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7 months ago
Paying for College

Merit-based scholarships
Answered

How can I find more information about merit-based scholarships for Junior and Senior? Would you happen to have a list of such scholarships?

Have you applied to any merit-based scholarships? Would you like to share your experience?

What are the best strategies to get merit-based scholarships?

Thank you very much in advance for your insights!

scholarships
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5 answers

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Accepted Answer
7 months ago

I use and recommend Fastweb and cappex. They're scholarship websites that match you with merit-based scholarships that you can work towards or already qualify for. Hope this helps!

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7 months ago

Some schools do have their own merit-based scholarships which you can be considered for when you apply. For ex: If you want to be considered for a meritbased scholarship @ USC, then the deadline is December 1st while the Regular Decision without scholarship consideration is January 15th

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7 months ago[edited]

Thank you for asking this question -- it's one lots of students have on their mind as they start thinking about where they realistically see themselves ending up in the college process, so hopefully we can provide some clarity!

CollegeVine has a few good blog posts about merit aid, strategies for success in applying for scholarships, and which schools give the most abundant merit aid, so I'll link them below, but I also want to mention a few things here first.

Most importantly, the best place to look for merit aid is, perhaps surprisingly, at colleges themselves. Colleges and universities have much larger funds set aside for financial aid than most outside organizations, so the quantity and size of merit aid packages that colleges can provide vastly outstrips most independent scholarship funds. There are notable exceptions, of course, like the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, but most outside merit awards are in the ballpark of $2000 or less. (That said, keep your eyes on your inbox for a chance to win a scholarship from CollegeVine -- entering takes less than 1 minute, and multiple people get an award each time we do a drawing; the next one is tomorrow!)

In terms of strategies for winning these scholarships, your best bet is to build a strong academic and extracurricular profile, to write engaging personal essays, and above all to apply early! Some schools automatically consider you for merit scholarships but only if you apply by a certain priority date. Do a little digging and make sure you know when you need to submit your applications to maximize your chance of being eligible and competitive for these awards.

Here are some articles on merit aid and where and how to get it:

https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-get-merit-scholarships/

https://blog.collegevine.com/50-colleges-with-full-ride-scholarships/

https://blog.collegevine.com/which-colleges-give-out-the-most-merit-aid-a-list-of-the-top-50/

https://blog.collegevine.com/tips-for-winning-full-ride-scholarships/

Wishing you the best of luck!

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7 months ago

I would suggest looking at each of your college's financial aid websites. Usually, the freshman merit-based scholarships do not require an application but you should definitely check!

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7 months ago

I saw this answer here already, but I do highly recommend FastWeb. Filling out the whole form takes a while and is kind of a pain, but it can help you find things you wouldn't normally have explored and also filter out things that you aren't eligible for(which is a HUGE timesaver). Best of luck!

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