Approximately 90% of colleges provide discounts that are not tied to demonstrated financial need.
These discounts are awarded based on academic merit, extracurricular talent and other factors such as intended major. Some colleges simply discount tuition in mysterious ways in order to increase the number of students who enroll.
As opposed to school awarded “need based grants,” most of these school awarded “merit scholarships” are based entirely on information from the admissions application (no extra forms or essays) and in many cases they are directed to students from upper income families as a sweetener to entice them to attend.
Visit each school’s financial aid website and read about how they award financial aid. Most schools differentiate between their need-based grants and their merit-based scholarships.
Review these pages for more information about merit scholarships.
What are your chances of receiving a merit scholarship at your target schools?
How hard is it to earn an athletic scholarship?
Many schools award large merit scholarships or have honors programs that include large scholarships.
Review your federal student loan options.
All students who are U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens may borrow through the federal student loan program – even students from wealthy families. So, parents who want their children to have a little skin in the game when it comes to paying for college, or those who want their children begin building up their credit rating, should review the federal student loan options.