Figuring out the merit-scholarship process

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seancris
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:10 pm

Figuring out the merit-scholarship process

Postby seancris » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:23 pm

What I've observed from my cycle is that there appears to be a huge amount of randomness to the scholarship process. This year I applied to Emory with identical numbers to an acquaintance from last year and recieve 60k while he recieved only 24k in his cycle (2011). I also applied to Florida with a 4.0/163 and recieved nothing while a non-URM with a 3.95/163 got 42k, Florida's highest scholarship.

Looking ahead to next cycle at lower T14 schools, 3.9+/170 applicants can get 120k at UVA or they can get waitlisted. They can get 110k at Duke or pay sticker. At Texas they can get 75k, 21k, or nothing. At Vandy it can be nothing, 20k, 40k, or 90k.

All for applicants with the same numbers. The in-state vs. oos distinction for the public schools does not seem to account for it, and is irrelevant at schools like Duke and Vandy.

Can someone please help me understand this process so that I can prepare for it for next cycle?

The Duck
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:14 am

Re: Figuring out the merit-scholarship process

Postby The Duck » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:17 pm

Lots of schools use factors other than numbers to differentiate amongst people with similar numbers. Those people likely have more interesting backgrounds that will allow them to contribute more. This won't get you in, but once you're in it affects how much they desire you to pick them.

der_saeufer
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:27 am

Re: Figuring out the merit-scholarship process

Postby der_saeufer » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:02 am

The Duck wrote:Lots of schools use factors other than numbers to differentiate amongst people with similar numbers. Those people likely have more interesting backgrounds that will allow them to contribute more. This won't get you in, but once you're in it affects how much they desire you to pick them.


TITCR, though it can get you in too, especially if your GPA is the low number :)

A number of the private schools, including Duke and Vandy for sure, award one scholarship based both on merit and need. Two identical candidates with different financial situations could conceivably get very different scholarships. Using Vandy as an example, two candidates with identical numbers and identically awesome backgrounds will likely get different scholarships if one is 26 and barely makes rent working at Starbucks and the other is 22 with parents in the 1%. Being older helps too--Vandy's cutoff for parents' information is 25. Some schools use 25, some use 30 and a fair number have no maximum age--in theory a 100-year-old applicant would have to provide his parents' information if they were still around.




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