FAFSA Required for Merit Aid Hopeful?

Question: Is it necessary to fill out the FASFA (financial aid form) in order to qualify for merit scholarships directly from the university? We do not qualify for need-based aid. The scholarship money is important to our family because our son plans to continue his education beyond the first four years. If he receives merit money for his undergraduate education, then he will have our money for a Masters, law school, etc.

Of all the confusing, frustrating, annoying inconsistencies you'll encounter as you go through the college admission process with your son, the search for merit aid may be the worst. The good news is that, in most cases, there is no separate application for merit money, there is no FAFSA required, and many merit awards are not based on demonstrated need. So, if your son chooses his colleges wisely and applies to institutions that offer good merit assistance and where his "numbers" (SAT/ACT, GPA, class rank--if he has one) put him at the top of the heap, he should be rewarded with merit scholarships to entice him to enroll.

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