Colleges That Offer the Most Scholarships
Save money on your college education by attending a school that’s especially generous.
Scholarships are one of the best ways to bring down your college costs. A simple essay or application could earn you thousands of dollars toward your education if you’re approved. In some cases, colleges even hand out scholarships automatically based on merit. If you are hoping to earn scholarships to help reduce your college costs, check out these colleges that awarded the most scholarship and grant money in the 2011-12 school year according to the National Center for Education Statistics
Since they don’t have to be repaid, scholarships are one of the smartest ways to fund your education.
Student's Average Award Amount: $39,754
Total Annual Awards: $40,112,145
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University tops the list for the highest average amount of scholarship dollars received per student. This coveted school covers 100 percent of each student’s financial need; after calculating parental contribution, student employment and outside awards, the remaining tuition is covered by Harvard’s scholarship funds.
Student's Average Award Amount: $38,397
Total Annual Awards: $27,760,965
Considering their significant endowments and trusts, it’s no surprise that a good portion of this list is made up of Ivy League schools. Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, is next on the list, offering each student an average of over $38,000 per year in institutional scholarships. Yale’s need-based aid policy is much like Harvard’s; parent contributions and student income are reduced from the total cost of attendance (including room and board and book costs), and the rest is covered by scholarship funds.
Student's Average Award Amount: $36,389
Total Annual Awards: $33,987,768
Stanford University in Stanford, California, offers need-based aid through their Stanford Fund. Students are automatically awarded these funds when they submit their information to the financial aid office. In addition, the university awards over 1,200 named scholarships over the course of the year.
Student's Average Award Amount: $36,083
Total Annual Awards: $25,041,815
Ivy League school Columbia University is located in New York City. Besides traditional scholarships, Columbia’s institutional aid may also include fellowships, assistantships and stipends. In addition, this university meets 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need for all students admitted as first-years throughout all four years of study.
Student's Average Award Amount: $36,051
Total Annual Awards: $16,439,462
Located in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College is yet another Ivy League institution on the list. The college guarantees to meet 100 percent of each student’s demonstrated financial need for all four years. In addition, students who come from families with a total income of $100,000 or less receive free tuition.
Student's Average Award Amount: $35,875
Total Annual Awards: $7,354,365
Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, offers generous scholarships to their students. Trinity commits to meeting the full, calculated need of all new first-year students. Each year, about 40 percent of students receive need-based financial assistance from the college.
University of Richmond
Student's Average Award Amount: $33,325
Total Annual Awards: $13,530,010
Located in Richmond, Virginia, the University of Richmond has a number of merit scholarships, including the Richmond Scholars Program, which offers full tuition. In addition, the university meets 100 percent of the demonstrated need for each student.
Johns Hopkins University
Student's Average Award Amount: $33,804
Total Annual Awards: $21,499,609
University of Pennsylvania
Student's Average Award Amount: $33,557
Total Annual Awards: $38,154,736
Like the other Ivy League schools on the list, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia meets 100 percent of each student’s demonstrated financial need. Nearly every student whose family income totals less than $160,000 is offered scholarship aid. The school considers many factors in determining need, including the number of children enrolled in college and extenuating family circumstances like illness and unemployment.
Student's Average Award Amount: $33,006
Total Annual Awards: $56,802,724
Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University follows the same policy as the other Ivy League schools by meeting 100 percent of each student’s demonstrated need. In addition to their traditional need-based aid, students may also apply for one of the many named scholarships offered through the university.
Since they don’t have to be repaid, scholarships are one of the smartest ways to fund your education. Keep in mind, however, that some of the most generous universities and colleges (including the ones listed above) are competitive when it comes to admissions. In addition, most rely heavily on financial need when determining how to allocate their scholarship funds. If you’re interested in merit scholarships, check out U.S. News and World Report’s list of the colleges with the most students receiving merit aid.