Top 30 Colleges with the Largest Merit Scholarships

Colleges with Largest Merit Scholarships

Top 30 Colleges with the Largest Merit Scholarships

Colleges with Largest Merit Scholarships

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

Colleges with the Largest Merit Scholarships

We did a quick sort of our College Insights tool to find colleges with merit scholarships and ranked them by the amount of merit aid they gave to freshmen who did not have any financial need (as determined by the college).

Our College Insights tool has information on merit awards, from compiling Common Data Set information that colleges publish on their websites and crowdsourcing actual financial aid award offers from families with high school seniors.

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 top colleges with merit awards, this is a good start. The list below was put together based solely on the average amount of merit scholarships offered to freshmen.

Top 10 Colleges With The Largest Merit Scholarships

Name % Freshmen w/out need Receiving Merit Aid (’20 – ’21*)  Avg Merit Award for Freshmen Without Need (’20 – ’21*) 
  • Webb Institute
88% $51,700
  • University of Richmond
19%  $40,769
  • Beloit College
97% $40,533
  • Hendrix College
 100%  $39,881
  • Albion College
 100%  $37,375
  • Hartwick College
98% $36,219
  • Susquehanna University
98% $34,569
  • Allegheny College
98% $33,809
  • Clarkson University
88% $33,670
  • Seattle Pacific University
97% $33,317
 
It’s important to remember that just because a college offers a large average merit award, it doesn’t mean a lot of students receive them.

So you’ll need to also research how many students actually receive the award.

The percentage of freshmen who receive merit-based awards who do not have financial need varies greatly on the list – from a low of 19% to a high of 100%.

If you’re interested in finding colleges that offer generous merit scholarships check out College Insights.

College Insights helps students and parents search, find, and compare over 2,000 colleges.

Filter the information that’s most important to your student as you work together to find merit scholarships and build your perfect college list.

Get a 7-Day FREE Trial of College Insights

To begin, enter 5 schools, upgrade to “Pro” and your 7-day free trial starts. 

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Top 30 Colleges With Largest Merit Scholarships

Temporary table description
NameStateSAT (CR+M) 75th Percentile ('20-'21)ACT Composite 75th Percentile ('20 - '21)% Freshmen without need% Freshmen w/out need Receiving Merit Aid ('20 - '21)Avg Merit Award for Freshmen Without Need ('20 - '21)
Washington & Jefferson CollegePA13202917%100%$30,666
Webb InstituteNY15203665%88%$51,700
Kalamazoo CollegeMI13703123%97%$32,970
Seattle Pacific UniversityWA-275%97%$33,317
Clarkson UniversityNY13403022%88%$33,670
Allegheny CollegePA13503023%98%$33,809
Susquehanna UniversityPA12302819%98%$34,569
Hartwick CollegeNY-2612%98%$36,291
Albion CollegeMI12002711%100%$37,375
Hendrix CollegeAR13383124%100%$39,881
Beloit CollegeWI12902920%97%$40,533
University of RichmondVA14403359%19%$40,769
Agnes Scott CollegeGA13403022%95%$32,004
Wabash CollegeIN13202922%96%$31,287
Lawrence UniversityWI14003233%98%$31,185
Cornell CollegeIA12532922%100%$31,069
Coe CollegeIA12502610%103%$31,003
Southern Methodist UniversityTX13602967%68%$30,992
DePauw UniversityIN15403439%90%$30,820
Washington and Lee UniversityVA14903350%11%$45,742
Stetson UniversityFL12702921%80%$32,599
Southern Methodist UniversityTXn/a3265%69%$27,685
Widener UniversityPA--18%111%$30,050
Knox CollegeIL13003115%95%$30,219
Centre CollegeKY13803230%97%$30,257
Bellarmine UniversityKY12802818%98%$30,278
Georgetown CollegeKY1180269%100%$30,453
Lake Forest CollegeIL12753016%100%$30,560
St. Catherine UniversityMN11702514%98%$30,556
Wartburg CollegeIA12002521%98%$30,603

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*Information is based on 2020 – 2021 college Common Data Sets.

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