It’s not too late to register and I’m still giving out the 25% discount. Son wants to go to the most selective colleges and so most likely we will end up paying a lot for tuition even if he becomes a finalist, and we are already trying to prepare for this. It is true that lots of parents rely on scholarships for their smart kids to go to the Ivies snd such schools and become heartbroken once they realize it it isn’t going to happen. She applied to 5 of the Ivy-League schools and receive 4 offers for a full need based scholarship and the 5th school was a waitlist from Harvard. I will say that ALL the projections for future costs have proved to be low, but we were able to save more than I originally planned. Find the best school you can afford and save your money for grad school…. Many of the schools that you list are need blind, and several, like Amherst and Williams, are gold standard schools that don’t let students walk out with debt or donut holes in their funding. Also check state schools with honors colleges that offer scholarships to nonresidents. Many public elites have joined the Ivies in not providing their own funds to match or pay entirely for merit scholarships. Given the recent (2019) scandals at so-called “elite” schools, I think it’s important to reflect on whether anybody should be sending their kids to those schools. Last week my daughter took a bus up to Boston to visit Tufts. You missed one Ivy League school on your list above of colleges that don’t offer merit aid: Cornell University. Oh, one more thing…Thanks Lauralee for the plug for my new online course that starts today! That is why they do not recruit for merit. She also knew because accepted Tufts students had called with the desire to attend Tufts but had rec’d merit offers from these other institutions and could Tufts compete (no, because Tufts did not offer such scholarships). One of my favorites is Western Washington University, which has an incredible honors college with just 20 or so students in each class! One of my daughters got a full ride based partly on test scores, partly on an interview (she’s a great talker). We’ve already laid the groundwork with our younger three to start investigating the honors programs at places like ASU (Barrett), Michigan, etc. Do some schools have an incentive to deny that they provide merit aid? They enjoy the highest U.S. News college rankings which means their brand name will attract all the applicants they need without any carrots. Again, for many families, that trend is a good one; but for families with incomes in the mid six figures, for example, the ability to qualify for need-based aid may be negligible while the pinch on the family budget is still significant. This family had a $20,000 spread between what Cornell felt they could afford and what they thought they could afford. I believe the angry mom is talking more about specific university aid than the NMSQT money. The article doesn’t give enough credit to the options that being a National Merit Finalist will provide. I appreciate the note. He got in at every one. Angular means a student has taken a particular interest/passion and gone deep with it, shown a lasting interest and taken it to a high level of expertise. Nail meet hammer. Low-income families get aid. Most of the students at these schools have National Merit test score numbers and an outstanding talent, as well as high academic credentials. • Florida State University, Please let me know if there are schools that I’ve missed. Qualification as National Merit Finalist – Must list UofL as first choice with National Merit Corporation. While we haven’t received all the financial packages yet it is becoming clear that Yale, Chicago, Boston College, and Notre Dame will all be very expensive and I fear will all come in at $40K/year or more. The universities that continue to recruit NM scholars typically do so because (1) they want to compete with the Ivies for the best students and/or (2) they want to raise the profile of their undergrads so that national rankings will show a higher degree of selectivity. Here is the link for more info: Today I am sharing a guest post about the National Merit Scholarships by Michelle Kretzschmar, who is the creator of the DIY College Rankings Spreadsheet which contains information on over 1,500 colleges that families can use to identify schools best for them. This is also why the most competitive colleges in the country don’t bother sponsoring National Merit Scholarships or only provide the basic $2,000 award. Nor were any of the 176 at Stanford or 166 at Yale. The professor seemed quite dismayed and was very apologetic. We will list the university, followed by the total number of merit scholars in the 2015 report, followed again by the number of those scholars that also received school support based on the merit scholarship. The school was recommended as a ‘safety’ school by her college counselor and I dug around to find that it offered a big scholarship for high test scores. She really wants to go out of state, and this school gives in-state tuition for high test scores. I think the author just stated it like it is … the reality. It all seemed like a big unfair game that I didn’t want to even play. (Both of my children went to colleges in this book.) Middle income families would not be paying $50,000 a year for Cornell. They have plenty of amazingly qualified candidates to choose from so they have no need to offer any incentives to attend.