Does it hurt your chances if...?

<p>Some colleges, on Common App, ask if we intend to apply for merit-based scholarships.</p>

<p>I'm an international student and I'm NOT going to apply for need-based aid, and I know that alone can help me a bit. But for merit-based aid, is it possible that I can be rejected for applying for it? Or will I get accepted anyway, even if they can't give me any aid (which is okay really)?</p>

<p>Stating on app that you will apply for merit based aid has no impact on admission decision one way or the other. You should also note that most colleges today award merit aid based on information submitted as part of application such as your grades and test scores and you do not make a separate application or special request for merit aid; in other words the act of applying to the college means you and everyone else who applies are also applying for possible merit aid.</p>

<p>^Yeah, but some SPECIFICALLY ask if we wanna apply for it in the future plans sections. Others...don't.</p>

<p>Merit aid or scholarships do not have any impact on your admission. They are often considered separately once they have determined whether a student is to be accepted or not.</p>

<p>Good Luck</p>

<p>"some SPECIFICALLY ask if we wanna apply for it in the future plans sections. Others...don't."</p>

<p>That's because not every school offers merit scholarships.</p>


<p>It's not part of the admissions decision - it's for administrative and data collection purposes. For example, a school that has a separate application for merit-based scholarships might include the question so that your admissions application will be matched with the supplemental scholarship application. Schools without a separate application may just use it as a way to opt out (although why you'd opt out of a chance at money without extra work is beyond me).</p>

<p>Just think about it - why would a school that was otherwise interested in accepting you reject you simply because you were doing the smart thing and applying for merit-based aid in case you could get it. Your application for merit-based aid isn't a financial burden on them. They already have a set number of scholarships, and you'll either get one or not. The issue with need-based aid with international students is that they don't get help from the government and thus have to <em>really</em> want you to be able to meet your need with your own funds.</p>

<p>Asking for need-based aid implies that you're not going to be able to come if you don't get it. Not applying for need-based aid but applying for merit-based aid implies that you can afford to come but would prefer to pay less if you can.</p>

<p>^Yes, I get that. But then why does applying for need-based aid impact the admission chances? Is it just for data collection purposes as well?</p>

<p>That's a good question. I would think it has to do with the fact that if someone applies for merit-aid they will not necessarily need it to attend the school. For need-aid they have to give the applicant money in order for them to attend, which is a gamble as well as something they need to factor into the decision.</p>

<p>Requesting need based FA impacts admissions IF the school has need-aware admissions. The amount of FA is finite, so the more kids that don't request FA, the more money that is left for the kids that do.</p>

<p>Merit aid is different in that the amount set aside is usually used for a specific number of awards and isn't intended to be spread out over a large number of students.</p>

<p>^So can if Admissions decides to not to give me aid, can they still accept me? Or will they not accept me b/c I requested aid?</p>

<p>I'm not sure I understand your question, but I'll give it a shot.</p>

<p>If you are talking about need based FA at a need-aware school, whether you apply for FA or not can be a factor in the decision, but does not have an absolute impact:</p>

<p>Not applying for FA may give you an advantage, however it does not assure acceptance.</p>

<p>Applying for FA may put you at a disadvantage, however it does not mean automatic denial.</p>

<p>Yes, you can be accepted by a school that does not give you FA. Some people do not apply for FA because they know that they will not qualify for any. Others apply for FA but the school determines that they do not qualify for any. If these people are accepted, some will not attend because they don't feel they can afford to pay full fare, others will attend by taking out loans.</p>

<p>^ Sorry if this is starting to sound confusing.</p>

<p>The schools that I'm applying to are all need-aware. And to be honest, there's no point in me applying for FA because I don't need it. I know I won't qualify for it and that's okay. My issue is that I'm applying to two safety schools and I was thinking of checking the "Do you intend to apply for MERIT-based aid?" box. I'm just worried that checking that box might impact my admission. In short, I don't need money. But I'd like to see if my test scores are good enough to qualify for some merit cash. That's all.</p>

<p>I don't think checking the merit aid box will affect your decision.</p>

<p>^ Thank you :)</p>