What Schools Can Weather the Storm and Give Merit Scholarships?
Here's our read on quality traditional and moderately-sized private colleges poised to weather the storm and continue with generosity in merit scholarships for A and B students...
· According to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, institutions participating in the 2019 Endowment study put 49% of spending dollars on financial aid.
· The second highest category for spending dollars is academic programs
· The Chronicle of Higher Education’s contributor, Paul Friga, predicts enrollment scenarios will damage up to 50% of universities’ operating expenses
· A key element for framing this properly will be to set a high-level goal of targeted savings from academic spending to help cover the anticipated shortfalls.
· To add more fuel to the fire, Moody’s downgraded its U.S. higher education outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘negative.’
Our quest is to further filter our bucket list of quality schools for those with the probability to weather the storm and provide merit/financial aid to A and B students.
We used the following filters to develop this list of 25+ schools
· Minimum 50% 4-year graduation rate
· Forbe’s November 2019 Financial Health Grade – at least a C rating, preferably higher
· High ratings for merit scholarship and/or need-based grants – 4 or 5-star rating
· Endowment per full-time student– 90% + of the median for the school’s category
While the list is not exhaustive, it is interesting. Here is what I found for our bucket list of traditional and moderately sized private colleges if you are looking for schools with financial strength and a prior history of offering merit scholarships and need grants:
· Degree of Urbanization - Urban campuses are less likely to make the list
· Look to the mid-West – 67% of these schools are Western PA or beyond
· Single-sex colleges such as Hampden-Sydney, Agnes Scott can offer strength, quality and affordability
Interested in larger state flagship universities, consider programs such as the Academic Common Market and other regional tuition discount programs.