Best Colleges That Offer Merit Scholarships
The best colleges that offer merit scholarships are just as competitive as those that don’t, but they do have one thing in common: they’re committed to making sure every student gets a fair shot at getting the education he or she deserves. Whether you’re applying to one of these schools or not, this list will give you some ideas about where your money would go furthest when it comes to attending college.
Amherst College is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1821 by William Amherst, an English military commander who was raised in America and served as Governor of Virginia from 1758 until his death in 1774. Amherst College is one of the original Seven Sisters schools that were established before the Civil War to educate upper-class women and men on the East Coast. Today it remains committed to its founding principles: providing a challenging academic environment for students from across the country and around the world who pursue excellence in all aspects of life—academically, socially and athletically.
The Five Colleges consortium includes four other schools—Mount Holyoke College (founded 1837), Smith College (1871), Hampshire College (1954) and UMass Amherst—with which Amherst shares many resources including libraries, dining halls and dormitories while maintaining its own campus identity
Barnard College, at Columbia University in New York City, is a private women’s liberal arts college with a focus on the humanities and social sciences. Founded in 1889, it was named after Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard, a philanthropist and the first president of Columbia University.
The college offers bachelor’s degrees through its five schools: Art History & Archaeology; Biological Sciences; English Language & Literature; Economics; History; Music Performance (both vocal and instrumental); Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology.; Theatrical Arts;; In addition to these majors/programs, students can also pursue interdisciplinary programs such as ancient studies or environmental science.
Brown University is a private Ivy League research university located in Providence, Rhode Island. The school has an acceptance rate of 8%, making it one of the most selective universities in the country. Its average GPA and SAT scores are 3.9 and 1360, respectively.
Brown offers a wide range of merit scholarships to both domestic and international students who meet their standards for high academic achievement. In fact, it is estimated that up to 90% of newly admitted students receive scholarship funding from Brown each year!
The average award amount is $40,000 per year; however, this number varies greatly depending on factors such as your course load and whether or not you live on campus during your first year at college (if so, you will receive additional financial aid). Depending on your major/degree path chosen by your time at Brown University ends up being worth between $1 million – $2 million dollars total over four years’ time!
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College is a private women’s liberal arts college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1885 by Joseph W. Taylor and is named after the Welsh town of Bryn Mawr.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The school was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie and has an enrollment of about 13,000 students from over 100 countries.
The university offers merit scholarships to high school students who achieve top scores on the SAT or ACT as well as other tests and exams. These include the National Merit Scholarship Program, National Achievement Scholarship Program, and some department-specific awards such as the College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.
Carnegie Mellon has been ranked number one among universities for its undergraduate engineering program according to U.S News & World Report since 2012 (the last four years).
Columbia University (and university-wide financial aid)
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Columbia is organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions. The university also encompasses various academic divisions that span 12 schools in all, including the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which was recently ranked as one of the best engineering schools for undergrads by U.S. News & World Report and Georgetown University.
The school’s highly selective admission process results in extremely low acceptance rates: only 5% of applicants are admitted to Columbia College, while 6% gain admission to Barnard College each year; but because the school offers need-based financial aid on top of merit scholarships (and its tuition is still very high), students can attend even if they don’t receive merit aid awards—as long as they have enough money saved up or are willing to take out loans.
Cornell University is a private research university in Ithaca, New York. It’s the only private land grant university in the state of New York. With a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs that are available, Cornell offers opportunities for students to interact with some of their favorite professors as well as other students who want to pursue the same career field as them.
They offer many merit scholarships including:
- Dean’s Scholarship – $5,000-$8,500 per year
- Presidential Scholarship – $20-$30k per year
Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. Founded in 1769, it is the ninth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, with a total student enrollment of 5,300.
Dartmouth serves as an undergraduate college and graduate school for approximately 6,000 students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries around the world. The university has been coeducational since its founding; its first class was graduated c. 1671.
Duke University (and university-wide financial aid)
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina. The university was founded by Methodists and Quakers in 1838, making it one of the oldest colleges in the South.
The average student receives a financial aid package that includes grants, scholarships, loans and employment earnings. To be eligible for need-based aid, your family’s income must fall within certain guidelines as provided by Duke University each year. For example: If your family makes less than $65,000 per year (for dependent students), you are not expected to contribute any money toward college costs; if your family’s income exceeds $200,000 per year (for independent students), then all of your tuition will be paid by merit scholarships or loans.
Emory University (and university-wide financial aid)
Emory University is a private research university in metropolitan Atlanta, located in the Druid Hills section of unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, United States.
Emory’s undergraduate program is currently ranked 10th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Emory College was established in 1836 and became affiliated with Emory University after being named for its benefactor James Woodruff and his son George Woodruff’s father Robert Morris Woodruff (1807–1872) who were both among the founders of the Southern Railway Company. The university consists of 14 schools and colleges with a student body that traditionally has been composed predominantly of white students, although this has changed over time as Emory has become one of the most ethnically diverse national universities in America.
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin and Marshall College is a private liberal arts college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States. The college was founded in 1887 by Benjamin Franklin and John Marshall as the “Franklin and Marshall Academy.” The college is named for the founding fathers Benjamin Franklin and John Marshall.
In 2014, Forbes magazine classified F&M as the 27th best liberal arts college in the United States. Forbes also recognized it as one of America’s most beautiful campuses, with its colonial architecture comprising 25 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Georgetown University (and university-wide financial aid)
Georgetown University is a private university with eight schools and colleges. It has a diverse student body with over 12,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The university offers more than 150 majors, as well as graduate programs in law, business and medicine. In addition to merit-based scholarships that range from $300 to $1,000 per semester for up to four years of undergraduate study (except for the Presidential Scholarship), Georgetown also offers need-based aid packages funded through federal or state grants. The majority of students who receive these awards come from families earning less than $60,000 per year; however, they can be awarded based on your family’s need regardless of income level.
The school’s financial aid program ensures that no qualified applicant will be denied admission due only to lack of ability or funds.
Grinnell College (and university-wide financial aid)
Grinnell College is a private liberal arts college in Grinnell, Iowa. It was founded in 1846 by members of the community who were interested in creating an institution that would promote “the education and general welfare of the people.”
Grinnell College offers students the opportunity to study in a diverse, close-knit community while also preparing them for professional life after graduation.
Students at Grinnell College can apply for merit scholarships through their financial aid office or directly from the admissions department.
Harvard University (and university-wide financial aid)
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and has been named the wealthiest university in America with an endowment worth $36.4 billion USD as of 2016.
Harvard’s financial aid policy for students is to meet demonstrated need without regard to ability to pay. The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI) provides grants that are equal to or greater than Harvard’s cost of attendance (including tuition, room, board and fees) for eligible undergraduates from families with incomes below $65,000 annually ($130,000 per year for married couples). Students receiving HFAI grants may also receive additional support through outside scholarships and private loans; however this funding does not affect how much need-based aid you receive from HFAI or from other sources.
Haverford College (and university-wide financial aid)
Haverford College has been a leader in providing generous financial aid packages for students, meeting 100% of demonstrated need. The college is also committed to need-blind admissions and does not consider family income or assets when reviewing applications.
Macalester College (and university-wide financial aid)
Macalester College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States. The school was founded in 1874 and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.
The school offers a variety of scholarships and awards to qualified students who are majoring in any field of study or have an interest in studying abroad during their undergraduate years at Macalester. These awards include:
- President’s Scholarship (15%)
- Presidential Merit Scholarships ($20k per year)
- Global Studies Grant (up to $10k per year)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
MIT’s financial aid program is very generous. It has been called the “best-kept secret in college admissions,” because it allows students to attend without taking out loans or cosigning loans with their parents. The average grant award for freshmen entering in 2018 was $43,000, which includes a scholarship grant and an on-campus work program that pays $10 per hour during freshman year and $12 per hour during sophomore through senior years.
Middlebury College (and university-wide financial aid)
Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college located in Middlebury, Vermont. Since its founding in 1800, the college has been fully coeducational and nonsectarian. Middlebury was a military training ground during the Civil War, with one of its companies ultimately achieving distinction at Bull Run.
The college currently enrolls 2200 students from 44 states and 45 countries; it maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 (13:1 on average). Admission to Middlebury is highly selective; less than 15% of applicants are accepted each year.
Middlebury offers more than 50 majors and 32 minors for undergraduates as well as nine graduate programs leading to master’s degrees or doctoral studies in fields such as environmental studies, international affairs and public health policy analysis.
Mt. Holyoke College (and university-wide financial aid)
- Mt. Holyoke College (and university-wide financial aid)
Mount Holyoke College is a private, liberal arts college for women in South Hadley, Massachusetts, United States. It was founded in 1837 by Mary Lyon as a women’s college and was the first such institution of higher education in New England.
Northeastern University (and university-wide financial aid)
- Northeastern University (and university-wide financial aid)
- Financial aid is available to students with a family income of $65,000 or less. Students with a family income of $100,000 or less can still apply for financial aid. The scholarship covers up to half the total cost of attendance and may also include grants and work study.
Northwestern University (and university-wide financial aid)
Northwestern University is a private Ivy League research university located in Evanston, Illinois. Founded in 1851 by John Evans and 12 New York residents, Northwestern today has more than 8,000 students enrolled; the majority of which are undergraduate students. The school offers both an undergraduate curriculum and graduate degrees across many disciplines as well as professional programs such as law and medicine. According to U.S News & World Report’s 2019 edition of Best Colleges rankings, Northwestern University is ranked 15th overall among all colleges (national) in the United States along with being named 19th best public university in America—a very respectable ranking for any institution!
Northwestern ranks high on Forbes’ list of Most Innovative Universities; coming in at number 14 overall (out of 200 institutions analyzed). In addition to their strong academic offerings, Northwestern also prides themselves on providing an environment that nurtures creativity and promotes innovation through their various student clubs such as The Innovation Hub (which helps start-up companies develop new products) or The Business Incubator/Co-Working Space (where students can collaborate on projects outside regular class hours).
Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music (and university-wide financial aid)
Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio. It was founded in 1833 by John Jay Shipherd and Philo Stewart as a coeducational, interracial and international college. The first class consisted of 15 students: five men from New York and ten women from Massachusetts. They were primarily members of the Society of Friends (Quakers).
The college was named after Jonathan Edwards’ Allegany County estate, which was called “Oberlin” after his birthplace in Wales. The name also represents an Anglicized form of the word “allegheny”, used for a time by early settlers to describe the area’s dense forest cover.
Pomona College (and university-wide financial aid)
Pomona College is a private liberal arts college in Claremont, California. It is one of the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions that work together to provide students with an outstanding educational experience.
Pomona College is also a member of the Claremont University Consortium (CUC), which comprises Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College and Claremont McKenna College. This consortium allows students to cross-register and take classes at any member institution during any quarter or semester.
The college has been ranked as number one on U.S News & World Report’s list of “best national liberal arts colleges” for seven years straight now; they also offer generous merit scholarships!
Princeton University (and university-wide financial aid)
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton offers an extensive financial aid program, with no loans required for students who qualify for aid.
According to the Princeton website, “The Office of Financial Aid seeks to ensure that all students have access to an excellent education at Princeton regardless of their financial circumstances.”
Takeaway to end the takeaway with something.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to having a college that offers merit scholarships. They make it possible for smart students who might not be able to afford the tuition otherwise to attend those schools, which is good because more diversity results in more ideas and creativity that help drive innovation forward. And since merit scholarship recipients are usually accepted into the school on their own merits (rather than their ability to pay), they’re likely going there because they’re serious about learning and career development. They’re motivated enough that they’ll work hard towards achieving their goals rather than coasting along or focusing only on partying each night like some other students do at less competitive institutions where money isn’t an issue.
So if you want your child (or yourself) to get into one of these schools but they don’t have enough money saved up yet—or if any other student wants this kind of academic opportunity without needing financial aid—just remember: there’s hope! Just keep working hard at being excellent so eventually somebody will notice how special you really are and offer something amazing like this as thanks for all your hard work over time spent studying diligently instead of partying every night with friends until dawn breaks over head again tomorrow morning…
There are so many great colleges that offer merit scholarships. The best thing to do is start researching them, and then apply to as many as possible!