Does Clarkson university Stack Merit and Need aid?

I am a HS senior who is currently planning on applying ED to Clarkson and looking to major in engineering.
I love the feel of the school as it is one of the only places where I can play my D3 sport.
But I am the winner of a 15k/yr junior award and also could get upwards of another 15k in various other scholarships they have (applying ED, FIRST robotics, SAE) etc.
but a realization just hit me. Do these scholarships mean anything? Or are they just displacing institutional need based grant money that I would get anyway? At Clarkson does merit scholarship stack on top of need based aid or is it just merit + FA = EFC?
Especially for something like the 2k/yr early decision incentive? (I love the school but it is a safety so I don’t have to worry about getting the admission help with ED)

Any answers would be greatly appreciated!

I do not believe they stack. Also, they are not a meet full need school, so you will not necessarily get aid equal to your EFC. I think you should call and speak to the FA office (and maybe Admissions as well) and ask them these questions. I believe they will give you honest answers and advise you if ED is your best approach. I don’t necessarily think it is (typically ED is for those that don’t care about the financials but instead need the admissions boost.), but they are the only ones that can really answer that question for you.

Clarkson does consider level of applicant’s interest in admission, so an “overqualified” applicant may reduce the risk of a “yield protection waitlist or rejection” by applying ED.

Regarding stacking of merit scholarships with financial aid, you may want to run the net price calculator and make note of whether there are separate components in the net price for parent contribution, student work, student loan, and unmet need. Then call the school to find out if merit scholarships can replace any of these components before replacing financial aid grants. At many, but not all, colleges, student work, student loan, and unmet need can be replaced first, but parent contribution is replaced last. But each college may differ. Clarkson does not appear to list its policy on its web site, unlike some other colleges.

I.e. the actual answer may not be as simple as “full stacking” or “no stacking”.

@Skier21 the way the calculation works is… Total Cost of Attendance (C0A) minus EFC = Financial Need… so once that financial need is met with need based aid, any other scholarship money you receive above and beyond that would start reducing need based aid. So let’s say Clarkson costs 60K a year, and your EFC is 30K your financial need would be 30K… if Clarkson awards 25K in need based aid you could only receive an additional 5k in outside scholarships before they start reducing your need based aid, does that make sense?

If any of the scholarships in question are outside scholarships (i.e. not through Clarkson)…

Looks like Clarkson has a web site specifying how it handles outside scholarships if you also get need-based financial aid:
That page says that “The Financial Aid Office will apply your outside scholarship to your unmet need first. When necessary, the Financial Aid Office will reduce self-help portions of your financial aid package rather than reducing grants or other scholarships. In rare cases, some grants and scholarships may be reduced if the amount of an outside scholarship is such that all self-help aid has been eliminated from a student’s financial aid package or if the scholarship is considered a duplicate benefit.”

Clarkson also has this FAQ page:
which says that “We will not reduce our scholarship/grant offer if you receive outside scholarships, unless the total amount of your scholarship money from all sources exceeds Clarkson’s cost.”

The first page does not clearly state whether Clarkson will use outside scholarship money beyond covering unmet need and self-help to reduce the parent contribution, while the second page does imply that it will reduce parent contribution through outside scholarships before reducing other grants and scholarships (i.e. “full stacking”).

Contact Clarkson if you want better clarification on that.

@ucbalumnus That is a good point but the thing is that all of these scholarships are considered “internal” from/through the school. Even the SAE one is sponsored by the SAE but selected and given by Clarkson. How would one like that affect FA?

Since the answer to your question does not appear to be present on Clarkson’s web site, you may want to ask directly how scholarships would affect your financial aid.

I just got an answer back from my Clarkson admission officer / FA office. It sounds like the "Merit based awards such as the junior year leadership award 15k/yr, alumni connection 500d/yr and varied scholarship based on GPA and SAT/Merit is counted into the FA package meaning that they can discount/offset institutional need based grants once the FAFSA EFC is reached. Then there is a separate category of scholarship labeled “Special Clarkson Awards” which require specific action/application from the student. These awards are completely independent of FA and the recipient will get the full amount discounted no matter of FA situation. These include the ED incentive 2k/yr, FIRST Robotics scholarship (6k/yr), SAE scholarship (6k/yr), along with 10 full ride scholarships labeled “Ignite”, and a couple other geographic specific ones.

“Merit” is out of students hand and gets combined with FA,
“Special awards” is separate application based and is independent of FA

Just wanted to put this out here for future reference if needed!
Still, thanks for all the responses!

1 Like