Most Students Receiving Merit Aid
Many colleges advertise generous merit scholarships without explaining that there are actually several different kinds of merit aid. Some colleges, for example, give fancy merit-sounding names to scholarships that they award to qualified students who have also shown that they can't afford the college's full price.
The federal government only awards Pell grants based on the student's "need" for money to pay for college. Some elite colleges also only award aid to students who they believe can't afford tuition, since they say all of their students are meritorious.
This chart lists the colleges that report the highest percentage of their students in the 2011-2012 academic year who "had no financial need and who were awarded institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid" excluding athletic awards and tuition benefits.