Need Based Aid Question

<p>If colleges, such as Washington U offer a lot of merit scholarships, does that mean they offer less need based aid? Or do they still offer as much as they can give you. Thanks in advance.</p>

<p>In the specific case of Washington U, they offer a lot of merit aid and also tend to be generous in financial aid to the students they accept. However, they are not 10% needblind so borderline candidates who apply for financial aid may be turned down. This is the situation for a number of schools, some that are not as upfront as Wash U is. There are a number of combinations a school's admissions and financial aid can have. There are a number of top schools that are needblind in admissions, and offer 100% of demonstrated aid to those accepted, but have no merit aid. There are schools in that category that offer merit aid in addition to financial aid. The amounts vary from school to school, some have lots of merit aid, some not so much, some just merit within need.</p>

<p>thanks jamimom, you really helped</p>

<p>Don't really see how I did, as the answer is so iffy. But, unfortunately, that is the situation. For kids who need good aid packages but may not qualify for as much financial aid as their family needs, and who have very good stats, schools like NYU, Wash U, Johns Hopkins, U Chicago have some very nice merit awards. You could end up doing better at such schools than at the Ivies or other schools that are need blind and offer 100% of financial aid. You have to remember that what your family "needs" to send you to college and what the colleges come up with as "need" can be quite different and many kids end up with a gap. With a juicy merit award, aid does not come into the picture. One kid I know ended up with a better deal with a 3/4 merit award and the parents taking out PLUS loans than for the kid to take the financial aid package which was pieced together with various loans, workstudy and some grants.</p>