Selective Colleges Awarding Generous Merit Scholarships

Trying to find money for college is a monumental challenge for many students and their families. Applicants to selective colleges are often as anxiety-ridden about their pending financial award letter as they are their admissions prospects. After all, the annual sticker price at many selective colleges is in excess of $60,000. Of course, there are two very different strands of aid—that of the need-based variety (determined by your family’s financial situation) and the merit variety (determined by the strength of your academic profile). It’s important to view the quest to attain need-based and merit-based aid as two very different venture.

Where you’ll fare best seeking merit aid

Strategic targeting of schools is critical in the merit aid chase. The Ivies and other uber-selective colleges rarely award scholarships based strictly on merit, primarily because they don’t have to—these schools attract plenty of students with remarkable credentials and bank accounts, and as such,  award almost all of their aid according to financial need.  However, dozens of equally reputable yet slightly less selective institutions will open their pockets to high achieving students. George Washington, Tulane, and the University of Richmond are just a few of the many prominent colleges that strategically use merit aid to increase their institutional rank and profile.

The Most Generous Selective Colleges

In addition to the schools mentioned above, several other colleges offer full or near-full tuition scholarships to highly credentialed applicants.  For a list of highly selective colleges offering generous merit scholarship, including links to scholarships, scholarship application deadlines and additional requirements, visit our Dataverse by clicking here.


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