what is merit based scholarship

What is a Merit Based Scholarship?

Attending a higher education institution is expensive in all parts of the world. It is even more costly for international students, but they can subsidize their study-related costs with merit or need-based scholarships. In light of this, I’ll respond to the question, what is a merit-based scholarship? This page also contains other relevant information about this type of scholarship. Let’s get started!

A Merit-based scholarship is a financial support offered to students with outstanding academic achievements in their studies, leadership attributes, involvement in sporting activities or fine arts. Both undergraduate and graduate students worldwide can benefit from these scholarships.

The award amount, duration, and specific requirements of merit scholarships vary from scholarship to scholarship. A merit scholarship can cover part of your educational-related expenses or 100% of your tuition, living expenses, books & supplies, airfare to the study destination, and others.

10 Facts about Merit-based Scholarships

Below are some things you should know about merit scholarships:

  • More merit-based scholarships are available globally than need-based scholarships.
  • They may be awarded to students without a separate application, depending on the scholarship.
  • They are usually highly competitive.
  • They can provide full and partial funding to students.
  • Unlike need-based scholarships, they are not awarded based on academic achievements.
  • Ivy League schools do not offer merit-based scholarships.
  • Apply early, as some scholarship committees award them on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • More international students receive merit scholarships than domestic students.
  • Recipients may need to maintain a minimum specific GPA to renew the scholarship for subsequent years.
  • There are more merit-based scholarships to study in Canada and the United States than in other countries.

How to Get a Merit-based Scholarship

Even though the requirements and application procedures for merit scholarships vary, students must have exceptional academic achievements to qualify for funding.

Here are various ways to find a merit scholarship to study anywhere:

Through a college or university

The most common way to get a merit scholarship is through a college or university. Many higher education institutions offer scholarships to reward students with notable academic achievements. These scholarships aim to improve diversity and encourage enrollment of underrepresented students.

You can apply directly for a merit-based scholarship to an academic institution. Kindly visit your preferred school’s financial aid or scholarship webpage for further details about their merit scholarships.

Through a private company

Many private companies sponsor scholarships to fund students’ higher education in specific fields, countries, and schools. These include McDonalds, Dr Pepper, Burger King, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, and Google.

You can apply for these scholarships via the company’s official website or dedicated scholarship webpage.

Through a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

Foundations and NGOs, such as Equitable Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, and MTN Foundation, offer merit scholarships even to international students. Their requirements and application procedures vary, making it essential to visit their website before anything else.


Having learned about these financial aid opportunities in this post, feel free to apply for a scholarship at once. Kindly share this post if you find it helpful and would like others to gain from it.

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