Originally Posted by intparent
Or had the idea that giving someone money now signficantly increases the chance that person will give considerably more money later on?

Possibly merit money is granted with this as at least a portion of their thinking (if I thought they were looking at the long term, but that is actually also somewhat questionable). I don't see it for need based aid -- it isn't like those students come from big money families, and who knows if they will be financially successful enough to give money back to the college later if that is not the case? Now I think colleges do grant ADMISSION to students from families with a lot of money if the family has made significant contributions in the past to the school.

Confirming intparent:

College Aid Recipients Donate Less as Alumni
New York Times
February 21, 2012