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Colleges with large merit scholarships

Hi! I'm a junior from NJ and I'm looking for colleges that have good business programs but also offer large merit scholarships (preferably automatic). My family's EFC is nearly 50k and there is no way they can pay that, so merit is my only option for aid. My parents are willing to spend 25k per year, and I am willing to take out up to 5k in student loans per year to cover the remaining cost of attendance. These are my stats:

-Unweighted GPA = 3.87
-Weighted GPA = 4.3
-2 AP Classes completed so far (got a 4 and a 5) but I'm taking 3 APs this year
-SAT = 1520 (720 in R/W, 800 in Math)
-SAT Subject Test = 790
-PSAT = 1350 in my sophomore year, unsure of junior year
19 replies
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Replies to: Colleges with large merit scholarships

  • advparadvpar 2 replies0 threads New Member
    As you undoubtedly know, the schools with the most prestigious undergrad Business programs (Penn, MIT, NYU...) likely won't get you down to 30k even with institutional aid. But if you are willing to go further from home there are some really good options that do offer merit aid, albeit not automatic. I would look at UT Austin, UVA, UNC...honestly the list goes on with large public universities with good merit aid. For automatic merit aid there are comprehensive lists of schools and what they offer, though I wouldn't limit myself to only schools with automatic. As a NJ resident, are you considering Rutgers at all? SUNY Binghamton also has a strong business school and has generous merit aid scholarships. Finally, don't count private universities out either. Boston University and Tulane both have great business schools and offer merit aid, though they are certainly very competitive. I think I would narrow down where you are willing to live/move and then make a list from there. You are in a great spot for mid-Junior year.
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  • 3scoutsmom3scoutsmom 5610 replies338 threads Senior Member
    UT Austin does NOT have good merit and it's OOS. UT Austin gives very little academic based aid. Are you thinking of the 40 Acres Scholarship program? That is an option for UT Austin but it's *highly* competitive.
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  • middlingmiddling 31 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Read "The Enlightened College Applicant" for the best comprehensive info about merit aid. I disagree that UVA and UNC will give you much. They have amazing scholarships but are reserved for super competitive. Your stats are great, but not ivy. Look at UGA and US Carolina. U Miss and U Alabama give full rides with money for study abroad and again, in the honors program, you get good internship opportunities. UGA and USC have good business programs and if you get in the honors program with merit, you get special assistance with connections. Also, many southern schools offer merit for geographic diversity and stats like yours. Rhodes, Sewanee, SMU (very good business program with many internships). I have also heard that Elon, Furman give huge merit awards. Best bet is to read the book suggested and do the stats for yourself. Do not apply ED as that will reduce your merit chances.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2990 replies52 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    What other criteria do you have in a school? Size, geography, setting, etc?

    Does it have to have a business school (which major?) or would an economics major be of interest? Posters will be better able to help you with more information. If you will be NMF (pending PSAT-NMSQT results) that would open up additional options.

    Generally there is better merit at private schools than public...many publics will not give much merit, if any, to OOS students. Merit can be automatic (based on stats) or competitive).

    Definitely look at Rutgers because COA will be relatively lower. Publics with good merit include U Alabama, Miami Ohio, Iowa. For private schools, look at Tulane, Wake Forest, U Richmond, U Miami. That will give you a start.

    Run the net price calculators (NPCs) on each school's site to get a sense for what you will be expected to pay. Some schools' NPCs don't include the merit piece though. NPCs won't be accurate if your parents are divorced, own their own business, or have significant real estate assets.

    Drop UVA, Penn, MIT, NYU, UNC, UTA---Penn and MIT provide no merit at all (same as most highly selective schools), NYU provides poor fin aid, UVA/UNC/UTA have very little merit for OOS. Run the NPCs as an educational exercise.
    edited December 2019
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2538 replies3 threads Senior Member
    There's plenty of merit aid, but have to know where to look. Less populated areas like the south and southwest can be a gold mine. Check out Univ of AL, Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss State, Univ of AZ, Arizona State U, LSU, Texas State Univ, and Univ of KY.
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  • RiversiderRiversider 934 replies111 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    UT Austin’s “academic” scholarships have unwritten quotas, don’t count on those.

    Baylor in Texas has a solid business schools with good merit scholarships and overall cost is low, housing is also very affordable there.

    UTD, UH, SMU, TTech and A&M also have business schools and merit scholarships. If you can get admission and a half tuition scholarship at Rice, your budget can cover rest and it’s a fantastic T20.



    edited December 2019
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  • cshell2cshell2 831 replies10 threads Member
    There's a lot of large publics with good merit. You'd get an automatic 15K/year at Nebraska bringing total COA to 22K/year. Both Iowa State and University of Iowa would probably give you quite a bit too.
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  • LuckyCharms913LuckyCharms913 1072 replies15 threads Senior Member
    If you’re open to Catholic colleges, there are some with very good business schools that offer competitive full tuition merit scholarships. St. Joe’s in Philadelphia and U Scranton are two that come to mind. Maybe Creighton, Xavier, or St. Louis U, although I am not sure how high their merit goes.

    Ohio U (in Athens — not Ohio State) and West Virginia U are two more publics you might look at for large merit and good business programs.
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  • aquaptaquapt 2263 replies47 threads Senior Member
    Seconding U of Nebraska - consider applying to their Business Honors Academy https://business.unl.edu/academic-programs/honors-academy/

    You'd be in the highest bracket for merit at Miami of Ohio https://miamioh.edu/admission/merit-guarantee/

    Truman State, the public honors LAC of Missouri, would be a financial safety since the sticker price with auto-merit would be affordable for you. They have a popular business administration major.

    Hopefully you could get enough merit from the in-state publics to bring them into range (Rutgers, TCNJ, Rowan, etc.) Is there one that you're close enough to commute to, as a financial-safety backup plan?

    Eckerd in FL is a lovely small LAC (on the beach, pet-friendly, lots to love and excellent academics including a business major) that might give significant merit for your stats.

    College of Charleston in SC has a great Honors College, lots of entrepreneurial stuff in the business school, lots of flexibility to select among the various business majors/tracks, and nearly in your price range even before merit.

    If a business school with a strong co-op program appeals, look at U of Cincinnati. Your stats are strong enough to be a candidate for the Cincinnatus Scholarship, which ranges up to full tuition, and the Business Honors Program. Their students get great co-op placements.
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 348 replies4 threads Member
    Getting to $30k will be tough considering your parents EFC is $50k. Your stats are very nice but not tip top. You could get into schools like UVA but you're OOS and their scholarships are few and very competitive. It's easy to find reach schools. Much tougher to find affordable match schools.

    Look at Poets and Quants at their list of top business schools and run the NPC for ones that interest you.

    We're in a similar boat this year. I would look at in-state first but then South Carolina (alum) or Ohio State. Top schools that should get you close to $30k with auto merit. After that look at Alabama, Kentucky, or Mississippi.

    Also, look at private schools but they typically run $70k+. Getting $40k in scholarships is tough but if you can get some FA too then go for it. Maybe SMU, Miami or Richmond?
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  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG 922 replies9 threads Member
    We found focusing on direct/billed costs carefully to be helpful when figuring out if schools were within budget. Ohio State includes almost $4k in personal expenses and other schools will have a few hundred for that in their net price calculator.

    $44,642 direct costs (oos tuition, fees, room and board) for tOSU
    -15,500 (National Buckeye+Provost~top10%)
    $29,142

    That only works if you have health insurance that will cover you in Ohio, your college budget is for billed costs and you've already got pocket money for going out for pizza, etc. Their net price calculator doesn't include other scholarship possibilities (but does provide links to them on the results page).

    https://fisher.osu.edu/undergraduate
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  • thumper1thumper1 76121 replies3357 threads Senior Member
    If your family can pay $25,000 a year...look at University of Alabama. I would also suggest applying to U of South Carolina...and do complete their scholarship and honors college application.
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  • MACmiracleMACmiracle 1553 replies29 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    @BuckeyeMWDSG made an excellent point about insurance costs. This was an issue for us because depending on your plan and the state where you end up, it could add on as much as $2500.

    One other factor for us to look at was the gpa requirement to keep a scholarship. I knew that if D stayed in-state, if her gpa dropped we could still manage but if she were OOS somewhere or at a private college with a strict gpa requirement and her gpa dropped, it would be a problem.

    I would look at TCNJ closely, some business specializations are supposed to have great outcomes. They are very competitive so consider ED if you decide it’s for you.

    TCNJ merit maximum was $5000. I’m not sure if it’s gone up.

    Rutgers isn’t generous with merit except for the tippy top.

    Rowan has a new business building and got a donation in 2018 that had something to do with business and honors. Their merit tops out at $10,000 now but I don’t know if that donation could enable more funding for business students.

    “The most recent gift will create a permanent endowment that will fund targeted scholarships, and retention and recruitment initiatives to bring more students into the school's honors program.”
    edited December 2019
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  • dazzlingberry08dazzlingberry08 3 replies3 threads New Member
    Thanks for your help everyone! I just found out that I am a potential national merit semifinalist (my selection index is a 225 and I live in NJ). Does this have any effect on the potential scholarships I will receive? If yes, are there any particular schools I should look into that will be affordable and well-ranked?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29876 replies59 threads Senior Member
    You can look up what schools offer finalists full rides, free tuition, etc. The school to beat in price and quality is Rutgers for you IMO.

    You have high enough stats that schools that have good merit are possibilities— no sense applying to schools that do not. Small chance, minuscule for big merit at Emory and Duke; zero chance at PENN and Cornell. What about Hofstra, Fordham, UDenver, Pitt,? Are the preferable to Rutgers at same price?
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  • quorumsenser28quorumsenser28 9 replies2 threads New Member
    A 225 will likely get you NMSF in which case all of the Florida Public Schools (UF, FSU, etc.) have the Benacquisto Scholarship, which covers a lot.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11657 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Temple, Miami of Ohio, U Alabama, WVU, Ohio State.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11657 replies31 threads Senior Member
    And don't forget about excellent instate options at Rutgers and TCNJ.
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