There are hundreds upon hundreds of scholarships available to help pay for college. While local scholarships are a great source of money, what about scholarships on a larger scale? One of the most recognized national scholarships for high school students is the National Merit Scholarships.
Let’s break them down.
National Merit Scholarships
There are three main types of National Merit Scholarships:
The National Merit Scholarship
The National Merit Scholarships are awarded by the state. Winners of these scholarships receive a one-time payment of $2,500.
College Sponsored Merit Scholarship
The College-Sponsored Merit Scholarships are awarded by the sponsoring university or college. These awards are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. Sponsoring institutions set the value of these awards, which may vary in what they’re worth.
The Corporate Sponsored Merit Scholarship
The Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarships are awarded by around 220 private companies to their employees’ children. Finalists pursuing careers related to the company may also qualify for these awards. Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarships may be one-time awards or they may be renewable for up to four years of undergrad study. Sponsoring companies set the value of these awards, which may vary in what they’re worth.
To enter the National Merit Scholarship Program, you must meet these three requirements:
- Are a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or planning on becoming a citizen shortly
- Enrolled as a high school student. This can be as a traditional or a homeschooled student.
- Take the PSAT/NMSQT anytime when you’re in grades 9 through 12.
National Scholarships For High School Students
National scholarships for high school students can be highly competitive. For example, fewer than 9,000 of the 1.5 million applicants become finalists. Don’t let that discourage you. It may not be easy to win the larger awards, but it’s not impossible either. The key is to start researching scholarships early and work towards meeting the qualifying requirements. When you find opportunities that you qualify for, set aside time to work on scholarship applications. Yes, it takes time and effort to look for and apply to scholarships, but the rewards are well worth it.