Many students look for different ways to fund your college tuition depending on their families income level and others. The best way to manage the cost is by aiming at a scholarship or a grant which are need based aids. Especially when you are a high-achieving student and may not qualify for a financial aid, the merit scholarship comes into picture. The best part about getting a scholarship is, you are not required to pay it back. This article addresses the merit scholarship, how you can get one, eligibility, application and much more.
Merit scholarships are awarded to students based on the achievements, academic excellence, talent and performance on the standardized tests in various fields such as academics, athletics, art or special interests. Colleges aim at selecting the best eligible candidate among the diverse applicants and mainly blind towards factors such as financial background. Students offered with merit scholarships could use it to cover tuition, room and overall expenses at the college.
Check for Your Eligibility for the Merit Scholarship
There are eligibility criteria to get the merit scholarship and it depends vastly on the type of scholarship you are applying for:
- You are required to have a strong cumulative GPA which varies on the scholarship you apply for. For example, you could qualify for a SHRM Foundation’s Graduate Scholarships with a CGPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- You must have high academic excellence and be preferred to have topped at the previous educational institution.
- Score highly in competitive exams like SAT or ACT.
- Be a citizen or an eligible non-citizen of the United states.
- Must be a permanent resident at any of the states of U.S.
- Must have applied for an accredited college or university program.
Ways to Apply for the Merit Scholarship
Getting a scholarship could be confusing as well as overwhelming, but must always follow certain steps to get closer to the winning one.
- Start while still in school. Winning a scholarship is highly competitive and requires special educational skills and achievements to stand out of the crowd. Usually you must present consistent improvement and accomplishments you earned during your freshmen, sophomore year and high school years. Starting early and investing in yourself will help your application be unique and outstanding.
- Focus on what you choose. You must plan and begin to aim at the merit award while you are still a high school student. Focusing on which field you want to excel in is very important. You could get merit in academics by topping the class, athletic or artistic merit rewards are given to students through their excellent performance. To qualify for a merit-based reward in a college, you require a strong GPA and high test scores. Your grades could determine your entry to the college as well as the scholarship. You could start researching early on the scholarships you could gain on The College Monk, which has an extensive list of Merit scholarships detailed for you.
- Be a self motivated individual. You must be consistent and persistent in the efforts you put towards your achievements. Being self motivated to gain excellence in the fields of interest could help in demonstrating yourself as an eligible candidate for the merit scholarships. Working on overcoming weaknesses and challenges helps in becoming well versed in the field. You could initiate to get guidance from professors and coaches to improve on your assignments and move closer to your career goals. This might also help in getting a good letter of recommendation for the scholarship application.
- Score well in ACT/SAT. Your performance and scores in the competitive exams such as the SAT/ACT tests plays an important role in qualifying for the merit scholarships. You must start preparing for the exam as early as possible by taking mock tests, solving previous years papers, planning a study schedule, learning on the guidelines to the test helps you in getting better results. A high SAT/ACT score gets you higher chances of getting the scholarship as it mainly depends on the academic performance.
- Find a scholarship that fits with your career goals. Every scholarship has vivid requirements and guidelines. You must find out whether those scholarships you are willing to apply are a good fit for your goals. As the application process of a scholarship is lengthy and time consuming, you may effectively spend time on the ones you have higher chances of getting selected in. You must research thoroughly on the scholarships, eligibility criteria, application process, guidelines and deadline. Here are a few websites such as Fastweb, Studentaid.gov, CollegeBoard to guide you through the various scholarships and their requirements to qualify for financial assistance.
- Create an outstanding application. Your application is a documentation that represents all your achievements, skills gained and achievements to make a good impression while applying for a merit application. After listing the scholarships you want to apply for, you could start preparing your application to stand out among the applications. A strong application helps in maximising your chances of winning the scholarship and it mainly involves a letter of recommendation, a unique essay. Your score and academic details. You could get a few people to go through your application for any missing information, charity and mistakes before submitting it. It is always best to submit the application prior to the deadlines to avoid any technical issues.
Top Merit Scholarships
Searching for the scholarships based on merit and your eligibility may be challenging. Here are few scholarships that are listed to help you: Pure Merit Award; National Merit Scholarship; Ronald McDonald Scholarship; Coca-Cola Scholarship; Merit with Financial Need Scholarship; Gates Millennium; Horatio Alger Scholarship; Jackie Rominson’s Foundation Scholarship Program; Engebretson Foundation Scholarship; Jack Kent Cook Foundation College Scholarship Program; Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Competition.
Students are offered various opportunities to manage their finance and to cover their tuition. This helps them to pursue their career goals and attain their dream job. The first option for students is to aim at getting the scholarship which is not required to pay back. Then comes other financial aids such as the student loans. Finding the right scholarship always helps in making your way easier and cutting down the overall cost on college. Earning a scholarship is always overwhelming with the reduced costs on the college bills.