Colleges Offering Merit Aid to 95%+ of Students Without Need

Colleges with best financial aid

Colleges Offering Merit Aid to 95%+ of Students Without Need

Published on March 13, 2024

Colleges with best financial aid

If you’re a family that won’t qualify for need-based aid, it’s time to start looking for merit scholarships.

What Are Merit Scholarships?

Merit-based aid is money colleges award that is not based on any financial need.

These scholarships are usually awarded based on academic performance and sometimes based on special talents in athletics, sports, the arts, and more.

[What’s The Difference Between Need and Merit-Based Financial Aid]

If a school determines your family does not have a financial need (even though you may not agree), your student can still be awarded merit aid.

Not all colleges award merit aid, so it’s important to know which schools do award merit-based scholarships to a large percentage of their freshmen class.

[Review Strategies For Getting Niche And Local Scholarships]

Using Data to Find Merit Scholarships

We used our database of colleges and ranked them by the percentage of students without financial need who received merit-based scholarships.

Our data is based on the latest IPEDs data and publicly available Common Data Set files that colleges publish on their websites.

Data on merit scholarships primarily comes from information in a college’s Common Data Set.

Unfortunately, not all colleges make this information public, so our college list may not be completely inclusive of all the appropriate schools.

But for the purpose of giving a glimpse into the colleges that award merit scholarships to the greatest percentage of students, this is a good start.

In addition to looking at what percent of students without need receive merit aid, average size of merit aid, and total price is also included.

It’s important to remember that just because a college offers merit aid to a large percentage of freshmen, doesn’t mean the amount they offer is significant enough compared to the total cost of the college.

In addition, it’s important to consider graduation rates. Most schools only offer merit aid for four years, so graduating in five years or longer can add significant expense.

[Check out How To Use Data To Find Merit Scholarships]

Colleges Offering Merit Aid to 95%+ of Students Without Financial Need

NameState% Freshmen W/out Need
Receiving Merit Aid
Avg Merit AwardCost of Attendance
Beloit CollegeWI99$41,660$67,172
Albion CollegeMI100$39,697$67,796
Susquehanna UniversityPA98$36,317$70,600
Kalamazoo CollegeMI96$36,009$68,166
Clarkson UniversityNY100$35,794$76,666
Washington & Jefferson CollegePA100$34,857$45,515
The College of WoosterOH98$33,902$73,550
Washington CollegeMD100$33,834$67,960
Ursinus CollegePA97$33,247$74,240
Coe CollegeIA98$33,182$63,562
Simpson CollegeIA100$32,534$55,394
Lebannon Valley CollegePA98$32,257$60,460
Centre CollegeKY98$32,217$60,370
St. Catherine UniversityMN96$32,101$58,764
Wabash CollegeIN100$31,853$61,500
Lawrence UniversityWI99$31,503$66,987
Widener UniversityPA97$31,300$68,148
Agnes Scott CollegeGA100$31,127$61,195
Cornell CollegeIA99$30,950$61,168
Ohio Wesleyan UniversityOH99$30,854$69,443

Data is from the 2022-2023 Common Data Sets. Percentages that are over 100% may come from mistakes in information that is self-reported by colleges.

Looking for Generous Colleges for YOUR Student?

We have shared the top 20 colleges offering the most generous merit aid. However, there are over 340 colleges and universities offering 95% or more of their students without financial need merit aid. If you’re looking for colleges that will be generous to YOUR student, we recommend you check out our R2C Insights tool and sign up for a free account.

It will provide you with a list of schools that will be most generous with their money based on your child’s stats and preferences.

All the information is in one place, so you don’t have to hop from college website to college website in order to find what you’re looking for.

Top Colleges for 2024-25 Freshman Merit Aid

This crowdsourced data shows which colleges have offered the most merit aid to members of Road2College so far for the 2024-25 academic year. Much of this aid is repeatable in subsequent years, though we show only the freshman year totals. These 60 schools represent almost half of the merit aid offered to our members.
CollegeCollege Total
to Our Members
# of Offers to
Our Members
Avg Offer
Susquehanna University$1,243,00032$38,844
Loyola University Chicago$1,136,49945$25,256
University of Alabama$1,036,66254$19,197
University of Vermont$1,004,50057$17,623
Fordham University$990,67048$20,639
Quinnipiac University$971,75039$24,917
Seton Hall University$907,00044$20,614
University of Scranton$891,03435$25,458
Fairfield University$861,85040$21,546
University of Arizona$855,50039$21,936
Wheaton College$844,40022$38,382
University of Hartford$829,0003027,633
Hofstra University$771,00024$32,125
Loyola University Maryland$769,50023$33,457
Drexel University$768,10037$20,759
Miami University Oxford$767,50051$15,049
Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute$689,15023$29,963
Duquesne University$683,50630$22,784
Marquette University$620,50024$25,854
Worcester Polytechnic University$605,75027$22,435
Saint Joseph's University$605,50025$24,220
DePaul University$584,00026$22,462
Michigan State University$576,00044$13,091
University of Denver$546,00018$30,333
University of South Carolina-Columbia$536,94649$10,958
Ithaca College$534,00024$22,250
Case Western Reserve University$529,00020$26,450
Xavier University$526,00022$23,909
University of Dayton$517,00023$22,478
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology $503,00018$27,944
Clark University$495,50019$26,079
Wentworth Institute of Technology $474,00021$22,571
Gettysburg College$452,8509$50,317
Western New England University$434,41213$33,416
Saint Louis University$426,00013$32,769
Widener University$408,00012$34,000
Trinity University$393,00013$30,231
Merrimack College$389,90014$27,850
Ursinus College$383,00012$31,917
University of New Haven$371,00015$24,733
Muhlenberg College$367,00013$28,231
Marist College$355,00026$13,654
Knox College$352,0008$44,000
Furman University$349,00011$31,727
St. John's University-New York$343,50013$26,423
Siena College$343,50015$22,900
Juniata College$343,0009$38,111
Stonehill College$338,00010$33,800
Tulane University$332,00022$15,091
Butler University$327,00014$23,357
Arcadia University$324,00013$24,923
College of Wooster$323,00010$32,300
University of Maine$322,01923$14,001
University of Rhode Island$321,00031$10,355
Willamette University$313,00010$31,300
Catholic University of America$312,50010$31,250
University of Tulsa$306,5388$38,317
Goucher College$306,0008$38,250
Indiana University-Bloomington$301,00042$7,167
Santa Clara University$294,40019$15,495

Top Colleges for Merit Aid With SAI Under $30,000

This crowdsourced data shows which colleges have offered the most merit aid to Road2College members so far with an SAI under $30,000. It is for the 2024-25 academic year, and much of it is repeatable in subsequent years.
CollegeMerit Aid Offers to Members
Under $30K SAI
# of OffersAvg Offer
Susquehanna University$337,00010$33,700
University of Arizona$313,50014$23,393
University of Scranton$261,00010$26,100
Seton Hall University$243,00012$20,250
Quinnipiac University$229,7508$28,719
Hofstra University$228,0008$28,500
Wheaton College$221,0006$36,900
University of Alabama$197,36210$19,736
Xavier University$193,0008$24,125
University of Vermont$184,00012$15,333
University of Hartford$172,0007$24,571
University of Dayton$167,0008$20,875
Miami University-Oxford$165,00011$15,000
Ithaca College$164,0006$27,333
Western New England University$162,5005$32,500
Hobart and William Smith Colleges$160,5004$40,125
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute$158,0005$31,600
Loyola University Maryland$155,0005$31,000
Merrimack College$154,0005$30,800
Stonehill College$144,0004$36,000

Top Colleges for Merit Aid With SAI From $30,000-$60,000

This crowdsourced data shows which colleges have offered the most merit aid to Road2College members so far with an SAI from $30,000 to $60,000 It is for the 2024-25 academic year, and much of it is repeatable in subsequent years.
CollegeMerit Aid Offers to Members
From $30K-60K SAI
# of OffersAvg Offer
Susquehanna University$692,00017$40,706
University of Hartford$404,00013$31,077
Loyola University Chicago$372,99916$23,312
University of Alabama$352,40020$17,620
Fordham University$341,33514$24,381
Saint Joseph's University$324,50012$27,042
Seton Hall University$300,50015$20,033
University of Scranton$297,53411$27,049
University of Vermont$280,00018$15,556
Loyola University Maryland$270,5008$33,813
DePaul University$262,00012$21,833
Duquesne University$261,00013$20,077
Hofstra University$257,0008$32,125
Drake University$242,20011$26,911
Miami University-Oxford$238,00015$15,867
Saint Louis University$229,0006$38,167
Marquette University$213,0009$23,667
Michigan State University$211,25014$15,089
Widener University$211,0007$30,143
Fairfield University$210,00010$21,000

Top Colleges for Merit Aid With SAI Above $60,000

This crowdsourced data shows which colleges have offered the most merit aid to Road2College members so far with an SAI over $60,000. It is for the 2024-25 academic year, and much of it is repeatable in subsequent years.
CollegeMerit Aid Offers to Members
Above $60K SAI
# of OffersAvg Offer
Fordham University$628,33529$21,667
Fairfield University$595,50027$22,056
University of Vermont$540,50027$20,019
Loyola University Chicago$525,50022$23,886
Quinnipiac University$496,00020$24,800
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute$489,65014$34,975
University of Alabama$486,90024$20,288
Wheaton College$470,00012$39,167
Drexel University$424,80025$17,712
Seton Hall University$387,50018$21,528
Miami University-Oxford$364,50025$14,580
Loyola University Maryland$344,00010$34,400
University of Arizona$337,00016$21,063
Gettysburg College$335,8508$41,981
University of Scranton$332,50014$23,750
Ithaca College$328,50014$23,464
Duquesne University$316,50612$26,376
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology$313,00011$28,455
Worcester Polytechnic Institute$300,00012$25,000
Clark University$296,50011$26,955


Use our R2C Insights Tool to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

How My Daughter Got $53,000 a Year in Merit and Financial Aid Plus More in Private Scholarships

Our Full Tuition Scholarship Journey

A Family’s Journey to Find an Affordable College




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