States offer different types of financial aid to graduating high school students going on to higher education. The first primary type of financial aid is need-based aid, which is offered to students based upon demonstrated financial need. The second is merit aid, which students must qualify for based on demonstrated academic merit, typically through a combination of required coursework, grade-point average, and test scores. Some need-based aid also has merit requirements. For many states, the merit requirements do not align with high school college- and career-ready assessments or required coursewrk.