The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs…
The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School andThe Short List: Online Programsto find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search.
Many colleges and universities offer discounts and scholarships to students who don’t have a demonstrated financial need in the form of merit aid.
These awards are often granted to students based on a specific talent or academic ability. For instance, National Merit Finalists or National Hispanic Scholars may receive special scholarship opportunities at participating institutions.
At each of the 12 ranked colleges where merit scholarships were awarded to the most students, at least 41 percent of full-time students in fall 2017 received such awards, according to data submitted to U.S. News by schools in an annual survey. These colleges gave merit aid at a much higher rate than the average among the 1,107 ranked schools that reported these data: 14 percent.
The school that awarded the most merit aid — Trinity University in Texas — gave out awards to nearly half of its 2,359 undergraduates in fall 2017.
Among the 12 ranked institutions that dished out the most in merit aid, the majority are National Liberal Arts Colleges — schools that emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study.
There are also several schools that reserve merit aid awards for exceptional circumstances. Among the ranked schools that submitted these data, slightly more than 200 colleges and universities awarded 5 percent or less in merit aid to full-time students.
Below is a list of the 12 ranked colleges where the highest percentage of full-time students in fall 2017 received merit aid. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.
Percentage of full-time students awarded merit aid in 2017-2018
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2018 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools or Best Online Programs. The financial aid data above are correct as of Nov. 20, 2018.