Willamette's financial aid process is merit-driven. The quality of a student's academic record influences the amount of scholarship and grant money that is included in his or her financial aid award when the student is admitted to the university. This means that strong students will receive scholarship recognition from us whether or not they qualify for need-based financial aid. The quality of one's high school curriculum, grades in college preparatory subjects and test scores will have the greatest effect on the amount merit-based institutional dollars awarded.
For students with demonstrated financial need, the percentage of need that is met with "gift-aid" (scholarships and grants from all sources) will also reflect the students' academic standing within our admitted applicant pool. In other words, the stronger the student, the greater the scholarship award is likely to be.
Although Willamette has a significant financial aid budget, we are not able to fully meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. As mentioned above, our scholarship resources are directed toward the strongest students in our applicant pool. We build our need-based financial aid packages around the student's merit scholarship (if he or she qualified), followed by need-based grants, student loans and work-study.