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What Is A Merit Scholarship (And How To Get One)

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What Is A Merit Scholarship And How To Get One in 2020:- We all know that going to college is expensive. Many students turn to financial aid to help make the cost more manageable but, depending on the family’s income level, their options may be limited.

A lot of financial aid, such as grants and certain scholarships, are need-based. This means some families could be disqualified from receiving such assistance due to their income, even if they can’t afford to pay for their child’s education out of pocket.

But, there is a way to get additional funds for college even if your student doesn’t qualify for need-based awards. And that solution is a merit scholarship.

What Is A Merit Scholarship?

While both need-based and merit scholarships provide college students with free money to help pay for school and other expenses, a merit scholarship is awarded based on the level of promise the student demonstrates, regardless of their financial status.

Typically, a merit scholarship is provided to students who show a high level of achievement in specific areas, such as academics, athletics, or arts.

So, the income reported on your child’s FAFSA is irrelevant for merit-based awards, as those details aren’t considered during the review process.

Now, this doesn’t mean that those with financial need can’t qualify for merit scholarships as well (they certainly can!), but it does provide one option for family’s whose income would preclude them from receiving need-based assistance (and there are others – but we will talk about that in a bit!)

Getting A Merit Scholarship

A merit scholarship can come from several sources, so there are likely more opportunities available than you’d initially realize.

Here are some of the most common places you can find merit scholarships.

Colleges And Universities

Merit scholarships are a common recruitment technique at colleges and universities.

Many educational institutions want to bring in the best and brightest students they can find as well as those who show talent in areas like sports, the arts, and even community involvement.

At times, merit scholarships are offered to help boost diversity or promote enrollment in underrepresented majors. For example, some universities provide such financial aid to women interested in STEM majors, when female enrollment is generally low, as a means of improving diversity.

In some cases, your child can apply for a merit scholarship through the school, but some are simply offered directly by the college or university once they’ve accepted your student’s application for admission.

At times, you can even negotiate your child’s financial aid package with the university so that it includes a scholarship. .

For those that require applications, details can usually be found on the school’s website.

Whenever applying to college, make sure to double and triple check dates for scholarship application deadlines through the university.

Many times, if your family misses the deadline when applying, your child won’t be reconsidered in future years!

Merit Scholarship Options from Member Organizations

Certain professional and educational organizations also offer merit-based scholarships to qualified students.

These are provided to help promote the organization’s field and to encourage students to pursue degree based on the group’s area of expertise.

Generally, member organizations want to have the highest caliber professionals associated with their group, and providing a merit scholarship is one way to attract talented students to the field and, ultimately, to the organization.

Private Companies

A variety of business may offer merit scholarships for students majoring in a related field.

This can be used as a recruitment method, as they will likely entice scholarship recipients to join their company upon graduation, or as a means of improving their public image.

With these awards, it is important to review any fine print to determine whether joining the business after graduation is a requirement.

If it is a highly desirable employer, such a caveat may not be an issue. But, it is important to know if your child is bound by an agreement, especially if they have their eye on other employers or may consider changing their major in the future.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation offers a variety of opportunities for high school students from across the country. It is largely based on your child’s PSAT/NMSQT test results, so completing the exam is essential.

This test is typically given during your student’s junior year in high school, so this is a merit scholarship requirement that can be completed well before they intend to go to college.

Competition for the awards is fierce, as the organization receives around 1.5 million applications every year.

But, it is considered a very prestigious award, so it is generally worth applying to (especially since many students take a similar exam anyway).

However, it is vital that your child take the right exam. Only the PSAT/NMSQT version qualifies for the merit scholarship program, so completing the PSAT 10 or PSAT 8/9 won’t work.

How To Apply

There is no hard and fast rule regarding how to apply for merit scholarships.

Like any other scholarship program, the organization offering the award can set their own requirements and screening criteria.

When your child identifies a merit scholarship they want to apply to, they need to read the application instructions as outlined by the school, business, or organization and follow any provided instructions to the letter.

Typically, failing to follow the directions means your student could be immediately disqualified, so taking the time to do it right is essential.

What Can Merit Scholarships Pay For?

How a merit scholarship award can be spent can also vary from one organization to the next.

Some will provide the funds directly to the college or university, so using it for tuition is a given. But, depending on how the school handles their financials, directing excess money to costs like room and board, bookstore purchases, and certain other internal expenses may also be allowed.

It is also possible that any excess will be given back to your child.

In other cases, the money can be spent on almost anything. Sometimes a merit scholarship will be provided to your student as cash (or, more likely, a check or direct deposit) that can be placed in their bank account.

These funds can be used for tuition (of course), but also living expenses, like room and board, or almost anything else.

For example, your child could use the money to purchase a new computer for school, keep their car’s gas tank full, or even pay their cell phone bill.

When the award is provided in cash, there are usually no restrictions on how the money can be spent as long as your student meets the terms of the merit scholarship, like staying in school.

Merit Scholarships And Income Taxes

Many families aren’t clear on whether scholarship awards are taxable and, like many other tax topics, the answer isn’t cut and dry.

Typically, scholarships are considered tax-free as long as the following conditions apply:

  • Your student is a degree candidate and taking courses at an eligible educational institution (which generally includes colleges and universities with a regular faculty, set curriculum, and enrolled student body)
  • The funds are used for qualified expenses, like tuition, fees, books, and supplies
  • The money is not considered wages for teaching or other forms of work

It is important to note that when using scholarships for certain expenses, like room and board or purchasing the aforementioned computer, the amount directed to those costs would be taxable.

If you aren’t certain whether using a scholarship to pay for a particular expense would be taxable, it is best to consult with a tax professional as they can assess your unique situation and make a determination based on applicable tax law.

Website To Find Merit Scholarships

Before looking for external scholarships at the websites above, it is certainly worth looking for merit scholarships they can automatically qualify for, if your child hasn’t already chosen their university.

Merit scholarships are one of the largest sources of funding for college / university, making it possible to significantly reduce your child’s college bill, or even achieve a free ride.

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Nigeria

MTN Science and Technology Scholarship 2020 for Undergraduates – Apply Now

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MTN Science and Technology Scholarship 202 is now on. This is for Nigerian Undergraduate Students. Deadline to apply is 21st July 2020.

MTN Science and Technology Scholarship 2020

The MTN Foundation Science and Technology Scholarship scheme seeks to attract high performing full time second year students studying in public tertiary institutions (universities, polytechnics and colleges of education) in Nigeria.

The scholarship provides financial assistance to students who might otherwise be unable to pay for their tertiary education and aims to recognize and reward academic excellence.

Three hundred and sixty (360) qualified and successful full-time Nigerian students studying science and technology related courses are awarded the scholarship which covers tuition, book allowance and stipends.

The scholarship is renewed every year until graduation for existing awardees provided they have maintained a minimum CGPA of 3.5 or its equivalent (second class upper/upper credit) while new applications, when advertised, are welcome from full time students in their second year of study.

MTN Science and Technology Scholarship Benefits

Since 2010, over 9,000 scholarships have been awarded.

The scholarships, awarded on an annual basis, is worth ₦200,000.00 (Two hundred thousand Naira).

This covers tuition, book allowances and living allowances for one academic year.

You may see also :

MTN Foundation Scholarship Scheme for Blind Students In Nigeria 2020.

MTN Science and Technology Scholarship Eligibility

  • 3rd year students from Public Tertiary Institutions with 3.5 CGPA or its equivalent Second Class Upper
  • HND Students with a minimum of 3.0GPA (Upper credit) at their OND Programme
  • Scholarships will be renewed for the existing students who have maintained a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.5 or its equivalent (second class upper/upper credit).

Students studying any of the following courses can apply:

  • Accountancy/Accounting
  • Agric. Extension and Rural Development
  • Agricultural Science
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Production and Health
  • Aquaculture and Fisheries Management
  • Applied Physics
  • Architecture
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer and Electronics
  • Computer and Information Science
  • Computer and Mathematics
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electrical/Electronics Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Industrial Mathematics
  • Industrial Physics
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
  • Petroleum and Gas Engineering
  • Physics Electronics
  • Geophysics
  • Physics Computational Modeling
  • Pure/Applied Physics
  • Statistics
  • Statistics and Computer Science
  • System Engineering

Application Deadline: Tuesday 21st July, 2020.

How to Apply for MTN Scholarship.

Interested candidates who meet the criteria listed above should apply by clicking HERE

Note: Only Shortlisted applicants will be contacted and MTN Foundation bears sole responsibility for final selection of successful beneficiaries.

Official Website:

For More Information Visit the Official MTN Scholarship Website Here.

Recommend Post:

Wole Soyinka Essay Competition 2020 for Young Leaders.

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Germany

Friedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship for International Students

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Friedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship for International Students.

Brief description and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship:

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship is open to qualified international candidates pursuing their first degree, whether in Master’s or PhD at a state or state-recognized higher-education institution in Germany, Switzerland or within the European Union.

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is a foundation in the Federal Republic of Germany devoted to the promotion of liberal principles and to political education.

The goal of the foundation is to advance the principles of freedom and dignity for all people in all areas of society, both in Germany and abroad.

You may also see: Germany Students VISA – Easy Way to Get Germany Students Visa.

Host Institution(s):

German, Swiss and other EU state or state-recognized universities and technical colleges

Level/Field(s) of study:

Full-time Masters and PhD degrees in any subject, except for the following: second degrees; LL.M, MBA; part-time degrees; bachelors degree for non-European applicants; doctorate studies in dentistry and medicine; postdoctoral programs; projects and separate stays abroad.

Number of Scholarships:

Undergraduate, Masters – not specified; Doctoral – 150

Target group:

International students from all countries committed to the political ideas of the German liberal party and willing to take responsibility.

See also: Germany University Admissions Guidelines and Process.

Scholarship value/inclusions:

Masters:

  • The scholarship’s worth is up to € 850 per month. In addition, there is a contribution to health insurance.
  • The Foundation also offers non-material support for projects, events and initiatives. The minimum funding period is 2 semesters.
  • The scholarships do not have to be paid back.
  • Funding is initially granted for 1 year. Extensions up to the end of the course can be granted on request.
  • Study and research stays and internships abroad are not funded.

Doctoral:

  • The scholarship for the doctorate is up to € 1200 per month.

Eligibility:

Applicants must have the following qualities:

Talent: Candidates should have excellent academic or scientific records in their subject areas and well-rounded interests within school or university and beyond.
Personal requirements: Candidates are reliable, highly motivated personalities, who can make decisions and take responsibility in the tradition of the German liberal party and ready to actively contribute to the further development of the social, political, cultural and economic life.
Social and political engagement: Candidates should have an awareness of and commitment to social and political issues, which is manifested in participation in higher-education institutions, engagement in a liberal political party or organisations, associations and initiatives.

Recommended Scholarships: You may also apply for the

  1. The Deutschlandstipendium at German Universities.
  2. University of Houston – Victoria International Student Cultural Scholarship 2020/2021 for International Students – USA.

  3. Old Mutual Imfundo Trust Scholarship 2021.

Application instructions for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship:

The application documents must be submitted in German and the selection interview will also take place in German, even if you are applying for funding for an English-language course or an English-language doctoral program. Knowledge of German is therefore essential. Deadlines for application are 30 April and 31 October of each year.

See also: How to Submit DAAD Scholarship Application

It is important to visit the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

Official Website:

For More Information Visit the Official Scholarship Website Here.

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Scholarships

Zamfara State Scholarship Application for 2020 has Commenced

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Zamfara State Scholarship Application for 2020 is now on. Deadline to apply is 23rd May 2020. See how to apply, requirements and other vital details below.

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