The rising costs of college have made financial aid essential for the average student. Along with need-based financial aid, academic and merit based scholarships are great resources to help you with tuition and other education-related costs.
There are many different types of merit scholarships that seek to help talented, hardworking students afford the costs of a college education. The amount varies for each merit award, ranging from $500 to $75,000, but even small awards can make a difference and are worth considering.
If you're looking for higher-value scholarships, you can sort the scholarship list to see scholarships with the highest amount. These types of merit scholarships include the $75,000 BTL Athletes Scholarship.
This merit scholarship is open to low-income high school upperclassmen who are varsity athletes and undergraduate student-athletes. You can apply by clicking on the link above, making your profile, and submitting a short video about yourself as well as clips of you playing your sport.
Another top merit scholarship is the Terry Crews "Creative Courage" Scholarship of $20,000 which is geared towards talented artists. You can apply by submitting a piece of original artwork as well as a short essay about your artistic goals for the future.
While the scholarships above are high in value, you should also consider smaller scholarships. Scholarships with more eligibility requirements may be worth less money, but they will have fewer eligible applicants and will give you a better chance of winning.
The Peter T. Buecher Memorial Scholarship is an example of a smaller, more restrictive scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is smaller than the opportunities above, but it has multiple winners and a smaller application pool since it is only open to high school seniors or undergraduate students in Minnesota who play sports.
Many merit-based scholarships are rewarded based on demonstrated academic excellence. Academic achievement can be demonstrated in several ways, including your grade point average or your test scores.
One way you can demonstrate academic excellence is through your GPA. For high school students who haven't yet taken any standardized test scores, leveraging an impressive GPA can be critical in earning merit scholarships.
There are many scholarship opportunities with GPA requirements on Bold.org, some with more competitive requirements, such as 3.5, and others with more lenient criteria, such as requiring a 2.5 GPA.
On Bold.org, you have the option of reporting your standardized test scores. You can make these scores private or public based on your privacy needs. The SAT is scored on a range of 400-1600 with an average score is 1068. High scores can be useful to include on your profile as they can catch the eyes of donors and make your application stand out.
In addition to scholarships available on Bold.org, there are other resources that students with impressive test scores should check out.
The National Merit Scholarship Program rewards students with outstanding PSAT and SAT scores. The process is competitive and has many tiers, including commended students, semifinalists, finalists, and finally, scholars.
Only those who are deemed scholars receive National Merit Scholarships, but commended students and finalists still benefit by reporting their status on college applications. You can find out more about the process here!
The ACT is a standardized test similar to the ACT with a perfect score of 36. The test is made up of multiple sections related to different subjects and the national average score in 2020 was 20.6.
If your score was higher than average, it not only will help you get into top colleges but can also help you win scholarships and merit-based aid. You can take the ACT multiple times, so don't worry if your first score wasn't as high as you hoped.
Another form of merit award is athletic scholarships for students who play sports. You can find sports scholarships by selecting the "athletics" category from the Bold.org scholarship search page.
Some athletic scholarships are only open to students who play a certain sport, such as the Martial Arts Scholarship or the Tom LoCasale Developing Character Through Golf Scholarship.
However, some athletic scholarships allow students who play any type of sport to apply, such as the Michael J. L. Suojanen Memorial Athletics Scholarship.
Merit-based scholarships are a form of financial aid for students who excel in a certain field, such as athletics or academics. Other types of merit awards include scholarships for students who play instruments or students who are involved in leadership.
Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on talent while other scholarships, such as need-based scholarships, are awarded based on financial difficulty or other criteria. Some merit scholarships also take financial status into consideration but many are open to students regardless of financial need.
Not all merit scholarships require the same thing. Many students think that merit-based aid is only available to students with impressive standardized test scores or other forms of academic achievement. However, students with all kinds of different skills can qualify for merit-based opportunities.
There are merit scholarships for both high school and college students. High school merit scholarships include opportunities like the Robert H. Wagner Jr. Memorial Music Scholarship for high school seniors who play music.
You can find even more scholarships for high school students by filtering by education level.
Due to the high demand for financial aid, scholarships can be competitive. Luckily, there are many different merit scholarships offered on Bold.org, giving you lots of opportunities to win one.
To stand out and catch the donor's interest, make sure you're submitting a unique application. Whether the scholarship requires an essay, a video of you, or a portfolio, make sure that you put time into your submission and make it special and detailed.
You can also utilize your profile to your advantage by adding detail to your bio, making sure you have relevant experience added, and ensuring that your profile reflects your interests and background.
Applying for scholarships on Bold.org is simple. Once you find a scholarship you like, you can apply right away or you can bookmark it and come back to it later.
Each scholarship will list eligibility requirements in the description and will include an essay prompt or a space to upload a video, pictures, or another type of submission.
Merit-based scholarships will be sent to the financial aid office at your college to help cover your tuition or other costs. If you win a scholarship while still in high school, don't worry! We'll hold your award money for you until you enroll in a college.
Certain scholarships are also open to recent graduates who have student debt. If you win one of these scholarships, you'll be able to apply the money directly to your loans.