merit scholarships

Colleges with the Best Merit Scholarships

College ain’t cheap! Sure there are academic scholarships, but some schools practically ask for half your leg before you can even be considered for one, and even then, how much of your expense does it really cover? That is why Merit scholarships are very important!

You can actually get automatic full-ride scholarships simply by taking the ACT, SAT, or both, and by having a GPA.

Merit Scholarships are scholarships that award you based on your academic efforts in High School — and you don’t have to be a genius to get them. They are automatically awarded to students after they are accepted. But the big question is what ACT score gets you a full ride and even SAT results as well?

Some clarifications about Merit Scholarships

This article will focus on academic scholarships given if you take the SAT or ACT. There is actually another source of scholarship that you can try if you scored high on the PSAT or the Practice SAT which is the National Merit. You just have to inform the college you are applying to upon admissions that you are a recipient of the award.

By joining in the competition, you can possibly earn a $2,500 scholarship. But you do not have to worry if you did not make the cut. You can still receive scholarships from colleges if you listed them as your first choice in National Merit. If you want to learn more about the PSAT and the National Merit scholarship, read our blog about it.

Schools that offer Merit Scholarships

Here are Student-Tutor‘s Top Merit Scholarships. We have carefully picked them out of the many schools that offer scholarships and we hope this can help you out in your journey in finding a full ride into college.

Baylor University

Baylor University offers academic scholarships based on a student’s class rank and the result of his SAT or ACT. In fact, they claim that the median range of Merit scholarship they have given over four years is already amounting to $68,000.

Some of the scholarship offered by Baylor are the following:

  • President’s Gold Scholarship – $19,000-22,000
  • Provost’s Gold Scholarship – $16,000-18,000
  • Dean’s Gold Scholarship – $13,000-15,000
  • Founder’s Gold Scholarship – $7,000-12,000

Aside from this, they also have “Specialty Baylor Awards” for students that meet certain requirements in the following: academic, athletics, denomination, departmental, scholarship events, extracurricular activities, housing choice, leadership, legacy status, military, and transfer. They also have financial aids and installment payment plans to help out more financially challenged students.

To learn more about Baylor University’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

Colorado State University

Just like Baylor University, Colorado State University offers Merit-Based SAT and ACT scholarships. They have scholarships for both residents and non-residents which gives you more options to choose from.

According to their website, here are the academic scholarships awarded based on the application for admission:

  • Merit Scholarships for Colorado Residents
  • Alliance High School Partnership
  • Honors Scholarship
  • Partnership Award

Meanwhile, there is also a scholarship requiring a separate application for Colorado residents which is the Creative and Performing Arts awards.

For non-residents, here are the Merit scholarships awarded based on the application for admission:

  • Presidential, Provost’s, Dean’s, and Academic Recognition Scholarships
  • Western Undergraduate Exchange
  • Honors Scholarship
  • Partnership Award
  • Native American Legacy Award

In terms of scholarship requiring a separate application for Colorado non-residents, refer to the following:

  • Creative and Performing Arts Awards
  • Colorado State University Scholarship Application

To learn more about Colorado State University’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University offers a lot of scholarships including:

  • Academic Scholarships
  • Merit Scholarships
  • Out-of-State Scholarships
  • State Scholarships

For the Merit-Based Scholarship, you should apply by November 15 for you to be considered. If you are considered, you will be notified through an acceptance letter and sign the paperwork online. Here is a list of the possible scholarships that you will receive:

  • Second Century – $3000 Renewable
  • 1913 Founders – $2000 Renewable
  • GSU Excellence – $1000 Renewable
  • GSU Achievement – $1000 One Time
  • GSU Foundation – $500 One Time

To learn more about Georgia State University’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

Louisiana State University

Lousiana State University boasts of the list of scholarships they offer not only for college freshmen. According to their website, they have given $330 Million worth of financial aid and scholarships each year.

In giving the Merit-Based scholarship, LSU is a partner of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation. They offer automatic full-ride scholarships and even funding for other enrichment work. The student would have to apply through the common application on their website to be considered. Here is a detailed list of what the Stamp scholar will receive:

  • Full cost of attendance for four years (covers tuition, fees, room & board, books, supplies, etc.)
  • Louisiana resident value: approx. $33,000 per year
  • Non-Louisiana resident value: approx. $50,000 per year
  • A potential $14,000 for enrichment experiences
  • The opportunity to earn up to an additional $1,550 per year by participating in the President’s Future Leaders in Research Program
  • A one-time-use $1100 laptop stipend

Another Merit-Based scholarship that LSU offers is The President’s Alumni Scholars Award which you can also choose to try using the common application. Here’s what the scholarship offers:

  • Full cost of attendance for four years (covers tuition, fees, room & board, books, supplies, etc.)
  • Louisiana resident value: approx. $33,000 per year
  • Non-Louisiana resident value: approx. $50,000 per year
  • $2,000 study abroad stipend
  • The opportunity to earn up to an additional $1,550 per year by participating in the President’s Future Leaders in Research Program 

To learn more about Lousiana State University’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

University of Arizona

Another university that offers Merit-Based scholarship is the University of Arizona. They use both GPA and SAT and ACT scores to compute how much scholarship the student will receive.

The scholarship they are offering has two categories: one for Arizona residents called Resident Wildcat Awards and another for out-of-state students called Non-Resident Arizona Awards. Here are the two requirements:

  • Students must complete the University of Arizona admission application in order to be considered.
  • Students must submit their official 8th-semester transcript for verification.

To learn more about Lousiana State University’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi is perhaps one of the top schools that offer a lot of SAT and ACT scholarships. In fact, if you visit their website, the page dedicated to the scholarships they are giving are pretty long. xannonce.ch To give you an idea, here are the type of scholarships they are offering:

  • Academic Common Market (ACM) Scholarship
  • Academic Merit
  • Arabic Language Flagship Scholarships
  • Center for Mathematics and Science Education
  • Chinese Language Flagship Scholarships
  • Community College Scholarships
  • Intensive Summer Program Scholarships
  • Honors College Scholarships
  • International Studies
  • Military Science (ROTC)
  • Public Policy Leadership
  • Ole Miss Women’s Council
  • Ole Miss Opportunity Scholarship
  • Ole Miss First
  • Toyota-Haley Barbour Scholarship
  • Other Scholarships
  • Other Scholarship Resources
  • School of Accountancy
  • School of Business Administration
  • School of Engineering
  • University Foundation Scholarships

Now, let us focus on the Merit-Based scholarship offered by the university. For a freshman to be considered, he should have a minimum of 3.0 high-school GPA. a minimum 23 ACT for MS Residents (1050 SAT or 1130 SAT-R) or 25 ACT for nonresidents (1130 SAT or 1200 SAT-R). The scholarship money one can receive ranges from $1,000 to $8,718.

To learn more about the University of Mississippi’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

University of Missouri

This university also gives a handful of SAT and ACT scholarships to deserving students. For freshies, they have two categories for Merit-Based Scholarship: the Missouri residents and the non-Missouri residents’ automatic scholarship. Here are the Merit Scholarships available for Missouri residents:

Mizzou Scholars Award

  • $10,000
  • 33 ACT or 1450 SAT score by Dec. 15 of senior year in high school, application required

Chancellor’s Award

  • $6,500
  • 31 ACT or 1390 or higher SAT

Curators Scholar Award

  • $4,500
  • 28-30 ACT or 1300-1380 SAT

Excellence Award

  • $3,000
  • 25-27 ACT or 1200-1290 SAT

To achieve the following scores, you might need to take the ACT writing test and the SAT optional essay.

For non-residents, here is a list of the scholarships available:

Mark Twain Nonresident Scholarship

  • Level 1: Full waiver of nonresident tuition (approx. $15,838)
  • 30 ACT or 1360 SAT
  • Level 2: $7,000
  • 27-29 ACT or 1260-1350 SAT

Black & Gold Scholarship

  • Level 1: Full waiver of nonresident tuition (approx. $15,838)
  • 27 ACT or 1260 SAT and have a parent who graduated from MU
  • Level 2: Half waiver of nonresident tuition (approx. $7,919)
  • 25-26 ACT or 1200-1250 SAT and have a parent who graduated from MU

Border State Scholars

  • $2,500
  • 25-29 ACT or 1200-1350 SAT and reside in a state bordering Missouri

To learn more about the University of Missouri’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

University of Nevada at Las Vegas

Here are some of the available academic scholarships offered by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas:

  • President’s Scholarship
  • Provost’s Scholarship
  • Rebel Scholarship
  • Rebel Challenge Scholarship
  • UNLV Excellence Scholarship
  • Valedictorian Scholarship
  • Western Undergraduate Exchange Program (WUE)

The automatic or SAT and ACT scholarships given are the following including the criteria for each according to the university’s website:

  • Provost’s Scholarship
  • UNLV Excellence Scholarship
  • Rebel Scholarship
  • Rebel Challenge Scholarship

To learn more about the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’ scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

University of Oregon

The University of Oregon also has automatic academic scholarships given to deservings students. These are scholarships based on ACT scores as well as the SAT. Here are the university-wide academic scholarships for Oregon residents:

Stamps

3.85 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale; 1300 SAT or 28 ACT; academic and extracurricular

Presidential

3.85 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale; 1300 SAT or 28 ACT; academic and extracurricular

Summit

3.80 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale; 1250 SAT or 26 ACT (students who receive an International Baccalaureate diploma at the completion of high school may waive the GPA minimum requirement)

Apex

3.60 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale; 1220 SAT or 25 ACT (students who receive an International Baccalaureate diploma at the completion of high school may waive the GPA minimum requirement)

Meanwhile, for non-residents of Oregon, the following Merit-Scholarships are available:

UO Excellence

3.90 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale; 1450 SAT or 33 ACT

Stamps

3.85 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale; 1300 SAT or 28 ACT; academic and extracurricular

Summit

3.80 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale; 1250 SAT or 26 ACT (students who receive an International Baccalaureate diploma at the completion of high school may waive the GPA minimum requirement)

Apex

3.60 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale; 1220 SAT or 25 ACT (students who receive an International Baccalaureate diploma at the completion of high school may waive the GPA minimum requirement)

To learn more about the University of Oregon’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee offers a Volunteer Scholarship program for students with an exemplary academic record based on their GPA and test scores. Students who have a 3.8 GPA will automatically be considered for academic scholarships. However, to renew the scholarship, the following should be strictly followed:

  1. The student must maintain a 3.0 (GPA) and federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  2. They should also maintain full-time enrollment throughout each semester

Here is the amount of scholarships based on act scores for Tennessee residents. This is what the students can get annually.

  • ACT/SAT Score of 34–36  / 1490–1600 = $8,000
  • ACT/SAT Score of 30–33  / 1360–1480 = $5,000
  • ACT/SAT Score of 28–29 / 1300–1350 = $3,000

These amounts are smaller than the out-of-state scholars but Tennessee residents are eligible for HOPE (Lottery) Scholarship.

On the other hand, here is the amount of awards annually according to ACT/SAT scores for non-Tennessee residents:

  • ACT/SAT Score of 34–36 / 1490–1600 = $18,000
  • ACT/SAT Score of 30–33 / 1360–1480 = $15,000
  • ACT/SAT Score of 28–29 / 1300–1350 = $10,000

To learn more about the University of Tennessee’s scholarship grants, click here to visit their website.

Conclusion

If you study hard enough, you will be eligible for all the scholarships we have listed in this article. To help you in preparing for the SAT and ACT, you might find the following blogs of Student-Tutor helpful:

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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Amod Suman
Amod Suman
3 years ago

I have got 1350 in SAT and 7 in IELTS but my high school GPA is only 2.5 and I am an international student…can I get scholarships?

Oluwajuwon
Oluwajuwon
3 years ago

I’ve got a 1350 in the new sat and a 98 in TOEFL, what scholarships am I eligible for?

Leul Merid Ashebir
Leul Merid Ashebir
3 years ago

Iam Eth iopian, I have SAT score of 1250 in critical reading and maths. At the time wants to join free tuition and accomedation scholarship in Medcine or computer engineering or( Electrical and computer Engineering). Please I need help.

Candy
Candy
4 years ago

Why is it so difficult to find scholarships for top schools if you dont make under $100K. Even with a 36 ACT and 4.5 GPA finding it hard to find at favorite top schools.

philip
philip
4 years ago

What are my daughter’s chance of a scholarship maybe even full ride?? She got a 33 overall on ACT (34 math and science, 30 english) , 3.97 GPA (out of 4). She is an IB student entering her senior year.
thanks
Phil

Aisha
Aisha
4 years ago

Is there any scholarships for foreign student who are planning to take the SAT?

Moustafa
Moustafa
4 years ago

Are these scholarships available for international students, or are the exclusive to US citizens?

monarch
monarch
4 years ago

I got 33 in the act and have a GPA of 2.4 how much scholarship will i get

Caroline
Caroline
4 years ago

Really great and helpful article! Wish all schools were like this!!!

Laura Petersen
Laura Petersen
4 years ago
Reply to  Caroline

Caroline,

Thank you for your comment and kind words! And yes, we wish all schools were like this too, but hopefully more and more will offer merit-based scholarships to attract hard working students and give more opportunity for students to have their college paid for in part or completely.

Do you know of any other great scholarship opportunities we should/could share? We like spreading the news about these!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year coming up!

Laura

lara
lara
4 years ago

what if if someone gets a 1200 in total 3 sections ? also , how much is needed 2 get for the new sat in
order to achieve a scholarship?

lara
lara
4 years ago
Reply to  Todd VanDuzer

so i got a 1450 , 400 in math , 530 in writing , 520 in reading , any possible scholarships with that said score ? on another note , if im satisfied with this score ( im in my junior yr) will colleges accept it or will they only acknowledge the new sat by the time i register ? ps. if no scholarships will accept atleast any low- cost colleges in english-speaking countries . any help appreciated 🙂

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