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 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.
Starting next fall, the university will begin redirecting the scholarship money to financial-assistance programs designed to help students who have a hard time paying for tuition and fees. The school said it had 281 National Merit Scholars enroll as freshmen last year, compared with 285 at Harvard.
A version of this article appeared in the September 16, 2009 edition of Education Week