At the following link, you will find a great new (and quite affordable) resource from my friends at diycollegerankings.com for finding merit aid. Even those of you with seniors, who are still thinking strategically about financing college will find it useful, I think.
I have looked at it, and believe it offers more than the free merit aid statistics at CollegeData.com I am certainly going to use it for my own daughter, because you know my story...I am a FIRM believer in merit aid, which has saved me roughly $280,000 for my own kids. If you have a good student, why pay full retail? Here's how it works in my family:
Step 1: Get good grades in high school
Step 2: Get a half to full ride at a top 50 private college or university, where the education is fantastic.
Step 3: Be top in your class at this school, b/c the competition is less than at the top 25 schools or the UCs.
Step 4: Get paid to go to graduate school at a top 10 school.
Step 5: Enjoy how good it feels to command so much money (students) and have a spa treatment at every nice hotel in the world with all the money you saved (parents)
See how that works?
Have fun looking at the free sample, and see what you think here:
Here's what the developer, MICHELLE KRETZSCHMAR, has to say about the resource:
"Students who are in the top quarter of the freshman class are more likely to receive merit aid than those in the middle or bottom of the class. This is called preferential packaging.Colleges offer more money in the form of merit scholarships as an incentive to students they believe will boost their class profile.
This isn’t always based on test scores or GPAs. It all depends on the college’s priorities. However, test scores are the easiest way to target colleges most likely to offer to offer generous merit.
Now you can get a list of colleges based on their 75th% scores, sorted by state, along with relevant admissions and financial aid information in a simple to use PDF. If you’re looking for colleges likely to offer merit aid, this is the easiest way to start.
The list includes acceptance rates as well as the percentage of freshman receiving institutional merit aid. It also lists average net price, a critical indicator of financial aid generosity. Along with the list of schools for the specific test category, you’ll also receive a list of schools that don’t report test scores."