High-Income Students Get Bulk of Merit Aid

Merit scholarships are disproportionately awarded to students from high-income families, and the percentage of merit aid that colleges give out, compared with need-based aid, has increased significantly since 1994, according to a report released last week.

From 1994 to 2004, students from families in the top income quartile (at least $111,170 annually) received three times as much merit aid as did students in the lowest quartile ($37,745 or less). Families in the lowest quartile spent