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Merit Scholarships vs Need-Based Scholarships

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Merit Scholarships vs Need-Based Scholarships

The overwhelming majority of students who want to continue higher education have a strong desire to go abroad. However, it is undeniably true that studying abroad may be costly. Many people who want to study abroad sometimes give up in the middle of their plans because they lack the necessary cash or don’t think the Return on Investment (ROI) would be worthwhile. Other times, the exorbitant processing costs charged by foreign colleges cause students to delay moving forward with their application process. Who would want to go without enough preparation, after all?

The majority of college students receive at least some financial assistance to pay costs like tuition, housing, books, and other necessities. In all, grants, tax credits, loans, and work-study benefits totaled around $235 billion for students in the United States in 2020–21. The typical undergraduate earning full-time was close to $15,000. In general, need-based scholarships and merit-based scholarships are the two most common types of scholarships offered on a national and worldwide level.

Here, we outline the variations between financial assistance based on need and merit. How students may apply for and receive both types of help is also covered in this article.

Merit-based Scholarships

Instead of being based on financial need, merit-based aid is given to students based on their accomplishments in the classroom and/or outside of it. The most prevalent kind of merit-based funding is a scholarship. Colleges, universities, commercial companies, and charitable organizations all provide scholarships to students. Both private organizations and certain colleges and institutions may give out these grants.

Merit scholarships do not consider a student’s financial need as determined by the FAFSA or CSS Profile, in contrast to need-based financial assistance. Instead, the only factor used to decide them is a student’s academic performance. Scholarship selection committees often look at student’s grades, test results, and involvement in extracurricular activities when making merit-based aid decisions. To keep receiving these scholarships throughout college, students might need to maintain a specific GPA.

Some bigger universities do not provide merit-based aid to assist in lowering tuition expenses, although many smaller colleges do. Ivy League institutions, for instance, don’t grant any merit-based financial help (though they do provide ample institutional need-based aid).
Students might search for scholarships through their parents’ or guardians’ workplaces, charities, and community foundations; many of these groups give prizes to students who succeed in various subjects. In order to uncover possibilities tailored to their specific major or for students in certain areas or regions, prospective students can also browse online scholarship boards. U.S. News & World Report estimates that the typical merit-based award for 2019–20 was $11,287. In 2019–20, this kind of help was provided to around 22% of all college students in the United States.

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From one organization to another, merit scholarships will have different particular requirements. However, the majority of merit scholarships will evaluate applicants using the following criteria:

A high school transcript that shows your grades and the level of difficulty of your coursework

ACT or SAT essay test results that are standardized

Recommendation letters

Some of the best merit scholarships that institutions and private organizations have to offer! Merit-based scholarships can be organized into four groups;

  • Public Colleges & Universities
  • Private National Universities
  • Small Liberal Arts Colleges
  • Private Merit Scholarships

Some Universities that offer merit-based scholarships are; the University of Alabama, Arizona State University, Auburn University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, Boston College, Boston University, Duke University, etc.
Important tips you should consider before applying for merit-based scholarships;

  • Pick the appropriate colleges
  • Look into the individual scholarships
  • Apply to at least 10 colleges so your net can catch a fish.
  • Ensure your application falls within the stipulated deadlines
  • You can also apply for the need-based scholarships which will guarantee your chance of getting at least a scholarship
  • Check out local scholarships


Need-based Scholarships

The most typical sort of financial help given to college students in the United States is need-based aid. Federal loans, federal work-study programs, state and federal grants, institutional awards, and scholarships are all examples of this kind of help.

Need-based scholarships, as the name implies, are given to applicants who come from economically disadvantaged groups. These scholarships are given to applicants so they can finish their studies even when they are unable to satisfy the financial requirements. Grants are the primary kind of need-based financial aid given to students, thus it should be the objective of every applicant to receive the most of this type of aid before looking for other types of assistance or giving up.

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To be eligible for the need-based scholarship, the student must be able to produce financial documentation that attests to the family’s financial situation as proof, the candidate must also be a member of the economically underprivileged segment of society in order to qualify for assistance. The financing committee has already decided on the requirements for getting the grant, and applicants can submit their applications online or by mail without any prejudices. You can apply for a need-based scholarship while applying for admission into the University.

A Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, which offers students up to $4,000 a year to cover tuition and other costs, may also be available to students who exhibit a high level of financial need. Additionally, most state governments offer need-based assistance via grants, tuition exemptions, and federal work-study programs. Along with merit-based prizes, several private charities and companies provide need-based scholarships. Fill out the FAFSA to see whether you qualify for need-based financial help. You will be eligible for federal help each academic year you attend college, make sure to do this each year.

In conclusion, both forms of financial help are not provided by all schools and institutions. Smaller private schools frequently provide merit-based options, but bigger public schools typically provide the majority of financial aid to students based on need.

I hope that this article on Merit Scholarships vs Need-Based Scholarships was helpful.