Why Good Grades Alone Don’t Pay For College

Updated: May 25


stack of books with someone behind

Parents are often surprised at the amount of merit money available to students.  However, the parent needs to be realistic regarding their student’s academic achievements and list of schools.

  1. Private Scholarships Don’t Pay For College –  Do the math.  The average award range is $500 – $1000 for one year only.  With a 10% “win” rate, students need to apply to over 250 scholarships to make a dent.

  2. Pick The Right Schools – Your student’s academic index should be in the top 10%.  Don’t expect merit scholarships if your excellent student is not substantially better than most of the other students applying.

  3. Highly Competitive Schools Are Typically Not Generous With Merit –  Admissions can easily replace your excellent student with another one just as qualified.  If cost of attendance is an issue and you have a high expected family contribution (EFC), avoid bumper sticker schools.

Look for schools that graduate the majority of their students on time as an indicator of quality and a >50% acceptance rate.  These schools are willing to bribe your excellent student to enroll.  Spoiler alert – many of these schools are not in expensive cities or near the beach – check out the Mid-West!

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