We're Committed to Not Giving Merit Scholarships

Mary Ellen Mack Unlike many elite private schools in the country, Latin is, in its mission, committed to fostering a diverse community. And, in order to make that possible, we offer the necessary financial resources so that all students of different backgrounds can be a part of our community. Every year, Latin awards over 3.9 million dollars in financial aid; however, we offer only need-based scholarships and no merit-based ones, which is a controversial topic among other private schools. Latin follows the Principles Of Good Practice, a set of standards stipulated by the National Association Of Independent Schools. These principles instate the notion that each family bears the primary responsibility for financing a student’s education costs, which is the immediate reason behind Latin’s decision to not offer merit scholarships. The list of principles defines the high standards and ethical behavior that should guide the institution into being the best it can possibly be. Latin ensures that every student and family has the necessities to attend. In the course of our school history, Latin has never offered merit scholarships in their admissions process to certify that the money granted goes to the students and families who are in need of assistance. Shelley Greenwood, the Acting Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, explained that if we offered a scholarship to a basketball player who was not in need, it would take away from a student who needed the grant in order to enroll in their top school. “There is such a high criteria in the admissions process,” said Ms. Greenwood “that every student admitted has already earned the merit. After we accept a student’s application, we would then look at their financial status separately and do the best that we can to provide them with the essentials.” Unknown to most, the admissions process is completely separate from the FAST Financial Aid Application. The amount of assistance needed for a student does not affect the status of acceptance to an applicant. Latin has 173 students enrolled with financial aid in all 3 divisions: the lower, middle and upper school. Currently, 15% of the student body has been awarded aid. But, due to limited funding, the pool for these grants are extremely competitive, and they establish a high standard for the makeup of Latin. The Admissions Office stands by this process and their decision to not offer merit based scholarships. The Admission Office accomplishes and safeguards the financial status of these students to enable them to attend one of the best private schools in the country.  ]]>