Tag Archives: Merit Scholarships

Merit vs. Need Based Scholarships

MERIT

NEED

There are basically two pots of money you can access for funding your child’s education, merit   and need based.  The basic difference is that merit scholarships are based on a students’ academic record–ACT, SAT scores, GPA, and Talent.  Parental income is not a factor in awarding merit based scholarships.  The other pot of money you can access are need based awards and are based on income.   Although the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is based on income, it’s not how much money you make but how your money is used in your household.  Don’t assume that because you make a lot of money you would not qualify.  You may not qualify for the Pell Grant which is based on need.  If you don’t, you still have the option of taking out low interest government loans.   If taking out loans is not an option for you, then you need to focus on merit based awards which means that your student needs to be on track from freshman year to do well in school academically because good grades do equal money.  There are schools that will award full tuition scholarships based on ACT and SAT scores and there are schools that have need based scholarships.  Every school has a scholarship page and will give you the criteria for obtaining the scholarship.  This is the one area I have found where students miss out on scholarships-the institutional scholarships.  Students focus on getting their college applications in and not on the scholarship deadlines that may be connected to college application deadlines. Continue reading

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