Which schools would give me merit-based scholarships?

Hi, I am a student currently applying for colleges. My family is technically well-off (upper tier), but I don't want to pester my parents for money and I want to help save money for my two siblings. I have really good statistics: 34 ACT, 2270 SAT (800 M, 750 W, 720 R), National Merit Semifinalist, Science Olympiad (Captain), Business Club, Mock Trial, 200+ hours volunteering, 3.98 GPA UW, 4.70 W. I would technically be the valedictorian of my class if class rank still existed. I also have taken the toughest schedule our school allows us to and I have 5s in 6 AP tests. My counselor said I might get offered some big money by colleges. The schools I've applied to thus far are UMinn, U of I, and UMKC ba/md with the first two likely to give me some good scholarships. What other schools should I apply to, keeping in mind that I don't care about prestige, where I could get some good scholarships?

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  • 9 years ago
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    If you're looking for a financial bargain, look at Brigham Young. I don't know if they'll offer generous scholarships to non-Mormon students, but even without generous scholarships, the school is downright cheap. You'd pay about $5,000 a year more than Mormon students and you'd have to live by their rules, but if you're aiming for med school, you might prefer a more serious campus. Beyond that, you may find the most generous universities in states that don't have a lot of people or many big cities close by. Examples would be states like Iowa, Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arkansas and the Dakotas. Most of those states would be thrilled to have a student of your caliber enrolled.

    Here's a list of other schools that offer merit-based aid (some will be for sports):

    Bennington

    Boston College

    Boston U.

    Bowdoin

    Brandeis

    Bryn Mawr

    Bucknell

    Carleton

    College of Wooster

    Davidson

    DePauw

    Emory

    Holy Cross

    Johns Hopkins

    Lafayette

    Lehigh

    Mt. Holyoke

    NYU

    Northwestern

    Oberlin

    Skidmore

    Smith

    St. Louis U.

    Swarthmore

    Syracuse

    Tufts

    Vanderbilt

    U. of Michigan

    U. of Richmond

    U. of Rochester

    UVA

    William & Mary

    Washington U. St. Louis

    Washington & Lee

    It's not a complete list, obviously. I'd suggest that you go to collegeboard.com and look up schools that you might be interested in. Check out the financial aid section and scroll down to where it lists non-need-based aid (i.e., merit scholarships). It will show the average amount of merit aid (which is usually in the form of scholarships) and then the average amount of debt at graduation. It'll just give you a basis for comparing schools.

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