WHAT IS A MERIT SCHOLARSHIP?

Merit scholarships do exist. They are much harder to access, ironically, than many minority scholarships.

Apparently most colleges and universities assume the gifted students will make it to college; but they make sure they bend over backwards to get minority students enrolled so they can be right with government quotas.

This isn’t the right thing to do, it is just the thing to do. Consider the relative merit of merit scholarships versus, say, a Pell Grant.

To be a National Merit Scholar—to EARN merit scholarships—you have to be among the top four percent of the country in PSAT score to even be considered. You have to go through a series of steps that include having excellent grades, writing an essay and getting letters of recommendation. The list goes on. When all is said and done you may be one of the fortunate few who win one of the $2,500 merit scholarships.

Now contrast that with the Pell Grant, which will more than likely give you $5,800 if your family income is less than $20,000. There is nothing wrong with that—unless, of course, you prefer a society that rewards talent, hard work and other admirable qualities over those personality traits which aren’t held in high esteem.

In general you will need to be in the top five to ten percent of your class to receive consideration for merit scholarships. You will also have a much better chance if you are involved in extracurricular activities and have demonstrated through experience that you have leadership ability.

Almost all scholarships should be merit scholarships. Many would argue that in some ways they are, but to truly be considered merit scholarships they must use merit as the main criterion not a secondary one. Because when all scholarships are merit scholarships the money will be going to those who are truly gifted with a demonstrated work ethic rather than those who have proven to fail at a much higher rate.

The most likely recipients of merit scholarships are those who are strong students in all subjects. There is a place, however, for the student who excels in one particular subject area. For example, if you’re a woman who is strong in a subject—say math or science—that is not traditionally associated with women. This will be a great opportunity for you to earn merit scholarships.

One often overlooked area for merit scholarships is the colleges and universities themselves. The money awards are often relatively small, but colleges want to attract strong students so this is another avenue to explore.

For those students who have not yet started their junior year of high school it would be wise to take the PSAT in October of your junior year. This will be the initial screening for National Merit Scholars.

If you do well enough on the PSAT and qualify through the first round of screening there will be much work ahead. But being a National Merit Scholar will be one of the few merit scholarships that pays dividends for the rest of your life.

Almost all scholarships should be merit scholarships. Many would argue that in some ways they are, but to truly be considered merit scholarships they must use merit as the main criterion not a secondary one. Because when all scholarships are merit scholarships the money will be going to those who are truly gifted with a demonstrated work ethic rather than those who have proven to fail at a much higher rate.

The most likely recipients of merit scholarships are those who are strong students in all subjects. There is a place, however, for the student who excels in one particular subject area. For example, if you’re a woman who is strong in a subject—say math or science—that is not traditionally associated with women. This will be a great opportunity for you to earn merit scholarships.

One often overlooked area for merit scholarships is the colleges and universities themselves. The money awards are often relatively small, but colleges want to attract strong students so this is another avenue to explore.

For those students who have not yet started their junior year of high school it would be wise to take the PSAT in October of your junior year. This will be the initial screening for National Merit Scholars.

If you do well enough on the PSAT and qualify through the first round of screening there will be much work ahead. But being a National Merit Scholar will be one of the few merit scholarships that pays dividends for the rest of your life.

Engineering scholarships can lead to stimulating intellectual challenges in the world of engineering.


Are you ready for the NEXT STEP!