Merit-Based Scholarships

Higher education caters to the privileged and the elite.

I remember reading an article on this topic which bolstered its point by revealing a new trend by colleges looking to attract top students: offer merit-based scholarships out of their scholarship money, regardless of whether they’re financial aid candidates.

I’m fortunate not to need financial aid for college. Today a college offered me an annual $5,000 scholarship if I attend based on "potential to make unique and strong contributions to [college name]’s student life."

It’s a very generous offer and will be on the table when I make my decision. But I know that my receiving this money means money not going to other economically disadvantaged applicants.

4 Responses to Merit-Based Scholarships

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was offered an $85,000 full ride to college and I think it’s despicable (I have no financial need (according to FAFSA)). Essentially, the college is paying the applicant to artificially boost statistics like average scores.

    However, I still don’t like steeply progressive pricing. It punishes those who save.

  2. Rueben C says:

    How noble of you! Many people would just take the money…like me! But hey, I’m one of those people who really need it. Hee hee ^_^

  3. Richard says:

    Sorry, Ben, but if you don’t take that scholarship, the money will just go to another merit scholar, maybe not until next year. Most schools have separate line items in their budgets for need-based and merit-based financial aid. All this money is not in one pot!

  4. Ben Casnocha says:

    Ah, good to know. I would hope they’re in different pots. I would also hope one pot is significantly bigger than the other.

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