For some, the month of April is a sweet reversal on the norm in college admissions.
It is the only time of year when colleges are at the mercy of their applicants; schools can say who is in and who is out, but they cannot force anyone to enroll.
However, colleges rarely leave themselves without any say in students’ decisions. Most use merit-based financial aid to woo the applicants they want most. They know that, regardless of how much money a student has, a financial gift makes an offer of admission much more appealing.
Merit aid might seem like a fairly innocuous strategy; after all, the kids who receive it have earned it through their hard work. However, a recent NPR segment argues that the rise in merit aid has actually made college more expensive overall.
Because merit aid is awarded to students who do not need the money, it reduces the funds available for students with financial need. On the whole, it depletes a school’s available resources and drives up its cost of attendance.
Click here to check out the full segment on NPR.