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Colleges Often Give Discounts To The Rich. But Here’s One That Gave Up On ‘Merit Aid.’

The open secret of higher education is that private colleges competing for students often slash prices for families wealthy enough to pay full tuition.

Some dangle “merit aid” to lure academic stars. Others use discounts to ensure that they enroll enough affluent students to meet their revenue targets.

Washington University in St. Louis provides grants unrelated to financial need or athletics to 14 percent of freshmen, a Washington Post analysis found. George Washington University gives them to 20 percent, and Tulane University to 37 percent. Those three are among dozens of prominent private schools that offer significant largesse to students without need.