How Merit-Based Financial Aid Hurts Low-Income Students

Oct 8, 2013

Many low-income students rely on need-based scholarships and grants to pay for college. But in recent years, universities across the country — and often states themselves — are turning away from need-based financial aid. Increasingly, they’re awarding student aid based on merit. Nationally, 29 percent of all student aid is now merit based. That number has nearly tripled over the past 20 years.

Catherine Rampell is an economics reporter for The New York Times. She talked with David Hyde about what's behind the trend.

Produced by Andy Hurst.