I am endlessly annoyed by the College’s claim that the Tyng is not a “merit” scholarship, that all the College is doing is meeting someone’s “demonstrated need” but with a nice, pretty bow on top. See here and here for previous discussion. The College continues to claim that there are no merit scholarships at Williams.

Any reader still naive enough to think that the College is telling the truth should take a gander at what Tyng scholars actually receive.

I’m a Tyng Scholar.

One of six to eight in each entering class.

The Stephen H. Tyng scholarship covers all four years of undergrad study, plus three years of further scholarship assistance in grad school– seven years total. Plus stipends for special research or internship opportunities, and a grant to embark on additional studies over one undergrad summer.

It’s all grants. No work-study programs. No loans that have to be repaid. Just grants.

Williams costs $38,000 per year.

For the 2004-2005 school year, the Tyng scholarship grants amount to $37,137.

Total cost of college next year: $863.00.

So, not only does the Tyng support graduate school, but it provides all sorts of stipends, grants and other goodies that are not really necessary for one’s Williams education. If this is not a merit scholarship, then the term has no meaning.


1) Does the College maintain a special endowment for the Tyng and, if so, how big is it? If there are about 28 Tyngs at any one time, then the total annual cost is over $1 million per year. That would suggest an endowment somewhere around $50 million.

2) How generous are the Williams Opportunity Scholarships?

3) Why does the College continue to dissemble on this? Is there some NESCAC or Little Three rule/agreement/policy whereby schools agree not to give merit awards?

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