Duke is one of only two top-ten universities to offer merit scholarships.
… Though some critics of merit aid programs say the scholarships can take resources away from students who need financial help most, University administrators say this is not the case for Duke. The University maintains eight merit scholarship programs while also growing the amount that is given to students with financial need, according to Melissa Maouf, director of the Office of Undergraduate Scholars & Fellows.
“Our merit communities are a mixed bag, economically all over the place,” Malouf, wrote in an email Wednesday. “All students to apply to Duke may be considered for a merit scholarship—rich or poor or in between.
Only three Duke scholarships are solely merit-based.
Three of the eight scholarship programs Duke offers—the Angier B. Duke Scholarship, the Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship and the Robertson Scholarship—solely take merit into account. The remaining five scholarship programs consider a mixture of merit and need.
Nearly 4% of Duke students receive merit aid.
In 2013, Duke provided merit scholarships averaging about $56,000 per year to 314 students, nearly 4 percent of the undergraduate body, according to the 2013-14 CDS survey.
Only one other top-ten school, the University of Chicago, also offers merit awards. All the other schools only give need-based financial aid.
Jenna Zhang, “Duke stands alone among peers in merit-based scholarship priorities”, The Chronicle, January 20, 2015.