Rich students get more college merit aid

by Grace

The richer you are, the higher your chances are of receiving merit aid.

Stephen Burd writes in Higher Ed Watch:

Newly-released data by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show that a student’s chances of receiving merit aid increases as his or her family’s income rises. In fact, students from families making more than $250,000 a year are more likely to receive merit aid than those making less than half of that.


Source: Higher Ed Watch

Overall, one in five students with family incomes of over $250,000 a year obtained merit aid from their colleges in the 2011-12 academic year. That’s compared to about one in seven students from families that make between $30,000 and $65,000, and one in six from families with annual incomes between $65,000 and $105,000.

Using merit aid to compete for students who can afford to pay ‘full freight’

These results are not entirely surprising. As I’ve written in the past, four-year colleges, both public and private, are increasingly using their institutional aid dollars to compete for students who can otherwise pay full freight. This strategy has been particularly appealing to public colleges and universities of late as a way to make up for declining support from their states.



2 Comments to “Rich students get more college merit aid”

  1. I am not surprised that students from wealthier families are receiving more merit aid, since it is based on more than just good grades. Extracurricular activities that students participate in and volunteer for are often difficult for those who are lower income. I know many families who simply can’t get kids to practice, games, or clubs due to a lack of transportation or parents having to work during those times. Often older kids are home watching younger kids. Need-based aid is so critical for these families.


  2. Yes, plus the money it takes to participate.


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