Merit-Based Vs. Need-Based Financial Aid – Understanding the Difference

If you are looking for financial aid for school, you have two main options: merit-based aid and need-based aid. Before you write yourself off as only being able to apply for one or the other, we’re going to discuss both options, the pros and cons, and why you need to apply for both types regardless of your circumstances.

Need-Based Financial Aid

Need-based aid is based solely on the needs of your family. Don’t assume because your parents’ income is over six figures that there is nothing out there for you. Not only is aid available for students based on a calculation that takes more than just income into consideration but there is also need-based support from schools. Private schools may be willing to offer need-based aid to those with a higher income since tuition costs so much more than at a public college.

Merit-Based Financial Aid

Having great scores is a good way to qualify for merit-based aid, but it isn’t the only way. In fact, some schools give out full tuition scholarships to students who excel in various sports or the arts. So whether you got a perfect score on your SATs or you’re the top ballplayer in your high school division, merit-based aid may be for you.

Find the Financial Aid You Need for College

At College Planning Source, we help students to find the right merit-based and need-based aid to apply for so you get the funds you need to attend the school you want. You can get in touch with us today by calling 858.676.0700, or you can submit our online contact form.

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To ensure the safety of parents, students, and staff, we will be holding our student counseling meetings and our student workshops online. 
We will be conducting meetings via Zoom until further notice.
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Our staff continues to work tirelessly to prepare our students and families for their college experience. If you are currently on break, get a head start now and take advantage of this time to start college planning. For any questions or concerns, please contact us at 858-676-0700.



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