What Is A Merit Scholarship

What Is A Merit Scholarship

Are you a high school student seeking a college or university merit scholarship? We are all aware that college education costs are becoming increasingly difficult to afford.

Many scholarships and financial aid are need-based, which means you could be disqualified from getting such assistance due to your family income. The way out of this is to apply for a merit scholarship.

But, before applying for a merit scholarship, it is essential to know exactly “what is a merit scholarship.” This article will answer that! It will also discuss how to get a merit scholarship and list the top award to get started with.

Let’s get started!

What Is A Merit Scholarship

What is a Merit Scholarship?

A Merit scholarship is a financial award or aid that you don’t have to pay back. As free scholarship money, these should be one of the first opportunities to look out for when considering how you will pay for college.

Although most US colleges and universities do offer these awards, many of the most competitive private schools do not.

Unlike need-based scholarships, merit scholarships are awarded to students based on the talent they may possess in a variety of fields, like sports, academics, arts, special interests, or circumstances.

In addition, merit scholarships may be awarded from the college, university, state governments, or an outside benefactor.

Even if you don’t qualify for need-based awards due to family income and assets, these scholarships are available to you.

Now having understood what a merit scholarship is all about. Let’s find out how to get one.

What Is A Merit Scholarship

How to Get a Merit Scholarship?

Merit scholarships mostly come from two sources: private organizations and educational institutions themselves. The method to find and apply for these scholarships depends on where you found them.

Private Organizations

Private and nonprofit organizations offer some of the most common merit scholarships.

Many of these organizations’ missions and visions are to provide financial support to high-achieving students who also demonstrate financial hardship. 

You can start your search for merit-based awards by Googling scholarships focused on your unique interests, skills, or hobbies. If you are into engineering, you may look out for “engineering scholarships,” “merit scholarships for engineering students,” or even “engineering scholarships with the school name.”

Educational institutions

Finding good merit-based scholarships through educational institutions, such as colleges and universities, is much easier than through private organizations. Some schools sometimes offer this type of award in order to attract competitive applicants to their schools.

Often, all you have to do to get your hands on this award is apply directly to the school. When you submit your college application, you will be immediately considered for awards.

Generally, when awarding merit scholarships, colleges and universities normally consider the following criteria: 

  • Your GPA in high school
  • Scores on standardized tests (SAT and/or ACT)
  • Class Standing

For a comprehensive step on how to get a scholarship, check out our guide here.

What are the Top Merit Scholarships in the USA?

If you are ready to begin your search, the following top merit scholarships are a good place to start.

Merit-Based Awards

Merit + Financial Need Awards

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