The complexity of merit aid

This post contains valuable information and is worth a read. It is written by the Director of College Counseling at Malvern Preparatory School.

The Journey

The college admissions process can be puzzling.  It’s common to wonder what goes on behind the admissions committee curtain and try to make sense out of why so-and-so got an acceptance letter and you didn’t.  While that perplexity can keep you up at night, I would argue that the money side of the admissions game can be even more confusing.

“Why did College X offer me $15,000 per year and College Y gave me $5,000?”

“Why did that kid with the same GPA as me get a bigger scholarship?”

“Can I leverage another scholarship that I was offered but don’t want with a college that I do want to go to?”

First, you need to understand the difference between “financial aid” and “merit aid.”  To put it simply, financial aid is money that is given to families who demonstrate that they need it 

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