The claim is occasionally made that Williams does not distribute “merit” scholarships or aid. That is, any aid that is given is no more than that required for demonstrated financial need. In a FAQ on financial aid, the College says:

Are there any merit scholarships at Williams not based on need?

No. All financial aid awards at Williams are based on need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. The College strongly believes that its scholarship funds should be used to fully meet the demonstrated need of each of its financial aid students. Williams does not sponsor and/or match National Merit Scholarships.

But I don’t think that that is true. I think that Tyng Scholarships and, probably, Williams Opportunity Scholarships, should be considered merit scholarships. The College says:

Tyng Scholarships are the most prestigious Williams awards. They are designed to meet a student’s demonstrated need, primarily with Tyng Scholarship assistance, for each year at Williams. Further assistance is available for three years of graduate or professional school or the equivalent of summer study or research.

So, if a Tyng provides money for law school, money that you do not need to attend Williams, isn’t it a merit award? Perhaps we now have a Tyng scholar, or buddy of one, among our readers who can enlighten us. I have been wrong about financial aid issues at Williams in the past.

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