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
University of Mississippi

University, MS

13%
Emporia State University

Emporia, KS

13%
Kentucky Wesleyan College

Owensboro, KY

13%
Mount Holyoke College

South Hadley, MA

13%
DePaul University

Chicago, IL

13%
Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, AR

13%
Morehead State University

Morehead, KY

13%
Clarkson University

Potsdam, NY

13%
Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, NY

13%
Southwest Minnesota State University

Marshall, MN

13%
Salisbury University

Salisbury, MD

12%
Marywood University

Scranton, PA

12%
Mount St. Mary College

Newburgh, NY

12%
University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

12%
College of St. Rose

Albany, NY

12%
LIU Post

Brookville, NY

12%
Monmouth College

Monmouth, IL

12%
Milligan College

Milligan College, TN

12%
Auburn University

Auburn University, AL

12%
Mississippi University for Women

Columbus, MS

12%
East Texas Baptist University

Marshall, TX

12%
Kenyon College

Gambier, OH

12%
Bryan College

Dayton, TN

12%
University of Minnesota—​Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN

12%
Lyon College

Batesville, AR

12%
Grand Valley State University

Allendale, MI

12%
Montreat College 1

Montreat, NC

12%
Dakota Wesleyan University

Mitchell, SD

12%
Kent State University

Kent, OH

12%
Bethany Lutheran College

Mankato, MN

12%
Valley City State University

Valley City, ND

12%
Concordia University Chicago

River Forest, IL

12%
Providence College

Providence, RI

12%
Corban University

Salem, OR

12%
Bethel College

North Newton, KS

12%
Tabor College

Hillsboro, KS

12%
Mills College

Oakland, CA

12%
Moravian College

Bethlehem, PA

12%
University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY

12%
University of Maryland—​College Park

College Park, MD

12%
St. Catherine University

St. Paul, MN

12%
Grove City College

Grove City, PA

12%
Gardner-​Webb University

Boiling Springs, NC

12%
Dickinson College

Carlisle, PA

12%
Montana Tech of the University of Montana

Butte, MT

12%
Rockhurst University

Kansas City, MO

12%
Adrian College

Adrian, MI

12%
University of New Haven

West Haven, CT

12%
Concord University

Athens, WV

12%
Malone University

Canton, OH

11%

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