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The Boston Globe

Metro

Amid limited budgets, colleges grapple with merit-based aid

Can attract top students, but low-income applicants may be put in bind

Three high school classmates apply to Boston University, one at the top of the class, one an average student, and one below-average. Because it’s a great high school, all three win admission.

Each student needs $20,000 in scholarships to make freshman year affordable. But the university can afford only $30,000 in total for all three. What does it do?

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