Merit Scholarships

Millions of Scholarships, personalized results

 and get matched to scholarships that are personalized for you.

What is a Merit based Scholarship?

Merit scholarships are a type of gift aid that help pay for college by rewarding talent. Most merit based scholarships go to students who stand out with strong academics.

Recipients of a merit scholarship may be high academic achievers or have strong athletic, artistic or other skills and values. Eligible students must also show a desire to serve the community or leadership skills.

Some merit scholarships also may look at financial need. But most of the time accomplishments and academic excellence are the primary factors to win a scholarship.

How Do You Get a Merit Scholarship?

Merit awards are different from needs based ones. To get a merit scholarship you need to have a good GPA, SAT/ACT test scores, and strong academics. On the contrary, a need-based scholarship uses family income to make decisions. Instead, the scholarship sponsors usually start out with a goal or reason why they offer it. This might be to develop their industry with smart minds or invest in the future of their community and college.

There are various criteria to qualify for a merit scholarship. Sometimes you need to be a member of a specific association or enrolled in the university. Other scholarship providers may specifically offer it to minority students, female students or for certain majors like STEM.

Either way, you’ll need to see if you qualify. One example is the Women Techmakers Scholars Program. It is an academic merit scholarship. In order to be eligible, eligible students must show strong academic performance, leadership, and impact on the community of women in tech. You may fit the bill as an upstanding male student, but this one is for girls.

What is Merit?

That stated, what ‘merit’ means generally depends on the organization granting the scholarship. Some merit scholarships look at academic performance, test scores, and your recommendations. Others may only look at your SAT/ACT test scores.

Still others focus on your dedication to and performance in a specific field of study. This can be anything from music to math and others.

Who Awards Merit Scholarships?

Many private companies, groups and nonprofits fund merit scholarships. There are no federal funds for merit based scholarships.

Some scholarship providers are from local communities such as churches and cultural groups. Companies such as Google, Gates Foundation or Coca Cola also offer merit scholarships.

Most colleges also award merit scholarships. Often alumni endow funds to use for these awards. Merit based awards may thus carry the name of a person so that their legacy continues. You’ll also find charitable foundations offering merit aid which sometimes look at financial need.

What GPA do You Need to Get a Merit based Scholarship?

An academic merit scholarship often requires a strong GPA. But the actual grade point average you need to get a scholarship varies.

For instance, you need a cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale to qualify for the SHRM Foundation’s Graduate Scholarships. This awards $5,000 to a graduate student pursuing an HR degree related program.

The Voice of Democracy Scholarship awards $30,000 to one national first place winner. Most high school students as well as military students may apply.

How Much is a Merit Award?

The U.S. Department of Education tracks the aid schools award to undergraduates. In one study, they looked at the amount of money high-merit students received. It found that those in selective schools got about 58% of their tuition. Those in less selective schools received about 46% of their tuition amounts.

But as you might expect, merit scholarships come from a wide range of grantors. As such, the size and scope of a scholarship varies. Some are for smaller amounts while others may be full-ride scholarships.

What Qualifies You to be a National Merit Scholar?

National Merit Scholars have the highest PSAT/NMSQT® Selection Index scores. About 1.6 million enter to compete. But about 50,000 qualify for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

Each September, the sponsor colleges notify the recipients. They let them know if they have qualified as either a Commended Student or Semifinalist. Then about 15,000 semifinalists move to finalist standing.

About 7,600 winners of Merit Scholarship® awards (Merit Scholar® designees) may be notified. Part of the decision making process looks at students’ abilities, skills, and accomplishments.

How Do You Get the Most Money for Merit Scholarships?

Many scholarship providers factor in both need and merit. There are at least six things that may help you get the most merit aid for college.

  1. Don’t forget to fill out the FAFSA. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for federal aid too. This might be useful if the amount of your scholarship is not enough to pay tuition, fees, housing etc.
  2. Apply to schools where your grades put you ahead. Many college admissions look at the entire pool of applicants. You may be ahead of the student body in some colleges and not in others.
  3. Check whether the scholarship is renewable. If so, abiding by the terms may help pay your entire four years at college.
  4. Make sure you understand the net cost of attending each school you apply to. Then assess the amount of merit aid you can get and see what makes the most sense to you.
  5. Figure out where your talents lie and use them when you search for scholarships. It doesn’t have to be high marks. The Doodle for Google Scholarship rewards creativity.
  6. When applying to a college or university, look at their financial aid section and scan for scholarships to see if you qualify.

List of Merit Based Scholarships

Check out our list of merit scholarships worth .

Cleburne County Single Parent Scholarship

U.S. undergraduate students who are residents of Cleburne County, Arkansas are eligible for this award. Students must be single parents with one or more children who are under the age of 18, be the head of household, and have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

Total: $500

Awards: 10

Deadline: July 01, 2021

Deans Merit Based Scholarship Rockford University

Rockford University in Illinois offers Deans Scholarships each fall and spring to new first year students who attend full time. Award amounts are up to 50% of tuition. Scholarships are determined at admission, and there is no separate application process, but students must submit a SAT or ACT score to be eligible.

Total: $16000

Awards: 1

Deadline: July 01, 2021

Craighead County Single Parent Scholarship

Current undergraduate students who have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher and are residents of Craighead County, Arkansas are eligible for this award. Students must be single and have custody over one or more children under the age of 18, be the head of household and live at or near poverty level.

Total: $375

Awards: 30

Deadline: July 01, 2021

RV Learning Center Scholarship

This award is for rising sophomore, junior and senior college undergraduate students interested in majoring in business, finance, economics, accounting, or other RV industry related subjects. Applicants must also have a minimum GPA of 2.8, SAT score of 1050 and/or ACT score of 22.

Total: $2500

Awards: 1

Deadline: July 05, 2021

Alpha Delta Phi Seward Scholarship

This scholarship is available for currently enrolled undergradute students who are members of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity or the Alpha Delta Phi Society. Students must attend a college with a chapter of one of the eligible organizations.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: July 09, 2021

Ohio GFOA Traditional Student College Scholarship

Ohio students who are enrolled full time and entering their junior year of undergraduate study at an Ohio college or university are eligible for this award. Students must major in a field of study related to accounting, finance, budgeting, or other similar area.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: July 12, 2021

Ohio GFOA Member Continuing Education Scholarship

Ohio GFOA members who have been employed in a government position for two or more years and are working toward a bachelors degree or higher in accounting, finance, budgeting, or related field at an Ohio college or university are eligible for this award.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: July 12, 2021

Faulkner County Single Parent Scholarship

High school graduates who are Faulkner County, AR residents living at or near the poverty level and are single parents with sole custody of one or more children under 18 are eligible for this award. Students must be the head of the household and be pursuing a career-oriented course of study in order to ensure a better standard of living with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

Total: $563

Awards: 36

Deadline: July 15, 2021

AIChE Minority Scholarship Award for Incoming Freshmen

International and U.S. high school seniors who are AIChE members planning to pursue a science or engineering major are eligible for this award. Students must be part of a minority group, enroll full time, and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Total: $15000

Awards: 15

Deadline: July 15, 2021

Naval Postgraduate School CISR ‘Scholarship for Service’ Program

This scholarship is available for students who have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and are pursuing a master’s degree in computer science with an emphasis in information assurance at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

Total: $75000

Awards: 10

Deadline: July 15, 2021

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH

Last day to enter is JUNE 15TH!
$10,000 ScholarshipPoints Giveaway

X

Last day to enter is JUNE 15TH!
$10,000 ScholarshipPoints Giveaway

X