Financial Aid Should Not Be Based On Merit

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College tuition has increased by 12% while the average family income has decreased by 6%, both in the last decade. So how do 22 million American college students pay for their tuition? (Mcgrath and Schifrin 74). They will probably need either merit or need based financial aid. Students who meet some academic criteria will most likely receive merit-based aid. The students from low and middle-income families will require need-based aid. Although many might think that financial aid should be based on merit as a way to reward students for their achievements and push success; however, government financial aid should not be based solely on merit because it doesn’t always go to the highest achieving students, it discourages low and middle-income students from attending a post-secondary education, and it should also go to the financially needy students. Firstly, merit aid doesn’t always go to students who have achieved some kind of academic or athletic success. There has been an increase in the amount of scholarships going to the wealthy students (Clark). Colleges find it more profitable to reward aid to wealthy students over the poor students. Giving four scholarships of $5,000 to wealthier students is more profitable than to give one full-tuition grant of $20,000 to a low-income student, since colleges know that the four wealthy students will be able to pay the rest of the tuition (Weise 2). Some of these students are top of their class or have high-test scores, but the others

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