According to a new NCES report, merit aid rose among undergraduates from 6 to 14 percent from 1995–96 to 2007–08. Merit Aid for Undergraduates: Trends from 1995–96 to 2007–08 examines the receipt of merit aid by undergraduates from 1995–96 to 2007–08, describing who receives how much merit and other non-need-based grant aid by student and institutional characteristics and in comparison to need-based grant aid.
Results are based on nationally representative data collected through the 1995–96, 1999–2000, 2003–04 and 2007–08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Studies (NPSAS:96, NPSAS:2000, NPSAS:04 and NPSAS:08).
Other findings include:
• The proportion of dependent students receiving any grant aid who were from high-income backgrounds rose from 13 percent in 1995–96 to 18 percent in 2007–08.
• In 1995–96, a higher proportion of students at 4-year institutions received need-based institutional grants than merit aid. By 2007–08, the proportion of merit aid recipients exceeded that of need-based grant recipients at public 4-year institutions and was the same at private nonprofit 4-year institutions.
• In 2007–08, students at moderately selective 4-year institutions received merit aid more often than those at very selective institutions.
• The Southeast had the highest proportion of state merit scholarships (24 percent) of any region in the United States, while the nationwide total was 10 percent in 2007–08.