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Busting Merit Scholarships Myths

Merit scholarships are a powerful tool for helping families pay for college, but myths persist about who can and can’t earn them.

Merit aid is money for college based on a students’ efforts and achievements, not their (or their parents’) financial situation.

Unlike loans, scholarship money does not get paid back. Colleges or private entities want to support the educational goals of students who have demonstrated a variety of characteristics or achievements.

Merit aid can be awarded to wealthy as well as middle-class families who don’t qualify for need-based financial aid. It can also go to students from lowincome families. It’s based on a student’s accomplishments, academic or otherwise. They don’t have to be geniuses or athletes to earn a merit scholarship.

It’s never too soon to start looking into obtaining merit aid. Your child can begin using their achievements to lower the cost of college as early as middle school, if not before....

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