdc has the right approach (google school name and merit scholarship), but if there is a list (ie: these schools offer only need based aid or these offer merit), that gives me a starting point. Thanks!
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,628 Senior Member
    Well you could copy your list here and maybe posters might be able to tell you.
  • christinelinchristinelin Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    If folks want to chime in, here's the list. Continuing to google on my own, too.
    Boston University
    Bucknell
    Carleton
    Chicago
    Claremont McKenna
    Colby
    Colgate
    Davidson
    George Washington
    Georgetown
    Grinnell
    Haverford
    Johns Hopkins
    Lehigh
    Macalester
    Middlebury
    Northwestern
    Notre Dame
    Rhodes
    Rice
    St. John's
    Swarthmore
    Trinity College
    Tulane
    U of Richmond
    USC
    Villanova
    Wake Forest
    Washington & Lee
    Washington U in St. Louis
    William & Mary
    Wisconsin
  • christinelinchristinelin Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    Again, just wanting a binary: offers merit or offers no merit. Then I can choose where to go deeper in terms of research.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 2,648 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    Actually, you want to ballpark how much merit you need and understand it as a % of COA, 20K a yer merit at one school might still be more expensive than full pay at another. And this is stats driven, good but no cigar might mean nada at good merit schools, mediocre stats might get sweetener $$ at an expensive school that offers pandering $$. Some majors are just brutally competitive in merit generous schools, say CS or popular eng programs where the competition is already tip top because that how CS and eng rolls.
    None of this is binary. That is why there are so many threads here.
  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,545 Senior Member
    I liked the website Collegedata for the merit aid data. Lots of information given.

    Good luck
  • 3andme3andme Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    edited March 13
    If you go to College Data's College Search page. Under Entrance Difficulty, select Most Difficult. On results page with colleges, scroll to right under the column heading Financial Friendliness, sort by Merit Aid. This should give you a good idea of % receiving merit. For those that do give merit, go to individual college and right click on Money Matters. The resulting page will give you more detailed information on number receiving merit and average award as well as a direct link to the Financial Aid site for the college.

    If the field Merit % is blank, I would assume no merit is provided.
  • washugradwashugrad Registered User Posts: 715 Member
    Thanks, @3andme - that was very useful!
  • katespearekatespeare Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
    From personal experience, (either my D or a friend) these do give merit because our children received it (or got dinged from being a finalist for it)
    Davidson
    Grinnell
    Rhodes
    Tulane
    U of Richmond
    Washington & Lee

    I would add to your list if you are applying to U Richmond, Davidson, and Rhodes, I would consider adding Furman, Sewanee and Wofford. If you are looking at Carleton and Grinnell, I would add St. Olaf.
  • SeattleMom1SeattleMom1 Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    edited March 13
    I used Collegedata and checked the box “Include Only Students without Finacial Aid” since I was mainly interested in Merit Aid. CC also always has ongoing lists of Full Ride schools and good merit schools. I found that the Catholic Universities (Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, Seattle U, U of Portland, Gonzaga) gave great merit with solid GPA and SAT/ACT test scores for my kids. I also saw that the higher the college was in the rankings, the less merit my kids got and I don’t expect any merit from reach schools. Don’t miss the Early Action deadlines because some schools give out their merit mainly to the EA students. The college websites will let you know the importance of their deadlines.
  • Genevieve18Genevieve18 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Northwestern does not, other than National Merit.
    They have a few other scholarships, but those appear to be for students who have applied for financial aid. The Founders Scholarship (on the list of scholarships that the second link leads to) is for students from "middle-income families," but no info about what that means other than the fact that eligibility is determined during the financial aid process..

    Does Northwestern offer merit aid?
    Northwestern scholarship funds are awarded in accordance with our need-based financial aid policy. However, Northwestern is an institutional sponsor of National Merit Scholarships. In addition, the School of Music awards a number of talent scholarships to incoming students with outstanding performance in auditions.
    http://undergradaid.northwestern.edu/help/faq.html

    Students who apply for aid will automatically be considered for all forms of institutional assistance listed below.
    http://undergradaid.northwestern.edu/types-of-aid/scholarships-grants/northwestern-scholarships.html
  • christinelinchristinelin Registered User Posts: 20 Junior Member
    @3andme: I think that's the ticket! Thanks so much! And thanks to everyone for chiming in.
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