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How to Get Merit Scholarships

Merit scholarships give all students an opportunity to use their achievements to contribute to the cost of college.Depending on whether they are pursuing merit aid from private sources or from colleges, students will use different strategies and different achievements to win money for college.

The family’s finances have nothing to do with winning merit scholarships. Instead, students can use their achievements, involvements, community service, passions, academics and other qualities to pursue money for college that never has to be paid back.

The two types of merit scholarships offer different benefits and reward different types of achievements. Private merit scholarships are typically not based on grades or academics. Instead, organizations reward almost everything else about a student, including community service, hobbies, passions, challenges, goals, heritage, religion, and more.

Meanwhile, colleges and universities use institutional merit scholarships to encourage students...

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How to Ace a Skype Scholarship Interview

Whether it’s for a scholarship, admissions, internship or a job, interviews offer a great opportunity to showcase your personality, character, passion and qualifications.  Interviews provide a great opportunity to connect with judges beyond the written word.

I often coach students to present themselves as likeable in their essays.  The same is true for interviews.  Scholarship judges, admissions officers and employers, are people after all. And it’s only natural that we want people we like to succeed.

That’s especially true when you are competing for money for college.  With the cost of college up another 3-5% nationwide over last year, there are a lot of deserving students looking for ways to pay less.

            “Getting into college is one thing.  Paying for it is another.” ®


By definition, merit scholarships provide money for college based on achievement. ...

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Rising College Costs Can Benefit Teens

Skyrocketing college costs definitely cause a lot of hardship for a lot of families.

And the $1.5 trillion of student college debt is a huge problem with many negative consequences.

But what if the rising cost of college also created opportunities that can benefit our students in the long run?

The high price of college is causing (or forcing) more families to talk to their teens about the cost of college and requiring them to pitch in to make their own goals a reality.

Is that such a bad thing?

Merit scholarships are awarded for achievement – not the student’s financial situation.  That’s good news.  It means that all students can benefit from having “skin in the game” and using their own efforts to lower the cost of college.

Merit aid must be deserved.  And that’s good news, too.

Sure, the cost of college is on the rise.  But it’s been expensive for a long time with costs up 1120% since 1978.  The continued price...

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