Merit $

If your child scores high enough on the PSAT to become a National Merit Scholar, you’ll get inundated with mail from colleges.  Some of them dangle lucrative merit scholarships as enticement to apply.

I built a list as my son’s mail arrived in 2009-2010.

Merit Scholarships:

  1. Auburn University, Auburn AL – National Merit Finalists: non-resident tuition, housing, $1000/year +$1500 technology allowance + $4000 enrichment experience; other scholarships available
  2. Bowdoin College, Brunswick ME – $1-2K for National Merit Scholars
  3. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA – half tuition (Judy Resnich Challenger, Andrew Carnegie, and Carnegie Mellon Scholarships) – amounts may be reduced for 2009
  4. Claremont McKenna College, Claremont CA – $10K to full tuition for 15% of students
  5. College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME
  6. Cornell College, Mt Vernon, IA – up to full tuition
  7. Duke University, Durham NC – A.B. Duke Scholarship for tuition, room, board & fees
  8. Harvey Mudd College, Claremont CA
  9. Howard University, Washington DC – Presidential Scholarships –  tuition, room, board, laptop, books
  10. Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago IL – full tuition
  11. Indiana University, Bloomington IN – $9K/yr with SAT 1330 or ACT 30
  12. Kenyon College, Gambier, OH – $1000-$2000 for National Merit Scholars, plus consideration for Honors / Science / Distinguished Academic Scholarships
  13. Macalester College, St. Paul MN – $5K/yr National Merit Scholars
  14. Miami University, Oxford OH – full ride for in-state students; %5000 Non-Ohio Resident Merit Scholarship
  15. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI – 15 full rides, 20 full tuition, plus others
  16. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT – tuition waiver (but not fees) + $2500 stipend Presidential Scholarship
  17. New College, Sarasota FL – up to $20K/yr for out-of-state students; all students who apply by deadline get some merit aid
  18. Northeastern University, Boston MA – tuition+room+board; National Merit Finalists may be eligible for full tuition / Trustee Scholarship
  19. Ohio State University, Columbus OH – $7200 for non-Ohio residents with ACT 27 / SAT 1220
  20. Olin College of Engineering, Needham MA – full half tuition for all admitted students (changed for 2010)
  21. Rhodes College, Memphis TN – 3 full rides, 5 near-tuition
  22. Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX (Distinguished Scholars, President’s Scholars, IB Diploma Scholars, Hunt Leadership Scholars)
  23. Southwestern University, Georgetown TX – up to $21,000 based upon class rank + SAT/ACT score
  24. Tarleton State University, Stephensville TX – $7000/yr
  25. Texas A&M, College Station TX – up to $12K/yr
  26. Texas A&M University at Galveston, TX – up to $5K/yr for wages or travel expenses on research projects + most costs of attendance covered by McDaniel Charitable Foundation for National Merit Scholars; instate tuition for National Merit Scholars
  27. Trinity University, San Antonio TX – two full tuition scholarships
  28. University of Alabama – National Merit Finalists: full tuition + housing + $1000/year + $2000 for research or international study
  29. University of Dayton, Dayton OH – up to $25,000/yr
  30. University of Delaware, Newark DE – full tuition + room + board (Distinguished Scholar Awards)
  31. University of Houston, Houston TX – full tuition + room + board + fees + books (National Merit Scholarship); possible $10,000 more if attend a lunchion
  32. University of Kansas – $10,000/year for National Merit Finalists
  33. University of Missouri – up to $5500/yr
  34. University of New Haven – 4 full tuition scholarships for winners of a 2012 entrepreneurial idea contest, the Dean’s Scholarship Challenge
  35. University of New Mexico – tuition, fees, room,&  board for 15-20 students (Regents or National Scholarship) – guaranteed for National Merit semi-finalists
  36. University of North Texas: National Merit finalists get 4 years tuition, fees, room, board & textbooks
  37. University of Oklahoma – tuition + room + board + laptop + travel-study stipend
  38. University of Richmond, VA – full tuition (Richmond Scholars Program)
  39. University of South Carolina – Carolina Scholars $10K/yr; McNair Scholars $15K/yr out-of-state, laptops
  40. University of Southern California – half to full tuition
  41. University of Texas at Dallas – National Merit Scholars:  tuition, fees, $5000/yr cash, $2000/yr for on-campus housing
  42. University of Tulsa, Tulsa OK – tuition, basic room & board for (some?) National Merit Finalists
  43. Washington University, St. Louis MO – 13 full tuition, 24 half tuition scholarships
  44. Wittenberg University, Springfield OH – $7.5K to $30K/yr, in their article, 5 Colleges You Can Go to For Free, points out that there are some specialized colleges that are (mostly) tuition free, for all accepted students:

  • The military academies are tuition free, although student may have to pay some fees and there is that issue of the 5 to 8 year commitment of your life after graduation from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy or Military Academy.
  • Work colleges require all students to work (often 15 hours) in exchange for part or all of their tuition.  College of the Ozrks, Alice Lloyd College and Berea College offer free tuition.  Deep Springs College, Dyer NV, offers free tuition, room and board, but is only a 2-year college.  Partially free tuition is available at Blackburn College, Sterling College, Ecclesia College, and Warren Wilson College.
  • Some colleges focus on a very limited number of majors as a way to cut costs.  At Webb Institute, Glen Cove, NY, everyone majors in naval architecture and marine engineering.  Musicians should consider the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MS, has reduced their offer to half tuition due to investment losses.  Coopers Union in NYC focuses on art, architecture and engineering and currently offers free tuition; they also are considering changing their tuition and admissions policies.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jeanne Quain  |  November 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    #30 on your list, U of Delaware – is that a guarantee for Naitonal Merit Semifinalists or Finalists? I hadn’t seen that one before.

  • […] colleges offer scholarships to National Merit Scholars, ranging from $2500 to a full ride – tuition, room and board.  […]

  • 3. bananas  |  April 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

    For other people, bananas could prove to have a completely opposite effect, causing diarrhea instead.
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