Kenneth E. Redd


The total amount provided by postsecondary education institutions for institutional grants increased nearly 70% during the 1990s. Much of the additional funding was provided for merit scholarships and other non-need based grants. Increases in merit aid suggests that many more higher education institutions used their institutional aid dollars for strategic "tuition discounting" purposes, rather than meeting students' demonstrated financial need. Given the shift in institutional aid from need- to non-need based purposes, what role did financial aid administrators play in the distribution of institutional grants? How has the financial aid administrator's role changed? This article uses data from the 1996 Survey of Undergraduate Financial Aid Policies, Practices, and Procedures to discuss the growing use of need- and non-need based institutional aid from the financial aid office's perspective.