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 2012-2013 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.

School Percent of students receiving non-need based aid
Cooper Union

New York, NY

66%
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Needham, MA

61%
Hillsdale College

Hillsdale, MI

49%
Denison University

Granville, OH

44%
DePauw University

Greencastle, IN

44%
Samford University

Birmingham, AL

42%
New England Conservatory of Music

Boston, MA

42%
University of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK

42%
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, IL

42%
Western State Colorado University

Gunnison, CO

41%
Rhodes College

Memphis, TN

41%
Hendrix College

Conway, AR

39%
Missouri Baptist University

St. Louis, MO

39%
Trinity University

San Antonio, TX

39%
St. Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA

39%
Birmingham-​Southern College

Birmingham, AL

39%
University of Denver

Denver, CO

38%
College of Wooster

Wooster, OH

38%
Hampden-​Sydney College

Hampden-Sydney, VA

38%
University of Dayton

Dayton, OH

38%
Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA

37%
Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL

36%
Truman State University

Kirksville, MO

36%
Sierra Nevada College

Incline Village, NV

36%
Furman University

Greenville, SC

36%

1 2 3 .. 25

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