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Merit Aid: How to Get It

Definition of Merit Aid

  • Known as "non-need based aid;" parents ability to pay tuition is not a factor
  • Often awarded for a student's talent, skills, activities and other aspects based on his or her attributes
  • Sometimes (but not always) linked to a student's SAT/ACT scores and GPA

Why Colleges Offer Merit Aid

Carnegie Mellon Students Walking by College Find, College Admissions Consultants for Marin and NationwideFor the purpose of recruiting (to encourage students to apply) and for enrollment (to give the student an incentive to accept an admission offer)

How to Tap into Merit Aid

"Fit is key" as colleges identify the candidates who best match their mission and goals; usually, no separate application

Timing is Important

Merit aid is allocated once applications begin to come in. Since colleges work with a finite fund, when the money is gone, it's gone. Strong applicants should apply as early as possible.

Our Results

$3,289,816 - Amount of total 4-year merit aid offered last year to College Find's group of eligible students. Merit aid is a gift that most families are excited to receive. It validates all of the hard work their student put into school, or the hours devoted to a talent, community service or leadership skill. Choosing the right college is a critical component to receiving the best merit aid possible. College Find works diligently to match your student to schools that will value the ability and talents that your student brings to a campus.

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~ Rita Bars (sons: Aleks, Nik, & Roland at Loyola Marymount U. and U. of San Diego)

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~ Janet Ward (daughter, Karen, at Chapman)