8 months ago
Admissions Advice

When is a good time to start thinking about and looking for merit-based financial aid/scholarships?


Right now I am in freshman year at a high school in California. I was wondering when was a good time to start thinking about merit-based scholarships and when I should begin looking for them?

I am no expert but I know (or I think I know) that individual colleges have their own programs for these types of financial aid, but if anyone could tell me of any major merit-based scholarship programs that are not college-specific, I would really appreciate it!

Thank you!

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Accepted Answer
8 months ago

You should start looking at Merit-based scholarships in 11th grade.

You can't apply to any until starting in the Spring/Summer prior to your 12th grade anyway but you should have a list of where you want to apply to.


There are different kinds of Merit Scholarships.

1. National Merit based on your PSAT scores

2. Corporate Merit based on where your parents work

3. College Merit based on the individual school you are applying to (e.g. William and Mary 1693 Merit Award Or UVA Jefferson Scholarship)

4. Merit based on Private Scholarship orgs. like Jack Cooke Kent,

5. Merit based on nonprofit community orgs. like the Elks or Masonic Lodge.

6. And there are many misc. merit awards that don't fall into a specific category.

Trying searching on merit scholarships and you will find a vast array of articles, posts, and lists.

Good Luck.


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