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Colleges That Tend to Offer Good Merit Aid (Scholarships)

As my oldest son ends 10th grade, I continue to take a hard look at colleges that tend to offer a lot of merit scholarship money. With many schools costing over $70,000 a year, there is no denying colleges is expensive. Merit aid is offered by colleges when the quality of applicants’ grades, test scores and activities can lead to offers that have nothing to do with how much money their parents make. These are basically tuition discounts and can range from a few thousand dollars a year to a full ride. Moreover, a separate application is seldom required. Many of these colleges are not as selective as more well known ones, but they offer excellent educations. I made this list by analyzing the percent of non-financial-need students who received merit aid at hundreds of schools. I utilized a website called This website distills federally mandated reported data, (called the Common Data Set), into an easy-to-read format. Most of these schools offer, on average, over $20,000 a year to at least 25% of non-need kids (oftentimes more). There are many, many more. Let me know if this helps! -Matt Sweeney, May 2022