Merit Based Scholarships
Merit based scholarships are commonly found, but hard to win. In high school they are talked about frequently. Merit scholarships are the scholarships that are awarded based on academic success. This may be based on grade point averages, the rigor of classes being taken or extra curricular activities. If you’re all of these things, there’s a chance that it can help pay your way through college.
A merit scholarship is not solely based on grades. It also includes community service and talent. Having good grades will help attain a merit based scholarship, but it most likely won’t be the only factor. However, the fact that getting good grades will lead to a scholarship is not a myth. Academic merit based scholarships usually do require good grades.
Merit based scholarships are everywhere. Usually, upon filling out your college application, a scholarship will be awarded. On the college application there is spots to fill out extra curricular activities and community service. A counselor from your college will put those together and offer a merit based scholarship, if one should be awarded. She will also factor in test scores and your GPA.
There are also several other criteria that may warrant a merit based scholarship. One of these includes talent. If you are a good artist or have a knack for writing, these talents may help you land a scholarship. For example, if you are an art major, a portfolio of past work is generally required. Upon looking at your artwork, a school will often factor that into any potential scholarships they may offer.
Scholarships based on talent are typically more competitive and harder to come across. There are multiple different scholarships to apply for, but it’s difficult to win. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t apply for these scholarships, but be forewarned that they are hard to attain.
No matter what, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is generally required for a college to consider you for scholarships. There is a limited amount of money they can give, so financial need is still a factor. For instance, if two artists of equal ability submitted their work for a scholarship, the scholarship should be awarded to the one who needs it more. Or, if one student receives more government grants to pay for their schooling and is able to better afford the tuition, then it would be more fair to give the scholarship to the person who didn’t get the need-based federal aid.
Another thing to pay attention to is the requirements of the scholarship. It may sound better to apply for every scholarship you may come across. It would be more productive to look at if you are an exact match for the scholarship guidelines. The requirements are strict, so if you aren’t an exact match there’s no point in wasting your time applying or writing an essay.
By showing that you put effort into your schooling and activities outside of school, it will help you gain scholarships. The competition is steep, so it’s important to make it clear that you care when you’re filling out a scholarship. Say there were two people who applied for the same scholarship and they both got all A’s throughout high school. If one person volunteered at a food shelter after school and the other played video games, the first person is likely to get the scholarship. It’s little details like these that colleges will look for and hope to see.
One way to think of it is like you are selling your product. Say that the product is you. Selling yourself to schools is going to need one of the greatest sales pitches you can find. Schools are looking at who to invest into, and it’s your job to make sure they want to invest in you.