Is there a way to get a full ride (merit) scholarship at an Ivy or do they not do these?
@SMoody --Sorry I didn’t get to this during yesterday’s live event, so here’s an answer now …
The eight Ivy League institutions award ONLY need-based aid and not merit scholarships. So those students who do get a “full ride” at an Ivy are those with low (or zero) Expected Family Contributions. However, the Ivies are known for giving some financial assistance to many middle-income students who weren’t sure that they’d qualify for aid at all. If you’re applying to Ivies and aren’t sure if you can expect need-based financial aid, you can play around with a college’s online Net Price Calculator. This will give you at least a ballpark sense of whether you’ll receive assistance and about how much. If your family finances are atypical and complex, the One-Size-Fits-All Net Price Calculator may not be helpful. Often, however, financial aid officers are willing to discuss your situation with you—or your parents—BEFORE you apply, to see if the school will be affordable.
Students who won’t qualify for sufficient need-based aid to attend an Ivy (because their “demonstrated need” isn’t in sync with what they truly feel they could afford or are willing to pay) can find other “elite” colleges that will challenge them academically and also offer full-ride or full-tuition merit scholarships. If that’s YOU, consider Emory, Boston College, Notre Dame, Duke, Tulane, Vanderbilt, USC, and others. Recipients of these scholarships are usually those who would be contenders in Ivy applicant pools but have opted to look beyond the Ivies, for financial or myriad other reasons.