Most universities offer a list of merit scholarships, but communication can become a key to maximizing your financial support.

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Make sure you study the scholarship requirements thoroughly and ask for more ways to increase your financial support.

Scholarships can come from organizations and businesses, but merit scholarships come directly from the university. These types of scholarships are awarded to students based on talent in academics, sports, arts and other fields that they excel in.

When applying to universities, it is important to know about the scholarship opportunities and make sure you are getting the greatest possible reward.

Enrollment counselors are a great resource and are often utilized to find answers to questions, otherwise you may have to spend a lot of time searching the university website. And that’s not just the information you can get from an admissions counselor. Once you have been accepted and awarded a scholarship, you can negotiate for a scholarship to receive more if you have received a better offer from a similar or more prestigious school.

Getting a comprehensive picture of merit-based scholarship opportunities can be very important for you to get the best possible financial and full scholarship. During the application process, the following five questions you need to ask to get the most out of a scholarship from a university.

Will merit scholarships be granted automatically?

Depending on the university, merit scholarships may be granted automatically or, in some cases, schools may require students to fill out an additional form to receive a scholarship. 

What kind of merit scholarships do you have?

Merit scholarships are not just for the best academic results in class. Outstanding students in arts or sports may also be eligible for scholarships. If you have outside interests or participate in community services, there are even more opportunities for requirements to receive merit scholarships. Because there are so many options and each school is different, if you are not sure what type of scholarship is best for you, it is best to ask.

Which grade point average and standardized test scores do I need in order to qualify for financial assistance and can I increase my support amount by doing the ACT or SAT retest? 

For financial aid based on academic merit, there will usually be a requirement for GPA and standardized tests. This is a good starting point to see how much you can get for your study results. 

If your test score is excellent or if you are eligible for a scholarship but have the potential to increase your scores, ask the admissions officer about the possibility of retaking standardized tests and increase your scholarship chances. While redoing standardized tests may not sound interesting, if a university grants more support for higher scores, you will later thank yourself for saving thousands more dollars.

What is the GPA I need to maintain in order to keep my academic scholarship and how many years does this scholarship lasts?

For most financial assistance, there may be some rules you need to commit to keeping your academic scholarship. Usually, at least, that’s a GPA requirement.

Some schools may have high expectations for the students they offer scholarships to and realizing your goals in the first year and the next years will help ensure you will not lose your scholarship.

It is also important to ask about the number of years you can renew scholarships. Typically, the school will allow you to renew the scholarship for 4 years, but it is a good idea to ask an admissions officer about the expiration of the scholarship. Many students take 5 years or more to graduate, so asking about the number of years you can renew it will prevent you from being surprised if you take more than 4 years to graduate.

How do I accept a scholarship?

The final step to receiving academic achievement scholarships is to accept them. Find out if you need a process to accept the prize and make sure you get money from the university.


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