Right now, more and more states are switching a lot of their financial aid to merit awards. 27 states now do it, and 13 are giving more than 50% of their awards as merit.
In Georgia, because of financial problems with their scholarship program, they raised the bar. The academic requirement is now higher. Georgia's Hope Program is one of the largest merit awards program in the country.
This could mean other states follow. So what's the real change? Instead of awarding college money based on need, it is now trending to award it on merit. Meaning that maybe, and that's a big maybe, less needy students will get money.
Many other states are starting to look at how they give out grant money. Some are giving over 50% based on achievement. Remember, the financial aid money is not growing, and might even be reduced.
To some it makes sense to award college scholarships based on merit or achievement, rather than on income. It rewards those who work hard, and might raise the standards of those starting and completing college. We might have a better prepared work force.
Achievement comes in various parts, like ACT or SAT scores, and grades.
Of course states are trying to keep some aid there specifically for low income students.
The bottom line, is study study study. You'll be a better student for it, and, it might put money in your pocket!