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Question about how merit aid is listed on common data set

SpringbirdSpringbird 139 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
On the common data set for any given college, you can see how much merit aid was awarded in a particular year by looking in section H: Financial Aid, 2A, n:
"Number of students in line a who had no financial need and who were awarded institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid (exclude those who were awarded athletic awards and tuition benefits)."

However, there is another line item slightly above that in section H: Financial Aid, 2, g: "Number of students in line d who were awarded any non-need-based scholarship or grant aid."

So does that mean that you can add these two numbers of students together to see how many students total received merit aid that year? In other words, are these two groups of students mutually exclusive?
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Replies to: Question about how merit aid is listed on common data set

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22709 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    -- line d is the number who received need based aid. (in the school I looked at, 1792)
    -- line g is the number of those in line d who ALSO received merit aid (1675 so almost all received both need based aid and merit/grant)

    I think you can come close to the number of student who received any type of aid, need based, merit/grant, and athletic by adding lines d, n, and p, although 'p' may include athletes who also were included in line d or n. It does say "Note: In the chart below, students may be counted in more than one row"

    I looked at a CDS for my daughter's school and the number in 'n' is 921. I'd bet that a really high number of those 921 are internationals since 1/3 of the students are internationals and when you add lines 'd' and 'n', it's 2700 out of 3200 at the school (2000 applied for FA, and 1792 received it). I don't know if the school has another way for students to apply for need based aid other than FAFSA so don't know if internationals are getting need based aid at all (I think they are only getting merit and athletic).
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22709 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Also, I don't think the schools report the outside aid, and while that might not amount to much at some schools, at schools with big state programs like Florida (Bright Futures) Ga or Tenn (HOPE), it really is quite a big sum. It's likely that a BF student would also get some type of FA from the school, you never know. A student who gets a full BF might not get any aid from the school and may not even apply for a loan.
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