Which Colleges Give the Most Generous Merit Awards?

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An increasing number of families are unable to pay the entire cost of a college education, but do not qualify for need-based aid. What can they do?

Among private colleges, the best answer is merit aid. Drawing from College Board data, The New York Times recently compiled a list of colleges with 2,000 (or more) students which gave $5,000 (or more) merit scholarships to 10% (or more) of their freshman class. The ten colleges awarding the largest average merit scholarships are:

 

1.  University of Miami (Florida)

  • Average Merit Award:  $23,208
  • Tuition & Fees: $39,654
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 24%

 

2.  Tulane University (Louisiana)

  • Average Merit Award: $20,521
  • Tuition & Fees:  $42,726
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 33%

 

3.  Stetson University (Florida)

  • Average Merit Award:  $19,900
  • Tuition & Fees: $35,078
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 19%

 

4.  Providence College (Rhode Island)

  • Average Merit Award: $19,780
  • Tuition & Fees:  $40,975
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 13%

 

5.  Bellarmine University (Kentucky)

  • Average Merit Award:  $19,108
  • Tuition & Fees: $32,140
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 18%

 

6.  University of Southern California

  • Average Merit Award: $18,874
  • Tuition & Fees:  $41,842
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 24%

 

7.  George Washington University (Washington, DC)

  • Average Merit Award:  $18,495
  • Tuition & Fees: $44,148
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 20%

 

8.  Pepperdine University (California)

  • Average Merit Award: $18,474 
  • Tuition & Fees:  $40,752
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 11%

 

9.  Case Western Reserve University (Ohio)

  • Average Merit Award:  $$18,355
  • Tuition & Fees: $39,120
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 19%

 

10.  St. Lawrence University (New York)

  • Average Merit Award: $17,838
  • Tuition & Fees:  $42,735
  • Freshmen Receiving Merit Aid: 28%

 

The complete list is available at www.nytimes.com/edlife