News

Merit or Need-Based Scholarships: How Donors Can Turn the Tide Towards More Equitable Financial Aid

Publication date: Jul 21, 2015

By Kaleigh Behe, July 20, 2015.

While it is common knowledge that college costs are rising in the United States, the net prices that students pay, after accounting for scholarships, are actually rising faster for lower-income students than their higher income peers. The culprit? A dramatic shift away from need-based financial aid, occurring in state, public university, and private college scholarship programs since the mid-1990s.

Schools are awarding increasingly more financial aid dollars to students without any demonstrated financial need in the form of “merit-based” scholarships. Of course, merit aid does not sound bad on its surface. However, research shows that non-need-based aid disproportionately goes to students with higher family incomes and household resources — earning criticism as “discounts for the rich.”

Read the full article on Huffington Post.

Related Content