Texas The University of Texas at Austin is pulling out of the National Merit Scholarship Program to focus on needs-based financial assistance.
The 50,000-student university — second only to Harvard University in the number of merit scholars enrolled — said budget pressures were causing it to end its participation in the merit-based program, which awards scholarships to top high school achievers. The university emphasized that it will still honor all existing commitments to National Merit Scholars, including those who entered as freshmen this year.
Colleges nationwide are struggling to meet higher demand for financial aid amid fewer resources from states and their own endowed scholarship funds.
“The financial constraints brought about by the economy on families and the university require the redirection of resources to ensure accessibility to UT Austin by all qualified students, regardless of ability to pay,” the UT Office of Student Financial Services said in a statement released Tuesday.