Amongst CUNY, Queens College awards highest in merit aid

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Out of the five CUNY schools that award merit aid to incoming freshman, Queens College offers the most, according to College Board data analyzed by The New York Times.

QC gives out an average of $8,300 in merit aid, while the other four CUNY schools mentioned in the data, which analyzed 600 nonprofit colleges and universities, give out numbers significantly lower than that.

City College gives $2,485, Hunter College gives $1,884, College of Staten Island gives $1,015 and in smaller figures, City College of Technology gives only $510 on average, in merit aid.

However City, Hunter and Staten Island award, on average, eight times as many students as QC does.

As the cost of getting a college education is constantly rising each year, more students and their families hope to receive financial aid.

Although merit aid is financial aid awarded to students based on academic, artistic, or athletic achievement, the College Board data comes from colleges and universities that award aid based solely on academic accomplishments. Also, the numbers obtained from this data have been adjusted for inflation.

The numbers between the five schools show noteworthy differences between the school’s tuition and fees, freshmen getting merit aid and undergraduate enrollment.

Most notably, QC charges $600 more in tuition and fees. In order from highest to lowest, QC charges $5,607, Hunter charges $5,099, Staten Island charges $5,078, City College of Technology charges $5,038 and City College charges $5,028.

This data shows that some schools are either giving fewer students more money or are increasing their tuition and fees by giving smaller amounts of aid to students.

At QC, out of the 11,265 undergraduate enrollment rate, only 2 percent of freshmen receive merit aid, while in City College, out of their 9,259 undergraduate enrollment rate, 20 percent receive merit aid—the highest percent.

The College Board amounts are based on the estimated merit aid given to first time freshmen in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Some students are often torn between getting an expensive Ivy League school education or getting an education that they can afford.

Financial aid is awarded for one academic year based on the student’s information on their annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid and Tuition Assistance Program applications—otherwise known as FAFSA and TAP.

At QC, financial aid is offered in the form of grants, loans and work study programs.

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