Top 30 Colleges With The Largest Merit Scholarships

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Top 30 Colleges With The 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 Data Spreadsheet to find college 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 Data Spreadsheet has information on merit awards, from compiling Common Data Set information that colleges publish on their websites.
 
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 (18 – 19)  Avg Merit Award for Freshmen Without Need (18 – 19) 
  • Duke University
6%  $ 74,447
  • Washington and Lee University
11%  $45,742
  • Swarthmore College
3%  $43,252
  • Hollins University
100%  $35,233
  • Wesleyan University
2%  $35,118
  • Beloit College
100%  $34,507
  • Bard College
6%  $33,601
  • Albion College
100%  $32,013
  • Hartwick College
96%  $31,302
  • Clarkson University
89%  $30,928
 
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 2% to a high of 100%.
 
If you’re interested in researching and finding more colleges with generous merit scholarships, check out our College Data Spreadsheet, with extensive information on over 1500 colleges. You can use the spreadsheet to sort, filter, and compare colleges based on over 50 pieces of data. 
 

 

Top 30 Colleges With Largest Merit Scholarships

Temporary table description
NameStateSAT (CR+M) 75th Percentile (18-19)ACT Composite 75th Percentile (18 - 19)% Freshmen without need% Freshmen w/out need Receiving Merit Aid (18 - 19)Avg Merit Award for Freshmen Without Need (18 - 19)
Stetson UniversityFL13002922%86%$28,490
Luther CollegeIA13052818%99%$28,490
The College of WoosterOH13803027%90%$28,650
Millsaps CollegeMS12602824%100%$28,812
Coe CollegeIA13262812%96%$28,957
Washington & Jefferson CollegePA13202913%100%$29,014
Lafayette CollegePA14353262%5%$29,253
Agnes Scott CollegeGA13202919%100%$29,405
Allegheny CollegePA13403018%95%$29.497
Emory UniversityGAn/a3351%10%$29,911
University of RichmondVA14603361%18%$30,325
Clarkson UniversityNY13503016%89%$30,928
Hartwick CollegeNY11002614%96%$31,302
Albion CollegeMI12402614%100%$32,013
Bard CollegeNYn/an/a25%6%$33,601
Beloit CollegeWI13602929%100%$34,507
Wesleyan UniversityCT15003459%2%$35,118
Hollins UniversityVA12952823%100%$35,233
Swarthmore CollegePA15403445%3%$43,252
Washington and Lee UniversityVA14903350%11%$45,742
Duke UniversityNC03553%6%$74,447
Southern Methodist UniversityTX03265%69%$27,685
Ursinus CollegePA13202820%96%$27,820
Randolph CollegeVA11902517%86%$27,894
Spelman CollegeGA12152615%4%$27,973
Wake Forest UniversityNC14403270%4%$28,107
Kalamazoo CollegeMI13703125%98%$28,109
Howard UniversityDC02719%50%$28,263
Wabash CollegeIN13302818%100%$28,340
Bellarmine UniversityKY12702813%97%$28,405

 

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Road2College

Road2College

Debbie Schwartz is former financial services executive and founder of Road2College and the Paying For College 101 Facebook group. She's dedicated to providing families with trustworthy information about college admissions and paying for college. With data, tools and access to experts she's helping families become educated consumers of higher ed.
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