Three steps to getting money to help pay for college

The Choice blog just featured an interactive list of more than 600 colleges and universities that award merit aid. Published by Education Life, the higher education quarterly of The New York Times, the list includes the sticker price of the institution’s tuition and fees, the percentage of freshmen who receive merit aid, and the average amount of money that they receive.  Unlike need-based aid, merit aid has nothing to do with how much a family can (or cannot) afford to pay for college.

If you want to improve your chances of getting the money you need to help you attend college:

1. Apply for need-based aid (don’t assume you won’t qualify).

2. Apply to colleges where you have a good chance of admission.

3. Choose schools that award merit-based aid.