Gift aid represents funding that does not need to be repaid, and thus in essence is a “gift” to the recipient. Generally, gift aid is categorized as scholarships and/or grants. We offer the basics on the various types of scholarships/grants that are typically received.
Generally, merit scholarships are awarded only to incoming students to recognize past stellar academic performance, with the expectation that a similar academic performance will occur at their new collegiate level. Incoming undergraduate freshmen are recognized for their high school academic accomplishments, while incoming graduate and/or professional students are recognized for their prior collegiate performance. Often such awards are renewed for all expected semesters of enrollment, and retention usually requires meeting some minimum academic and enrollment criteria.
Recipients of service scholarships are usually required to perform some level of service in exchange for their receipt of the scholarship funding. The most common example of a service scholarship is the ROTC Scholarship program, whereby in exchange for a generous scholarship recipients are expected to serve for a specific number of years in the armed forces.
Scholarships awarded on the basis of a determined financial need are also often referred to as grants. The Federal Pell Grant is an example of a need-based award. A standardized needs analysis methodology is used to determine an expected family/student contribution and to then establish a student’s level of eligibility for need-based scholarship/grant funding. Generally need-based eligibility must be re-established each year and all retention criteria must be fully met.
Scholarships are provided from numerous sources. While many colleges and universities offer their own institutionally funded scholarships/grants, funds are also provided via various Federal and State programs, as well as from a vast array of “outside” scholarships (defined as scholarships being offered from entities “outside” of Tulane). Learn more about “outside” scholarship opportunities.