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    Top 38 Merit Based Scholarships in June 2024

    Written by Will Geiger

    Will Geiger is the co-founder of Scholarships360 and has a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. He is a former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College where he personally reviewed 10,000 admissions applications and essays. Will also managed the Kenyon College merit scholarship program and served on the financial aid appeals committee. He has also worked as an Associate Director of College Counseling at a high school in New Haven, Connecticut. Will earned his master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate degree in history from Wake Forest University.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    and Kayla Korzekwinski

    Kayla Korzekwinski is a Scholarships360 content writer. She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied Advertising/PR, Rhetorical Communication, and Anthropology. Kayla has worked on communications for non-profits and student organizations. She loves to write and come up with new ways to express ideas.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Updated: June 3rd, 2024

    Merit scholarships are one of the best ways to help students pay for college. Whether you excel in grades, test scores, or extracurriculars, there are merit scholarships out there for you. Check out our list of top private merit scholarships below, as well as our lists of college-specific merit scholarships and our guide on how to win these scholarships. And if you came here looking for the National Merit Scholarship, you can skip straight down to the bottom of the page for information on that!

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    Scholarship Review Process

    The Scholarships360 Research Team reviews all scholarships individually and strives to exclude any scholarship where any of the below applies:

    • The scholarship requires a fee to apply
    • The scholarship provider’s privacy policy allows for the misuse of student data
    • The scholarship requires paid membership in an organization (with certain exceptions for reputable trade organizations and others)
    • Student are required to sign up for a site or service to apply*
    • The scholarship seems primarily used for lead generation** or idea harvesting purposes***
    • The scholarship website has many grammatical errors and/or advertisements
    • The scholarship or scholarship providing organization seem untrustworthy
    • There is no evidence the scholarship was previously awarded
    • The scholarship has not been awarded in the past 12 months
    • There is no available contact information

    If you believe a scholarship has been published in error, please reach out to [email protected] and we’ll take a look!


    * There are certain exceptions to this, for example if the sponsoring organization is a major corporation or nonprofit with its own scholarship application system.
    ** Lead generation scholarships will require students to sign up for an app or website and require minimal (if any) application requirements.
    ***Idea harvesting scholarships will require students to submit blog posts or other materials that companies may use for marketing purposes.

    Learn about our editorial policies
    38 scholarships
    Sort by

    $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Scholarships360

    Exclusive
    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels

    Offered by Scholarships360

    Exclusive

    The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is open to all students who want some extra help paying for their education. Whether you are a high…Show More

    The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is open to all students who want some extra help paying for their education. Whether you are a high…Show More

    The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is open to all students who want some extra help paying for their education. Whether you are a high school student who hopes to go to college, a graduate student who’s in a master’s program, or an adult learner who wants to return to school, you are eligible for our no essay scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to students who get the most out of Scholarships360 scholarships and content. You will be a strong applicant if you apply to scholarships with the Scholarships360 platform. Finalists for this scholarship will be interviewed about their process for funding their education.Show Less

    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels
    Apply

    $2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Sallie Mae

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $2,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level HS Upperclassmen, College & Graduate Students

    Offered by Sallie Mae

    Easy Application

    Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for…

    Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for…

    Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for school.

    1 award worth $2,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level HS Upperclassmen, College & Graduate Students
    Apply

    Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

    Offered by Tylenol

    35 awards worth $5,000 - $10,000
    Deadline Aug 1, 2024
    Grade Level College Seniors & Graduate Students

    Offered by Tylenol

    The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship is funded by Tylenol, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to providing its customers with care. Each year, their Tylenol Future Care…Show More

    The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship is funded by Tylenol, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to providing its customers with care. Each year, their Tylenol Future Care…Show More

    The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship is funded by Tylenol, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to providing its customers with care. Each year, their Tylenol Future Care Scholarship awards up to $10,000 to thirty-five (35) incoming and current students enrolled in medical, pharmacy, or nursing school. If this scholarship sounds like a fit for you, keep on reading for more application details.Show Less

    35 awards worth $5,000 - $10,000
    Deadline Aug 1, 2024
    Grade Level College Seniors & Graduate Students
    Get Started

    $40,000 Build a College List Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by The College Board

    Easy Application
    Multiple awards worth up to $40,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level High School Junior

    Offered by The College Board

    Easy Application

    Create a college list with six schools you're considering - no minimum GPA or essay required!

    Create a college list with six schools you're considering - no minimum GPA or essay required!

    Create a college list with six schools you're considering - no minimum GPA or essay required!

    Multiple awards worth up to $40,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level High School Junior
    Apply

    Cameron Impact Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Bryan Cameron Education Foundation

    10-15 awards worth Full Tuition
    Deadline Sep 5, 2024
    Grade Level High School Junior

    Offered by Bryan Cameron Education Foundation

    Are you an academically excellent high school junior (graduating class of 2025) with demonstrated leadership, community service, and other extracurricular experiences? If so, consider applying…Show More

    Are you an academically excellent high school junior (graduating class of 2025) with demonstrated leadership, community service, and other extracurricular experiences? If so, consider applying…Show More

    Are you an academically excellent high school junior (graduating class of 2025) with demonstrated leadership, community service, and other extracurricular experiences? If so, consider applying for the Cameron Impact Scholarship! Each year, 10-15 full tuition scholarships (not including room and board) are awarded to winning applicants who are passionate about helping their local communities and the world at large. In addition to the monetary reward, winners will be required to attend the Cameron Impact Scholars Award Ceremony for the four-year duration of the scholarship. The scholarship is provided by the Bryan Cameron Education Foundation, a “private family foundation established in 2015 on the principle of making a difference by investing in young people’s education.” If you’re a high school student with amazing achievements both inside and outside the classroom, we encourage you to apply to the Cameron Impact Scholarship! Please note that this scholarship has an early application deadline of May 17th and a final deadline of September 5th. The Bryan Cameron Education Foundation is only able to accept and review a total of 3,000 complete and eligible applications. They typically reach capacity prior to the final deadline and strongly encourage applicants to submit well before the September deadline.Show Less

    10-15 awards worth Full Tuition
    Deadline Sep 5, 2024
    Grade Level High School Junior
    Get Started

    $10,000 CollegeXpress Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by CollegeXpress

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline May 1, 2025
    Grade Level High School Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors

    Offered by CollegeXpress

    Easy Application

    Annual $10k scholarship from CollegeXpress open to all high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

    Annual $10k scholarship from CollegeXpress open to all high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

    Annual $10k scholarship from CollegeXpress open to all high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline May 1, 2025
    Grade Level High School Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors
    Apply

    College JumpStart Scholarship

    Offered by College JumpStart

    Multiple awards worth up to $1,000
    Deadline Oct 17, 2024
    Grade Level HS Sophmores, Juniors, Seniors & College Students

    Offered by College JumpStart

    Are you a high-achieving student academically? You might consider applying for the College JumpStart Scholarship! The College JumpStart Scholarship is open to students in grades…Show More

    Are you a high-achieving student academically? You might consider applying for the College JumpStart Scholarship! The College JumpStart Scholarship is open to students in grades…Show More

    Are you a high-achieving student academically? You might consider applying for the College JumpStart Scholarship! The College JumpStart Scholarship is open to students in grades 10 to 12, as well as traditional college-age and adult learners. The scholarship is biannual, with deadlines on April 15th and October 17th each year. Two lucky students are awarded the College JumpStart Scholarship each application cycle. The scholarship is funded by corporate donations to the College JumpStart, an organization whose motto is “Hard work. Perseverance. Love of learning. These are the traits that the College JumpStart Scholarship rewards.” This scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit only–no financial need or any other factors are considered. If you’re passionate about using education to better your life and that of your family and/or community, we encourage you to apply!Show Less

    Multiple awards worth up to $1,000
    Deadline Oct 17, 2024
    Grade Level HS Sophmores, Juniors, Seniors & College Students
    Get Started

    Lexicon Ambassador Program

    Offered by Lexicon Ambassadors

    Multiple awards worth $500 - $2,000
    Deadline Rolling
    Grade Level High School Students

    Offered by Lexicon Ambassadors

    Are you a high school student or graduate (not yet enrolled in college) who has a passion for leadership? If so, consider applying for the…Show More

    Are you a high school student or graduate (not yet enrolled in college) who has a passion for leadership? If so, consider applying for the…Show More

    Are you a high school student or graduate (not yet enrolled in college) who has a passion for leadership? If so, consider applying for the Lexicon Ambassador Program! Each year, the program awards between $500 and $2,000 to multiple high school students and graduates who have a desire to become "next generation leaders." In addition to the monetary reward, recipients will have the opportunity to select from a one of a kind experiential volunteer experience during which they will work with an International mentor at a US-based faculty. At the conclusion of the volunteer experience, Lexicon Ambassadors receive evaluation letters from their mentors which can be used for college, internship, and scholarship applications and a certificate of completion. If this sounds like a good opportunity for you, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $500 - $2,000
    Deadline Rolling
    Grade Level High School Students
    Get Started

    Niche $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Niche

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Jul 31, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels

    Offered by Niche

    Easy Application

    Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year!

    Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year!

    Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year!

    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Jul 31, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels
    Apply

    National Merit Scholarship

    Offered by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Varies
    Grade Level High School Junior

    Offered by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

    The National Merit Scholarship is funded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, an organization that recognizes and honors the academically talented students of the United…Show More

    The National Merit Scholarship is funded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, an organization that recognizes and honors the academically talented students of the United…Show More

    The National Merit Scholarship is funded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, an organization that recognizes and honors the academically talented students of the United States by hosting nationwide academic scholarship programs. Each year, their National Merit Scholarship awards various amounts of money for college to high school juniors who have the highest scores in the nation on the PSAT/NMSQT. If this scholarship sounds like a fit for you, keep on reading for more application details.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Varies
    Grade Level High School Junior
    Get Started

    NMF Scholarships

    Offered by National Medical Fellowships

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Varies
    Grade Level Graduate Students

    Offered by National Medical Fellowships

    Are you an underrepresented minority student currently attending a medical school or healthcare program in the U.S? If so, consider applying for the NMF scholarships!…Show More

    Are you an underrepresented minority student currently attending a medical school or healthcare program in the U.S? If so, consider applying for the NMF scholarships!…Show More

    Are you an underrepresented minority student currently attending a medical school or healthcare program in the U.S? If so, consider applying for the NMF scholarships! The scholarships are open to underrepresented minority graduate students currently enrolled in varying accredited healthcare programs in the U.S. They are funded by the National Medical Fellowships, a nonprofit organization in the United States that provides scholarships and support for underrepresented students in medicine and other health professions. NMF Scholarship Programs recognize merit as well as financial need. They actively seek and welcome partnerships to build and expand the types and amount of support they provide to our scholars. With that said, if you’re an underrepresented minority in healthcare who is committed to serving medically underserved communities, we encourage you to apply! Bear in mind that both awards and specific eligibility criteria may vary for each individual scholarship program. Show Less

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Varies
    Grade Level Graduate Students
    Get Started

    $25k “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Bold.org

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $25,000
    Deadline Jul 1, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels

    Offered by Bold.org

    Easy Application

    Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.

    Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.

    Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.

    1 award worth $25,000
    Deadline Jul 1, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels
    Apply

    United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by United States Senate Youth Program

    Multiple awards worth $10,000
    Deadline Varies
    Grade Level High School Juniors & Seniors

    Offered by United States Senate Youth Program

    Are you a rising high school junior or senior who holds a leadership role within your school's government or honors society? If so, consider applying…Show More

    Are you a rising high school junior or senior who holds a leadership role within your school's government or honors society? If so, consider applying…Show More

    Are you a rising high school junior or senior who holds a leadership role within your school's government or honors society? If so, consider applying for the United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship! Each year, the program offers two students per state a $10,000 scholarship. In addition to the monetary award, winners receive the opportunity to participate in Washington Week. This is a mandatory week-long stay in Washington, D.C. in which you will be able to partake and witness meetings with the Senate leaders, Supreme Court justices, many other important officials, and even the U.S. President! In order to apply, you must contact either your high school principal, counselor, history teacher, or state selection contact to receive an application. This is an amazing opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes experience in Washington D.C. and earn a college scholarship, particularly for students interested in pursuing a career in government and/or politics. With that said, if you’re interested, we encourage you to apply!Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $10,000
    Deadline Varies
    Grade Level High School Juniors & Seniors
    Get Started

    Woodcock Family Education Scholarship Program

    Offered by Albuquerque Community Foundation

    Multiple awards worth $10,000
    Expected deadline April 2025
    Grade Level High School Senior

    Offered by Albuquerque Community Foundation

    Are you a college-bound high school senior from the Albuquerque metro area (including Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, and Torrance Counties) with a passion for math or…Show More

    Are you a college-bound high school senior from the Albuquerque metro area (including Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, and Torrance Counties) with a passion for math or…Show More

    Are you a college-bound high school senior from the Albuquerque metro area (including Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, and Torrance Counties) with a passion for math or science? If so, consider applying for the Woodcock Family Education Scholarship Program! Each year, the scholarship awards $10,000 to up to three Albuquerque metro area high school seniors who have a minimum 3.8 GPA and a passion for math or science. To apply, interested students must submit a personal statement (including their career goals) and a letter of reference. If you're from Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, or Torrance County in New Mexico, and will be enrolling full-time in a university to study math or science, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $10,000
    Expected deadline April 2025
    Grade Level High School Senior
    Get Started

    $1,000 Appily Easy College Money Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Appily

    Easy Application
    Monthly awards worth $1,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level HS Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors, College Underclassmen

    Offered by Appily

    Easy Application

    This easy scholarship from Appily is open to U.S. high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, 2027) and college transfer students. One scholarship will be…Show More

    This easy scholarship from Appily is open to U.S. high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, 2027) and college transfer students. One scholarship will be…Show More

    This easy scholarship from Appily is open to U.S. high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, 2027) and college transfer students. One scholarship will be awarded each month.Show Less

    Monthly awards worth $1,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level HS Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors, College Underclassmen
    Apply

    Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS Science Scholarship

    Offered by Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS

    Multiple awards worth $1,200
    Expected deadline March 2025
    Grade Level High School Seniors, College & Graduate Students

    Offered by Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS

    The Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS Science Scholarship annually awards $1,200 to students who will be attending a college or university in the upcoming Fall…Show More

    The Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS Science Scholarship annually awards $1,200 to students who will be attending a college or university in the upcoming Fall…Show More

    The Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS Science Scholarship annually awards $1,200 to students who will be attending a college or university in the upcoming Fall semester and majoring in a science field. To apply, students must submit a 1–2 page essay on why they deserve the Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS Science Scholarship. Recipients will be selected based on academic merit, community service, and financial need. If you have a passion for science and are pursuing advanced education, we encourage you to apply! Don't miss out on this opportunity to further your education and pursue your passion for science.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $1,200
    Expected deadline March 2025
    Grade Level High School Seniors, College & Graduate Students
    Get Started

    Barowsky Scholars Program

    Offered by The Philanthropic Initiative

    Multiple awards worth $5,000 - $25,000
    Expected deadline March 2025
    Grade Level High School Senior

    Offered by The Philanthropic Initiative

    Are you a high school senior or graduate from Maine who will be enrolling as a first-year student in a four-year degree program at an…Show More

    Are you a high school senior or graduate from Maine who will be enrolling as a first-year student in a four-year degree program at an…Show More

    Are you a high school senior or graduate from Maine who will be enrolling as a first-year student in a four-year degree program at an accredited, private or public college or university in the U.S. for the upcoming school year? If so, you may be eligible for the Barowsky Scholars Program! Each year, the scholarship awards between $5,000 and $25,000 to multiple eligible students who are motivated to excel in college and make a difference in their community, and in society overall. Applicants must also plan to (1) live on campus and (2) complete one Economics course and two of the following courses prior to completing college: Accounting, Finance, History or Psychology. If you're a Maine resident and incoming undergraduate student, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $5,000 - $25,000
    Expected deadline March 2025
    Grade Level High School Senior
    Get Started

    $5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Christian Connector

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $5,000
    Deadline May 31, 2025
    Grade Level High School Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors

    Offered by Christian Connector

    Easy Application

    Students applying to the $5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship must be current high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, or 2027) interested in attending a Christian…

    Students applying to the $5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship must be current high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, or 2027) interested in attending a Christian…

    Students applying to the $5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship must be current high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, or 2027) interested in attending a Christian university or college.

    1 award worth $5,000
    Deadline May 31, 2025
    Grade Level High School Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors
    Apply

    Quell Foundation Survivor Scholarship

    Offered by The Quell Foundation

    Multiple awards worth $2,500 - $5,000
    Expected deadline March 2025
    Grade Level High School Seniors, College & Graduate Students

    Offered by The Quell Foundation

    Are you a current or incoming post-secondary student who has "experienced the devastating loss of a parent, caregiver, or sibling to suicide"? If so, we…Show More

    Are you a current or incoming post-secondary student who has "experienced the devastating loss of a parent, caregiver, or sibling to suicide"? If so, we…Show More

    Are you a current or incoming post-secondary student who has "experienced the devastating loss of a parent, caregiver, or sibling to suicide"? If so, we are terribly sorry for your loss. Further, if you need help affording college expenses, we recommend checking out the Quell Foundation Survivor Scholarship. Each year, the scholarship awards between $2,500 and $5,000 to multiple applicants who have lost a beloved family member or caregiver to suicide, hold a minimum 3.5 GPA, and submit ~500-word personal statements about why they’re pursuing a degree. Keep on reading to learn more about the Quell Foundation Survivor Scholarship.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $2,500 - $5,000
    Expected deadline March 2025
    Grade Level High School Seniors, College & Graduate Students
    Get Started

    Hy Zolet Student Athlete Scholarship

    Offered by CollegeBound Foundation

    4 awards worth $1,000
    Expected deadline March 2025
    Grade Level High School Students

    Offered by CollegeBound Foundation

    The Hy Zolet Student Athlete Scholarship is a tribute to the life and achievements of Hy Zolet, a remarkable high school and college athlete. Hy's…Show More

    The Hy Zolet Student Athlete Scholarship is a tribute to the life and achievements of Hy Zolet, a remarkable high school and college athlete. Hy's…Show More

    The Hy Zolet Student Athlete Scholarship is a tribute to the life and achievements of Hy Zolet, a remarkable high school and college athlete. Hy's love for life, integrity, work ethic, and unsung hero mentality inspired everyone he met. This scholarship aims to recognize individuals who embody the same qualities that Hy exhibited every day. To qualify, applicants must be a high school student-athlete with a cumulative 2.5 GPA or better. They must also submit two letters verifying their participation in high school athletics and evidence of their good work ethic, fairness, courage, outstanding leadership, and athletic skills. Additionally, applicants must submit a Merit Essay describing their academic and professional goals, why they chose them, what they have done to prepare themselves, and how college will help them achieve their aspirations. Don't miss this opportunity to honor Hy's legacy and showcase your potential!Show Less

    4 awards worth $1,000
    Expected deadline March 2025
    Grade Level High School Students
    Get Started
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    School-specific merit scholarships

    In addition to the opportunities listed above, many colleges offer merit scholarships to accepted students. In some cases, they will automatically consider students for each of the scholarships when they apply. In other cases, you’ll have to apply to the scholarship separately. So, if you are interested in a college, be sure to check their website and get in touch with the financial aid and/or admissions office to see if there are any merit scholarships you can apply to!

    Below is a list of some merit scholarships offered at public and private schools in the US.

    Merit scholarships at public colleges & universities

    University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)

    • Alabama offers a wide range of merit programs available to students both in-state and out

    Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)

    • ASU offers a number of generous need- and merit-based scholarship programs for students

    Auburn University (Auburn, AL)

    • Auburn offers the National Scholars Presidential Scholarship to National Merit Finalists and National Achievement Finalists
    • This program awards full-tuition scholarships to students both in-state and out-of-state, along with several other perks (including a $1,000 technology stipend)

    University of California- Berkeley

    • UC-Berkeley offers scholarships based on both need and merit

    University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, Colorado)

    • UC-Boulder offers a variety of merit- and need-based scholarship programs to both in-state and out-of-state students

    Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)

    • Several merit programs are offered at Georgia Tech, the largest and most prestigious of which is the President’s Scholarship
    • The President’s Scholarship is offered to 50 of the top high school senior applicants

    University of Michigan- Ann Arbor

    University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

    • UNC Chapel Hill offers several full-tuition merit scholarships to students both in-state and out-of-state

    University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)

    • For UVA’s Jefferson Scholars program, in-state scholars receive $26,000 each year, and out-of-state or international Jefferson Scholars will receive an annual stipend of over $53,000
    • This program creates a network of current scholars and alumni, along with providing a variety of structured enrichment opportunities to scholars

    College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA)

    • Merit programs at William and Mary include the 1693 Scholars Program and the Monroe Scholars Program ($3,000 research stipend, special housing option)

    Merit scholarships at private national universities

    Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)

    • Boston College offers a full-tuition academic merit scholarship (the Presidential Scholars Program) to 15 students
    • No separate application is required to be considered for the scholarship, although students must apply through the Early Action application process

    Boston University (Boston, MA)

    • BU has generous scholarship opportunities including both need-based and merit-based scholarships

    Brandeis College (Waltham, MA)

    • Six separate programs available at Brandeis, five of which are for incoming freshmen (with one for rising juniors)

    Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)

    • Carnegie Mellon University offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students on the basis of both merit and financial need

    Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)

    • Case Western Reserve University has several scholarships that students are automatically considered for, as well as scholarships by additional application

    Duke University (Durham, NC)

    • Duke offers 9 merit programs which include full-tuition scholarships

    Elon University (Elon, NC)

    • Elon offers merit- and need-based programs to students

    Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)

    • Check out the Georgetown Incentive Scholarships for need-based aid with a merit component

    Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA)

    • A number of merit scholarship programs are offered at Lehigh, including several specific to the arts (look under “Academic Merit Awards/Scholarships”)

    New York University (New York, NY)

    • NYU offers a mix of merit and need-based programs for students

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)

    Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)

    • SMU offers merit scholarships up to full tuition & room/board!
    • Other scholarships also include awards for students in specific majors (such as Engineering, the arts, and STEM)

    University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)

    • UChicago offers merit scholarships and scholarships specifically meant for first-generation college students

    University of Miami (Miami, Florida)

    • Miami offers a number of full-tuition merit scholarships, including the Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholarship and the Ronald A. Hammond Scholarship

    University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)

    University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

    • USC offers a number of full-tuition, half-tuition, and quarter-tuition merit scholarships

    Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)

    • All Tulane students are considered for partial tuition scholarships by simply submitting their application
    • There are 130 full tuition scholarships awarded that require a separate scholarship application (that is due on December 5th)

    Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

    • Vanderbilt awards full-tuition scholarships plus summer stipends for study abroad, research or service projects will be awarded to 250 students; other, smaller merit programs are also available

    Villanova University

    • Villanova University awards a number of scholarships based on students’ academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and leadership skills. Awards range from $500 all the way to the prestigious Presidential Scholarship, which covers full tuition, room, board, general fees, and textbooks for eight semesters

    Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC)

    • WFU has a wide variety of merit programs available to incoming students, including general merit scholarships (such as the Reynolds Scholarships) and scholarships recognizing achievement in art, dance, debate, music, and theater (Presidential Scholarships for Distinguished Achievement)

    Washington University in St. Louis 

    • Washington Universities’ Danforth, Ervin, and Rodriguez Scholar Programs are all merit-based scholarship programs ranging up to the full cost of tuition

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)

    Also see: How to get scholarships as an out-of-state student

    Merit scholarships at small liberal arts colleges

    Denison University (Granville, OH)

    • Denison offers over 1000 scholarships to first year students
    • Scholarships range from $2,000 to $46,000

    Kenyon College (Gambier, OH)

    • Merit scholarships range from $15,000 per year to the full cost of tuition
    • Kenyon awards merit aid to about the top 15% of admitted students
    • Scholarships for students talented in art, creative writing, and music are also available

    Macalester College (St. Paul, MN)

    • Merit scholarships awarded to approximately 50% of U.S. first-year students
    • Macalester (unlike many top schools) also offers merit scholarships to International Students
    • Merit awards range from $2,000 to $64,000 over four years

    Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)

    • Grinnell offers several merit scholarship programs which range from $10,000 to $50,000 per year

    Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)

    • Oberlin offers merit scholarships based on academics and also “contributions to the student’s school and home community.”

    What is the National Merit scholarship?

    Every year, high school juniors with the highest PSAT/NMSQT scores in the nation receive National Merit Scholarships. There are about 7,500 recipients each year and they receive $2,500 each.

    This is a great scholarship to receive, and it’s one more reason to prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT and other standardized tests. We recommend consulting the College Board’s free study materials to achieve a high score on this test!

    Although this is one of the most widely-known merit scholarships, it is far from the only one. In fact, there are many merit scholarships out there with much higher award amounts than this one. Be sure to peruse the rest of our list to find other merit scholarship opportunities.

    Also see: How to win a National Merit Scholarship

    How to find merit scholarships at your college

    Whether you are applying for admission or returning for your second, third, or fourth year, be sure to check your college for merit scholarship opportunities. 

    Incoming students

    Many colleges list merit scholarship opportunities for incoming students on their admissions or financial aid sites. For reference, Kenyon College lists all of their merit scholarships for incoming freshmen on their financial aid page

    Current students

    If you’re a current student looking for merit scholarships, try talking to your academic advisor and/or the head of your academic department. Many departments have scholarship awards for current students which they award every semester or year. Some require applications while others may consider students automatically.

    Be sure to check in with your financial aid office as well! They may offer their own scholarships or be able to point you in the right direction.

    How to win merit scholarships

    Here are some tips to help you win merit scholarships:

    Turn your achievements into aspirations

    When you apply for merit scholarships, you will be competing against many other applicants with high grades and test scores. So, how do you stand out from the crowd?

    The best way to make your application stand out is to use your essays to take the next step from everything you’ve accomplished. Don’t just discuss how hard you worked for your grades; discuss what you learned from your courses and how they helped you focus your goals for the future. Then talk about how your life experiences have given you the tools to achieve your goals. Finding ways to help connect your past to your future is the best way to make your application memorable.

    Related: How to write a successful scholarship essay

    Look for organizations you identify with

    As you apply to merit scholarships, try to find ones offered by organizations that you have a connection with. For example, you could apply for scholarships from a brand whose product you use, or a community organization for your neighborhood.

    Organizations are looking to grant scholarships to students who align with their mission. Your essays and applications will be more compelling if you can demonstrate that you will represent the organization well once you receive your education.

    Choose the right colleges 

    One of the biggest mistakes students make when building their college list is not paying enough attention to merit scholarships. As a rule of thumb, you want to identify colleges where your admissions “stats” align with the percentage of students winning merit scholarships. So, if a college offers merit scholarships to 25% of applicants, you should be in the top 25% of applicants as far as test scores and GPA.

    Further reading: How to choose a college

    Research the specific scholarships

    College merit scholarships can vary from college to college. At some schools, all admitted students are automatically considered for merit scholarships.

    At other colleges, students will need to complete an essay, separate application, or interview as part of the scholarship application process. Some colleges will even offer merit scholarships for students who have a specific talent in art, music, theater, or another area

    Cast a wide(ish) net

    If you are serious about winning a merit scholarship at a specific college, you will need to cast a wide net. While being towards the top of the applicant pool will generally make you a strong candidate for merit scholarships, there are no guarantees.

    This is why we recommend that you apply to 10 colleges where you will be seriously competitive for merit scholarships. This will increase your odds of having a few merit scholarship offers to choose from.

    Mind your deadlines

    Some colleges will ask students to apply by a specific deadline to be eligible for merit scholarships. Make sure that you are applying by the necessary deadlines (remember, this deadline may be different than the admissions deadline).

    Don’t forget to apply for need-based financial aid too

    Remember, you can apply for both merit scholarships and need-based financial aid! Make sure that you submit your FAFSA and any other required financial aid documents such as the CSS Profile by the necessary deadline.

    This will ensure that you are being considered for all potential scholarships–merit and need-based–at the colleges on your list.

    Seek out local scholarships

    Local scholarships are oftentimes your most promising option when it comes to merit scholarships. Because the applicant pool is typically smaller, each entry has a better chance to win. Make sure that you look into local organizations as a major part of your scholarship search.

    Oftentimes, your high school guidance counselor will have some resources for finding local scholarships. You can also try looking at organizations such as your local chapter of the Scouts or asking any community leader. Religious institutions, community centers, and 4-H clubs may be able to help.

    Try our scholarship search tool

    To make sure that you are considering all the available possibilities, try out our free scholarship search tool to get custom-matched, vetted scholarships brought to you daily. These include merit scholarships, need-based scholarships, and combinations of the two.

    Additional scholarship opportunities

    Frequently asked questions about merit scholarships

    What is a good GPA for a merit based scholarship?

    There are many different types of merit based scholarships out there, and some require higher GPAs than others. Some even consider test scores, extracurriculars, or essays more heavily than GPA. The best strategy when sending out applications is to play to your strengths. If your GPA is 4.0 or close to it, it’s a good idea to seek out ones that emphasize GPA. If your strengths lie in other fields, try applying to scholarships that value your successes.

    Do merit scholarships take into account financial need?

    Pure merit scholarships don’t take financial need into account, but many consider a combination of the two. Typically, students with significant financial need and a strong academic/extracurricular profile will be best equipped to earn scholarships. However, many of the opportunities on this list do not take need into account at all.

    Do I need to renew merit scholarships?

    Some of the merit scholarships on this list are one-time awards, meaning that you will only receive one lump sum. Others automatically renew each year, so long as the recipient continues to meet the scholarship requirements. Some may also require students to apply for renewal. Once you receive a merit scholarship, be sure to look into the renewal terms to ensure that you meet any requirements.

    What is a merit scholarship?

    A merit scholarship is a financial award to use for your education that is based on your achievements, whether they are academic or extracurricular. They could be based on grades, test scores, athletics, club participation, community service, or a wide variety of other factors. Many scholarships are both merit scholarships and need-based scholarships. That means they take into account your achievements but also have requirements based on financial economic need.

    That being said, there are many scholarships out there that are purely merit scholarships. That means they only take into account students’ accomplishments.

    What is the difference between merit aid and merit scholarships?

    There is no difference between merit aid and merit scholarships; they are different terms for the same thing. Both are forms of aid that does not need to be repaid and are based either in full or in part on a student’s academic or extracurricular achievements.
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