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PEDAR: Executive Summary  Institutional Aid to Full-Time Undergraduates Attending 4-Year Colleges and Universities
Trends in Institutional Aid: 1992-93 to 1999-2000
Academic Merit, Financial Need, and Institutional Grant Aid Among First-Year Students
Students with High Academic Merit
Institutional Grant Aid and Retention at Awarding Institution
One Year Later
Six Years Later
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
 Students with High Academic Merit

Students enrolled in less selective institutions who had achieved high academic merit in high school were more likely to receive institutional grant aid than their high-merit counterparts in very selective institutions. This was observed for both public institutions (52 vs. 27 percent) and private not-for-profit institutions (87 vs. 51 percent). However, in less selective institutions, no association could be detected between the likelihood of high-merit students receiving institutional grant aid and their financial need.6 In private not-for profit less selective institutions, for example, roughly 9-in-10 high-merit students received institutional grant aid regardless of their financial need. In very selective institutions, on the other hand, high-merit students with high financial need were more likely to receive institutional aid than their counterparts with low (or no) need.

For high-merit students who received institutional grant aid, the average amount received as a percentage of tuition varied by institution selectivity in private not-for-profit institutions: those in very selective institutions received about 58 percent of their tuition amounts, compared with 46 percent in less selective institutions. However, in the same sector, only in very selective institutions did the amount of institutional aid received vary by aid recipients’ financial need. Specifically, in very selective institutions, high-merit recipients with high financial need received enough institutional grant aid to pay for about two-thirds of their tuition, compared with about one-half of tuition for high-merit recipients with moderate or low need. In less selective private not-for-profit institutions, on the other hand, no difference in the average amounts received by high-merit recipients could be detected among students in terms of their financial need.7

Tuition in public institutions is typically much lower than it is in comparable private not-for-profit institutions. Due to large variations in the amounts received, in particular for students with no financial need, statistical differences in aid amounts could be detected only for high-merit aid recipients in less selective public institutions. Among such students, those with high need received enough aid to pay 96 percent of their tuition, compared with recipients with moderate need who received only enough aid to pay 64 percent of their tuition.

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