Need Merit Aid? Apply Here! August 10, 2011 by Alexis Mattera A few months back, we wrote about helpful tips on maximizing merit aid, or aid based on a student’s attributes like academics, athletics and extracurriculars. For college applicants who aren’t deemed financially needy in terms of their FAFSA or EFC, merit aid can make a huge difference in the schools they can realistically afford to attend. Students and families seeking this extra financial aid boost should consider researching schools more likely to dispense merit-based awards but with so many colleges and universities in the U.S., which ones are the best financial bets?ADVERTISEMENTHelp has arrived in the form of U.S. News, which has compiled a top 10 list of schools that awarded the highest percentage of merit-based funding to non-needy students during the 2009-10 academic year (the stats do not include financially needy students who were given merit aid or students who received athletic scholarships or other tuition breaks). Take a look: Louisiana College - 88% Cooper Union - 68% Free Will Baptist Bible College - 61% University of Central Oklahoma - 54% Hawaii Pacific University - 52% Cumberland University - 50% New College of Florida - 49% Denison University - 47% Mayville State University - 46% DePauw University - 45% High school students, does this data have you looking at these schools in a new light? Current college students attending one of the schools listed above, did merit aid make the difference as to whether or not you enrolled?College is expensive. Scholarships.com has done the work for you. Pay for your college education with free college scholarship money. Get matched to college scholarships instantly and start applying today by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.