The Difference Between Merit and Academic Scholarships

The Difference Between Merit and Academic Scholarships: You need to know what type suits you when you consider getting a scholarship. This is because the wrong choice of scholarship has denied many the chance of grabbing one. In this article, we will show and guide you on the difference between academic/merit scholarships.

What does Scholarship mean?

It is an award of financial aid for students to continue their education. Furthermore, they are awarded based upon different criteria which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the scholarship. Also, scholarship money is not needed to be repaid by the student.

What is Academic Scholarship?

Academic Scholarships are scholarships awarded to a small percentage of expected students based on the following:

  1. The high school grade point average (GPA).
  2. The SAT/ACT admissions test scores.
  3. Furthermore, some are restricted to students who are valedictorians or salutatorians.
  4. Also, on high-class rank.
  5. Academic Scholarships are awarded to those who have demonstrated a high degree of scholastic aptitude and performance.

You have to note that while academic scholarships are primarily based on a students GPA, award committees also commonly take into consideration other factors. Including leadership qualities and extracurricular activities.

What is Merit Scholarship?

Merit Scholarships are awarded based on a student’s merit not on the need for financial aid. This simply means that a candidate’s performance within a targeted area is evaluated by the scholarship committee and that the most exceptional candidate in that area will ultimately receive the scholarships. This is regardless of their financial standing.

However, the merits upon which some scholarships are awarded vary. And it depends on the organization that is granting them. But some merit scholarships consider the following:

  • The overall academic performance.
  • The test scores.
  • They also consider the teacher recommendations.
  • In addition, others are based entirely on the candidates performance on a standardized test.
  • Ohers look at your dedication and performance within a certain field of study.

This scholarship requires excellence in academics. It also requires leadership or service.

Difference Between Merit and Academic Scholarships

Here are some of the difference between merit and academic scholarships:

Merit Scholarships

  1. Merit scholarships are the most highly coveted and visible scholarships. It also offers the best opportunities available to college-bound students. However, beyond the much-needed financial help they bring, they also attach a certain level of prestige.
  2. They also attach recognition to any college career. Merit scholarships are awarded on the basis of achievement rather than need.
  3. Students must demonstrate an outstanding level of performance in academics, athletics, or other fields of personal performance.
  4. It is also important to know that no two merit scholarships are entirely alike so they have different criteria. And it depends on the sponsoring institution. The field of expertise is also considered.
  5. Some merit scholarships are decided by university boards while others are offered by private and public organizations. Those also looking to encourage and reward exceptional students in a particular field of study. But despite your field of study or extracurricular activities, being awarded a merit scholarship solely depends on you and your achievement.

Academic Scholarships

  1. Academic scholarships can be directly sponsored by colleges and universities. It maybe sponsored by private organizations or business affiliations. While some may be subject-specific others may be general in intent and criteria.
  2. They are also awarded on the basis of high school GPA and on the basis of your ACT and SAT scores. It is also based on overall scholastic performance. In addition, many academic scholarships also consider class ranking and any honorary titles or awards you have won with any community service you have performed.
  3. The scholarships are usually awarded to high school graduates and those heading straight on to college.
  4. These scholarships can run the range from full-tuition awards to smaller monetary awards meant to only supplement your college funds. Also, in most cases, a student will need to be recommended by their school or a teacher in order to be considered eligible. In addition, some academic scholarships are open to all candidates who meet the initial criteria for consideration especially those sponsored by independent organizations or businesses.
  5. Academic scholarship can have a long-term benefit which is far beyond the original grant of funds for college. However, after graduation, as you move into the workforce, these scholarships can help add to an already impressive resume.

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