What is Merit Scholarship?

By | February 20, 2024

Here we are about to give you a complete run down of what you need to know about Merit scholarship. When it comes to paying for college, merit aid is one way to close the gap between the cost of attendance and need-based financial aid.

What is Merit Aid?

Merit aid is an aid awarded based on academic merit to those students that may not be otherwise eligible to receive need-based aid. The merit aid includes:

Scholarships Federal Pell Grants Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) Federal Direct Student Loans (FDSL) Tuition Grants from state and institutional aid After scholarships and FDSL are awarded, students are then responsible for covering the remaining costs of attendance through loans or grants. Merit aid does not meet the need requirement for financial aid, and therefore cannot be used as funding for a student’s education.

How do I apply for merit aid? While merit aid is an aid that is awarded to students, the students applying for it do not have to be either low-income or need-based aid recipients.

Types of Merit Aid

The following are two types of merit aid: athletic merit aid and scholarship merit aid.

• Athletic merit aid is academic merit aid that is awarded for outstanding achievement in athletics.

• Scholarship merit aid is academic merit aid that is awarded for outstanding achievement in academics, usually a 4.0 GPA, but it can also be awarded to students who play a varsity sport or any sport that meets University Athletic Association (UAA) minimum academic standards.

For instance, if a student has an outstanding athletic performance and is a top student in the class, that student can receive scholarship merit aid, not athletic merit aid. However, one of the main criteria for academic merit aid is that the student must be a member of the university’s graduate or graduate work program.

Who Should Apply For Merit Aid

Any student who has a demonstrated ability to achieve the goals associated with academic merit scholarships. Some examples of merit scholarships include but are not limited to the Fulbright, Guggenheim, Henry Crown and Tennessee Memorial scholarships, the Rhodes, Cook, Veblen and Outstanding American awards, and the Watson, Berkeley, Carlson and Hodgeman scholarships.

The academic merit scholarship is a supplement to need-based financial aid, rather than a substitute for it. How To Apply While merit aid is usually awarded in the spring semester of a student’s junior year, students may apply to the Merit Scholarship Program after graduating from high school or college if they are a senior or graduate student.

How do you apply for Merit aid?

Unlike a lot of other forms of financial aid, merit aid typically does not require a rigorous application process. Most colleges have streamlined the process for incoming freshman, especially at private institutions. Most of these schools offer scholarships for a variety of awards, including renewable and non-renewable merit aid.

However, some states, such as California, also offer merit aid on behalf of the state. Here’s an overview of how to apply for merit aid. How to apply for merit aid The first step is deciding which scholarships you want to apply for. It’s important to apply to as many scholarships as possible, as they may require different essay and/or application processes.


The quality and generosity of merit scholarships can vary greatly. Therefore, it is critical to examine each merit scholarship carefully and investigate the award to determine if it is the right fit for you. For more information about merit scholarships, visit www.Honors.com or talk to a college or financial aid expert at free.edu/openhouse. Do you have an unexpected medical bill that has to be paid?

Would you rather have money for college or the money needed to pay for that medical bill? If you answered “both,” then you may qualify for a merit scholarship that covers both costs. Merit scholarships are unique. They have one clear goal: to help pay for college.

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