How To Get A Merit Scholarship: 6-Step Guide

Merit scholarships are financial awards that you do not have to repay.

These scholarships may be awarded from the college, state governments, or an outside benefactor.

The most common merit scholarships are academic. These go to students with high GPAs, test scores, and class ranks.

Colleges award merit scholarships as a method of attracting the most qualified students to attend their schools, while religious, cultural, and community groups award merit scholarships as a way of supporting talented young people within their organizations.

How To Get A Merit Scholarship – Ways

The best and easiest way to receive a merit scholarship is to have very high grades and test scores. 

If your academic performance is competitive for a top-level school, then you are in a good place to compete for merit scholarships at lower-level tier institutions.

Through Schools

Students can receive merit scholarships for good grades and high test scores. 

Schools sometimes offer merit-based awards in order to attract competitive applicants.

A School may include merit scholarships as part of a financial aid award package to help offset the college sticker price.

Schools often look at the following criteria when awarding merit scholarships (keep in mind that the specifics of these criteria vary widely by school):

  1. High school GPA
  2. Standardized test scores (SAT and/or ACT)
  3. Class rank

Sports Scholarships

Receiving an athletic scholarship to compete at the college level is the ultimate goal for many student-athletes.

Your award will depend on the school’s merit scholarship policies and how much they want you as an athlete.


Some liberal arts schools offer merit scholarships specific to their programs. 

For example, a good vocal student may receive a merit scholarship opportunity if they enroll in a degree program offered by the Music Department. 

The same thing applies to all areas of art, like the band, graphic design, acting, painting, and others.

How to Get a Merit Scholarship.

1.Start Early

Once you’ve made your list of possible merit scholarships, you have to start applying early. 

The more scholarship applications you complete, the greater your chances of winning one.

Just because it’s free money doesn’t mean they are giving it away, start early to gather letters of recommendation and ask a few people to look over your applications for you.

you have to be experienced if you hope to qualify for some of the more competitive merit awards.

Many merit awards will ask for transcripts, records, or documentation going back to your freshman year of high school. 

Read More: University Of Glasgow Acceptance Rate, Admission, Tuition, Ranking

2. See Where You Stand

It is important to start thinking about what sort of scholarships make the most sense for you. 

Examine your grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and other achievements to identify what you can realistically receive.

Are you aiming to be a top student, a star athlete, a community service expert, or some combination?

Even if you have great talent, you still need the minimum grades for acceptance to even consider receiving a merit-based scholarship from a college.

Many awards require a considerable portfolio that you may not have, so it’s important to reasonably gauge your options.

Starting this process early will help you see any academic shortcomings that could hold you back from obtaining an award

3. Find “Good Fit” Scholarships

It’s really not completely about your interest in the scholarship, Not all of the scholarships that you’ll be interested in will be good fits for you, even if you technically meet all of the eligibility criteria. 

Applying to scholarships won’t be the only thing on your mind when you’re putting together these apps, so it’s important to use your time efficiently when selecting scholarships.

You can apply for a lot of scholarships and still end up wasting your time because, at the end of the day, you will find out they don’t fit.

Finally, consider applying for 8-10 applications.

4. Submitting A Polished Application 

Your application may differ depending on the merit scholarship you apply to. There are some general tips you need to make your application polished

Firstly, try as hard as possible to have all your materials put together before the deadline. This gives you extra time to check for errors and ask for letters of recommendation, if necessary.

Ask for proofreading from your friends or teachers. This also helps you catch any minor mistakes before you send the application out. 

Professionals like teachers can help you judge your writing and make sure you sound professional while getting your personality and ambitions across.

5.  Have An ACT/SAT Prep Plan

Standardized test grades are considered very important in the part of qualifying for merit scholarships. 

The earlier you start laying out a plan for preparing and taking either the ACT or the SAT, the better for you.

6. Be Proactive 

One thing you should know is that it’s important for you to consistently demonstrate that you’re a high-achieving student (or athlete, or volunteer) in order to be competitive for a merit award. 

This means you’re responsible for tackling any weaknesses in your performance before they become bigger problems.

To be proactive, you can:

  1. See teachers and coaches for extra help on assignments or problem areas. 
  2. Meet with your guidance or college counselor regularly to check in about college plans, grades, career goals, etc. This may also serve you well if you need letters of recommendation from your counselors later for scholarship applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is the easiest scholarship to get?

Top easy scholarships in 2023

  1. $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship.
  2. $2,000 Nitro College Scholarship – No Essay.
  3. $40,000 BigFuture Scholarships.
  4. $25,000 No Essay Scholarship.
  5. March Madness Scholarship.
  6. $5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship.
  7. Annual Protestant Faith Based College Scholarship.
  8. Annual Catholic College Scholarship.

2. Which country is easiest to get a scholarship in?

Answer – China is the easiest country to apply for a scholarship.

3. Which country gives a full free scholarship? 

Answer – Countries such as Germany, Finland, Iceland, and Austria offer various free or low tuition schemes to international students.


We have successfully given you a 6-step guide on how to get a merit scholarship.

Financial aid dialogues may feel rather gloomy, and conceivably they are.

At the same time anxiety among parents and students is rising as well, as they aspire to not just get into a good school, but figure out how to pay for it.

Finally, The best way to receive merit aid remains through high grades and test scores.

If you have other questions or concerns about applying for a merit scholarship or you wish to know which schools your student should apply to in order to maximize their chances of financial aid, you can drop your questions in the comment section we’re always here for you.

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