Trends and issues
TG responds to thousands of calls each year through the Texas Financial Aid Information Center. One of the most commonly asked questions is "Are there financial aid programs that are not based on a student's or family's income?"
While most federal and state grant programs, such as the Pell Grant and TEXAS Grant, are based entirely or in-part on financial need, most colleges and universities fund institutional grants and scholarships that are based on other criteria. Commonly referred to as "merit" aid, these awards may be based on a student's academic performance, athletic talent, extracurricular involvement, leadership ability, or other factors. Most institutions, especially four-year private colleges, rely on a combination of endowments, gifts from alumni and other constituents, and tuition and fee dollars to fund their institutional grant and scholarship programs.
A recent survey from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and The College Board indicates that only 35 percent of the scholarships and grants distributed by four-year, public colleges and universities were awarded based on undergraduates' demonstrated financial need. In contrast, 65 percent of the awards provided by four-year, private schools and 55 percent of the grants distributed by community colleges were provided based entirely or partly on need.
More information about sources of financial aid for college-bound students and their families is available on TG's public service website, Adventures in Education, at www.aie.org, or by calling the Texas Financial Aid Information Center at (888) 311-8881.
(Source: NASFAA and The College Board, 2001 Survey of Undergraduate Financial Aid Policies, Practices, and Procedures)
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