It might come as a surprise to some parents that public universities do give out merit scholarships.
We decided to look at merit scholarships awarded by public universities. In general, these awards tend to be smaller compared to private colleges, but so is the cost to attend at public universities vs. private schools (at least if you receive instate tuition).
Using our College Insights tool, we filtered schools by public status and then sorted them based on the size of the average merit aid award given to students without any financial need.
Public Colleges With the Most Merit Scholarships
- University of Vermont
- University of Alabama
- Missouri University of Science and Technology
- New Jersey Institute of Technology
- Coastal Carolina University
- University of Montevallo
- University of Hawaii at Manoa
- College of Charleston
- Miami University
- Ramapo College of New Jersey
Listed below are the top 10 schools that award the largest average merit aid amounts to students without financial need, along with the percent of students without need who receive merit scholarships.
This list was based on Common Data Set information that schools publish on their websites.
What’s interesting is range of percentages of how many students receive merit scholarships, ranging from 11% to a high of 92%.
In addition to looking at the average merit scholarship amount, it’s also important to review graduation rates, SAT/ACT 75th percentile, % of students without need receiving merit awards, and in-state and out-of-state costs.
It’s important to remember that just because a college offers merit aid, it doesn’t mean they offer it to a large percentage of students without need.
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.
Our data is based on 2021 – 2022 Common Data Set files.
Top 10 Public Colleges with the Most Merit Scholarships
|Name||State||% Freshmen w/out need Receiving Merit Aid||Avg Merit Award for Freshmen w/out need|
|University of Vermont||VT||89%||$16,722|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||MO||92%||$15,939|
|The University of Alabama||AL||67%||$15,587|
|Coastal Carolina University||SC||83%||$14,894|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology||NJ||74%||$14,023|
|University of Montevallo||AL||99%||$13,691|
|University of Hawaii at Manoa||HI||68%||$13,042|
|College of Charleston||SC||63%||$12,479|
|Ramapo College of New Jersey||NJ||27%||$12,473|
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