Which Schools Give the Best Merit Aid? Another Freakonomics Post – College Confidential

Which Schools Give the Best Merit Aid? Another Freakonomics Post – College Confidential.

I found this great post on College Confidential and thought I should share it here as well as provide the link (see above). I’m not 100% sure, but from my past experience with students it seems to be pretty accurate. Let me know what you think. Do you have info on other schools? How do you deal with navigating the financial side of things in this whole process?

Matt

List of MT Schools Ranked by Cost After Average Merit Aid Award
Key: School Name | Percent Receving Non-Need Merit Aid Average Merit Award | Net Cost After Award

1. Texas State (IS) | 1.5% | $2,954 | $14,174
2. Montclair (IS) | 5.6% | $5,302 | $20,248
3. Coastal Carolina (OOS) | 15.6% | $11,471 | $20,359
4. Oklahoma City | 10.7% | $19,240 | $21,020
5. Wright State (OOS) | 9.4% | $4,165 | $21,853
6. CSF (OOS) | 4.7% | $7,826 | $22,332
7. Sam Houston (OOS) | 9.6% | $2,766 | $25,350
8. Viterbo | 15.2% | $6,200 | $25,530
9. Ball State (OOS) | 10.4% | $6,979 | $25,981
10. Millikin | 10.3% | $12,805 | $26,135
11. SUNY Fredonia | 11.1% | $3,287 | $26,204
12. Northern Colorado (OOS) | 13.2% | $2,870 | $26,307
13. Santa Fe | 32.2% | $12,800 | $27,068
14. Baldwin-Wallace | 18.6% | $11,840 | $27,334
15. Otterbein | 22.4% | $12,916 | $27,968
16. SUNY Buffalo | 2.6% | $6,030 | $28,661
17. Shenandoah | 23.0% | $10,979 | $28,937
18. Oklahoma | 8.8% | $2,027 | $29,108
19. Point Park | 9.9% | $13,232 | $29,278
20. Florida State (OOS) | 5.7% | $3,692 | $29,465 | VERY DIFFICULT
21. Western Michigan (OOS) | 5.4% | $4,096 | $29,764
22. Temple | 12.4% | $5,192 | $30,268
23. James Madison (OOS) | 2.2% | $3,353 | $30,365 | VERY DIFFICULT
24. Webster | 19.0% | $3,557 | $31,543
25. UCF | NR | NR | $31,766
26. Illinois Wesleyan | 29.6% | $17,763 | $32,527
27. CCM (OOS) | 16.0% | $5,087 | $32,949
28. Arizona (OOS) | 18.7% | $5,269 | $33,866
29. Marymount Manhatten | 15.9% | $8,072 | $34,564
30. Indiana (OOS) | 17.6% | $7,671 | $35,063
31. Elon | 21.5% | $6,029 | $35,885
32. Roosevelt | 18.4% | $11,000 | $36,079
33. Rider | 21.6% | $13,840 | $36,320
34. Miami | 22.5% | $20,300 | $36,734 | VERY DIFFICULT
35. TCU | 24.0% | $13,055 | $36,925 | VERY DIFFICULT
36. Wagner | 21.2% | $15,613 | $37,587
37. Emerson | 7.7% | $15,286 | $37,660
38. Penn State (OOS) | 7.8% | $3,230 | $37,742 | VERY DIFFICULT
39. Hartt | 14.4% | $8,951 | $38,011
40. Ohio Northern | NR | NR | $38,960
41. Pace | 20.7% | $16,768 | $39,529
42. UCI | 0.8% | $10,631 | $39,642 | VERY DIFFICULT
43. Catholic | 30.3% | $14,500 | $39,744
44. USC | 20.5% | $20,752 | $40,862 | VERY DIFFICULT
45. Ithaca | 21.6% | $12,961 | $40,903
46. Muhlenberg | 36.4% | $12,215 | $42,380 | VERY DIFFICULT
47. American | 14.2% | $13,564 | $42,727 | VERY DIFFICULT
48. UCLA | 2.2% | $4,017 | $45,025 | VERY DIFFICULT
49. Syracuse | 10.2% | $9,720 | $46,626 | VERY DIFFICULT
50. Michigan (OOS) | 17.9% | $4,938 | $47,214 | VERY DIFFICULT
51. U Arts | NR | NR | $52,414
52. Boco | 3.8% | $6,375 | $53,070
53. NYU | 2.7% | $9,083 | $53,847 | MOST DIFFICULT
54. Carnegie Mellon | 7.0% | $7,053 | $54,369 | MOST DIFFICULT
55. Northwestern | 5.5% | $2,785 | $58,855 | MOST DIFFICULT

Note 1: The list of schools shown are those posted at the top of this forum. There are many more schools that offer very fine MT programs. It was not possible from the data to separate NYU/Tisch from NYU/Steinhardt.

Note 2: NR = not reported

Note 3: MOST DIFFICULT and VERY DIFFICULT are academic admission ratings. All other schools are rated as MODERATELY DIFFICULT with the exception of Wright State, which is rated MINIMALLY DIFFICULT. It may be more challenging to receive an academic Merit Aid offer from schools rated MOST and VERY DIFFICULT than other schools. However, they may offer excellent Talent-based awards.

Note 4: Cost is based on Tuition + Room & Board as listed on College Data. Conservatory uplift was included for Baldwin-Wallace, CCPA Roosevelt, COPA Point Park, Hartt, and CCM. Tuition numbers seem to be a moving target and your mileage may vary. You can derive the total cost number for Tuition + Room & Board used in this analysis by adding the two dollar amounts shown.

Note 5: In-state (IS) tuition was used for Texas State and Montclair since both grant IS status to all out-of-state MT students (as of Fall 2015 for Montclair). Otherwise, out-of-state (OOS) tuition was used for all public schools.

Note 6: Some MT programs may have sufficient funding to exceed the percentages and average award amounts shown for their school as a whole.

Note 7: Many/most schools are able to offer merit/talent awards in excess of the numbers shown on an individual basis. Some schools have “automatic” merit scholarships for incoming Freshman that exceed the numbers shown, i.e., Western Michigan has $9,000 and $7,000 Presidential Scholarships for OOS students. Some schools give very large scholarships for National Merit Finalists. No doubt people can point to scholarships that they have received which are far in excess of the numbers shown. Large scholarships are (almost) always possible, this analysis is focused on the probable.Every school of interest should be investigated fully to get a complete picture of what merit/talent aid may be available for a particular student.

Note 8: You can easily import this data into Excel by denoting that the vertical bars are field separators.

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One comment

  1. I’ve been following that thread on College Confidential and I think it’s important to note that the statistics are pretty incomplete. Just to take one example: Otterbein’s average merit award is listed, but its TALENT awards are not mentioned, and for performance majors, those awards can make a huge difference (not all programs “stack” aid, but Otterbein does allow both talent and academic merit awards). So it’s important to dig a little deeper than these numbers, but the post is a great starting point.

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