Best Colleges Offering Merit Scholarships – Merit scholarships are awarded to students based on outstanding achievement in academics, athletics or other special skills. Here’s how to qualify.
The cost of higher education is getting higher and higher. So it’s normal to worry about how to pay for it.
Best Colleges Offering Merit Scholarships
Leaving school with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt isn’t ideal, but that seems to be the case for many students.
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Scholarships and grants make up about 25% of the funding for the average student. And one of the best parts is that with literally hundreds of thousands of scholarships out there, there’s sure to be one you qualify for.
But we also can’t deny that the process of finding scholarships can be daunting, and having resources to help you along the way can make a huge difference.
Many types of scholarships are available. Some are based on your finances, but others are entirely merit-based—such as your grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities.
We will cover exactly what a merit scholarship is and how it differs from a need scholarship. Next, we’ll tell you how to find the ones you qualify for and how to apply.
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If you have demonstrated academic or athletic achievement, leadership, or community service during your high school years, you may find a merit scholarship to help pay for college.
Scholarships, like grants, are a form of free aid. In other words, you don’t have to pay it back when you graduate—unlike student loans.
A merit-based scholarship is based entirely on personal achievement. Whether you qualify has nothing to do with your financial situation.
On the other hand, need-based scholarships are for students who need financial support for college and have a FAFSA that proves that need.
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The most well-known need-based aid program is the federal Pell Grant. But there are also many universities and private organizations that offer scholarships to those who come from low- and middle-income families.
Depending on your situation, you may find that you are eligible for both merit and need-based scholarships. No matter what, remember: the worst you can hear is no, so it’s always worth applying if you qualify.
Many types of merit-based scholarships are available. You can apply for scholarships from your school, nonprofits, local businesses — even your parents’ employers.
When you apply to university, you’re not just competing with other students for the best schools. The best schools also compete against each other for the best students.
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And one of the ways schools do that is by offering merit scholarships and other types of financial aid to current and prospective students.
Some merit-based aid from schools is automatically awarded when your application is accepted, while other scholarships require you to apply.
Tens of thousands of private organizations provide merit-based scholarships to students at various levels of education—everything from undergraduate to doctoral programs.
It’s impossible to overstate how accessible these scholarships are—everything from small businesses to local nonprofits to global corporations offer financial assistance to promising students.
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Many local businesses and organizations offer merit-based scholarships to high-achieving local students. Your local community foundation is a great place to start looking for scholarships.
The cost of college includes much more than tuition. In fact, tuition alone often accounts for less than half of your total bill for the academic year. While applying for merit-based scholarships, it is important to know in advance what they are paying for.
If you receive a merit-based award from your school, it will be applied directly to your tuition before you see the bill.
Often, these scholarships are limited to expenses paid to the school, which may include tuition, fees, and room and board. Sometimes, you can only use the scholarship to pay for tuition, which means that if the tuition is already covered, you can’t use the money.
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In that case, it’s a good idea to apply for scholarships from other organizations that send the scholarship directly to students by check or direct deposit.
When money is sent directly to you, you can often use these scholarship dollars for personal living expenses like rent, food, and supplies.
When applying for scholarships, read the fine print to find mention of restrictions on what you can spend the money on. If the scholarship sponsor requires you to spend the money only on educational expenses, they will probably say the same.
With literally hundreds of thousands of scholarships available out there, you’re sure to qualify for one. The problem is finding the right ones for you. And with so many to choose from, it can feel daunting to even get started.
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One of the important tips we can share is to start early when looking for scholarships.
Many people don’t think to start applying for scholarships until they are in their senior year of high school.
But many scholarship programs are open to sophomores and juniors. And the earlier you start, the more chances you have to apply and get a scholarship.
Imagine if you could start your senior year having already built a scholarship savings account. You could better plan your finances for school and have more peace of mind that you won’t be saddled with student loan debt.
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Once you’ve been accepted to a university, contact the financial aid office and ask what scholarships are available.
If you’ve been accepted to several schools, you can even compare scholarships between them and factor that into your school selection decision.
Let your school’s financial aid office know that you would like to attend their school, but that you need to make a choice that is financially smart for you and your family.
Schools want to attract the best students, so they may want to offer additional merit scholarships to entice you to attend their institution.
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Chances are, local businesses and community foundations near you offer scholarships to local students. Check out local groups’ websites or even contact them directly.
You can also check with your high school guidance counselor. Many compile lists of local scholarships for students to apply for.
Instead of constantly being shown scholarships that don’t match, you can share information about yourself and you’ll be shown matching scholarships.
With a simple Google search, you will be left sifting through thousands of results, many of which are not relevant to you or will no longer exist. A targeted approach to the goal ensures that you do not waste your time.
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When you join, you get access to thousands of scholarships that will suit you, plus more scholarships with hundreds of new scholarships.
It will identify the best matches, so you don’t have to filter them all.
You may be worried that you won’t qualify for merit scholarships, especially if you don’t have high GPAs or outstanding achievements during your high school years.
It is true that excellent scholarships have a large number of applicants. And with an average GPA, it can be hard to compete. But no matter what your unique skill set is, there’s guaranteed to be a scholarship to match it.
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Here are just a few examples of unique scholarships available to students who want to think outside the box:
As a result, there is no hard and fast rule for applying for them. But here are some general steps to follow:
Merit scholarships are a great way to supplement financial aid from your government and school. Finding and applying for them can be time-consuming, but it’s often a better alternative than taking out a student loan.
There are hundreds of thousands of scholarships out there, and eligibility covers every type of merit you can imagine, from academics to athletics and everything in between. If you have a special skill or achievement, there’s a good chance there’s a merit scholarship for it.
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Makes it easy to find the best financial aid and scholarships for you. Register today to get started. College isn’t cheap! Sure there are academic scholarships, but some schools practically require half your leg before you can be considered for one, and even then, how much of your cost does it really cover? That’s why Merit Scholarships are so important!
In fact, you can get automatic full-ride scholarships simply by taking the ACT, SAT, or both, and with a GPA.
Merit scholarships are scholarships that reward you based on your academic efforts in high school—and you don’t have to be a genius to get them. They are automatically awarded to students once they are accepted. But the big question is, what ACT score gives you a full ride and even SAT scores?
This article will focus on the academic scholarships that are awarded if you take the SAT or ACT. There is actually another scholarship source you can try if you scored high on the PSAT or Practice SAT, which is National Merit. You only need to notify the college you are applying to after being recognized as an award winner.
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By joining the contest, you might be able to win a $2500 scholarship. But don’t worry if you haven’t made the cut.
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