One of the most secure ways to finance a college education is to qualify for merit based scholarships. These scholarships give you money for college and are based on your academic performance, making them within reach of everyone. If you are still in high school, the most important thing you can do is to make the highest grades possible. If you are already out of high school, however, you may still qualify for these scholarships later on if you make good enough grades in your college classes. In addition, it is highly important to be involved in extracurricular activities and to be active in the community.
The largest portion of merit based scholarships are offered directly from colleges and universities. As such, they often come with their own sets of requirements. If there is a college that you truly want to attend, check as early as possible for scholarship requirements so you can start working toward making yourself a viable candidate. Possible requirements for these scholarships may include the need to belong to a particular society or organization, certain scores on the SAT or ACT, a particular GPA, and more.
Merit Based Scholarships
- AHIMA Foundation – Applications are accepted each year from July 1 to September 30. Recipients can receive from $1,000 to $2500 to cover educational expenses. This scholarship is open to people interested in a career in health information management and who are currently showing outstanding academic performance in an undergraduate Health Information management or Health Information Technology program as well as those working toward a graduate degree in a health information field. In order to qualify for the scholarship, applicants must be members of the American Health Information Management Association, must be enrolled in a qualifying degree program, and must have completed 24 credit hours toward a degree. In addition, applicants must have a GPA of 3.5 our of 4.0 or 4.5 out of 5.0 for the most previous 24 credit hours. Completed applications will be evaluated on GPA, academic achievement, commitment to health information management, references, clarity of thought, and volunteer and/or work experience. Applications and details are available at ahimafoundation.org.
- Siemens Foundation – This scholarship provides $1,000 a year for four years of study or until the bachelor degree is completed. Candidates must be children of Siemens employees and should apply during the junior year of high school. Anyone wishing to apply for the scholarship must complete the PSAT/NMSQT through the high school they attend. Further information is available at www.siemens-foundation.org.
- National Merit Scholarship Corporation – This scholarship program started in 1955 and receives more than 1.5 applications each year. In order to participate in this program, students must take the PSAT/NMSQT by their junior year of high school and must progress normally as a full-time student through graduation. Students must also be planning to enroll in college the fall after graduation. Finally, all applicants must be U.S. Citizens. The NMSC offers three types of scholarships: There is a National Merit scholarship of a $2500 one-time payment. This type of scholarship is awarded based on a basis of state representation. The second type, the corporate-sponsored merit scholarship, is designed by corporations to award the children of their members or employees. They may be one-time awards or may be renewable for up to four years. The final type of scholarship is the college-sponsored merit scholarship. The recipients of these awards are chosen by college officials and are renewable for up to four years of tuition and fees.
Although it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to qualify for a merit scholarship, it is an excellent source of aid for those who are strong academically. If you have an excellent GPA, now is the time to start looking for merit scholarship opportunities that may help you.