Check Out These Common Merit Awards Colleges Offer

Getting a merit award can be a dream come true for any student, particularly for the pupils who have to face the financial barrier. The Merit Awards provided by the colleges in the form of financial aid act as much-needed support to the academically bright students but who would not be able to pursue college otherwise. 

This incredible assistance also brings recognition and adds prestige to your college career. A merit award or scholarship is based entirely on your performance in academics, athletics, or extra-curricular activities. It is awarded by the university and public or private organizations to reward and encourage exceptional students to pursue their field of study. 


While each merit award is different in terms of criteria and sponsorship provided, the awards offered to college students can be divided into three broad categories. Let’s look into them and see if you find yourself eligible to apply for any of these prestigious scholarships. 

Check Out These Common Merit Awards Colleges Offer

Merit Awards For College Students

The three types of merit awards and scholarships offered to college students are the academic, athletic, and artistic merit awards. This makes sure that students with talent and skills in various fields get the support they require. 


After all, not everyone is born as an Einstein, and to make the world an artistic place, we also need to have Leonardo Da Vinci. Let’s take a look at each one of these in more detail. 

Academic Merit Awards

This scholarship is offered to students for excellence in academics. Depending on the criteria, it may be awarded to students pursuing a certain subject like mathematics or engineering or a broader field of study. Also, the scholarship might cover the entire tuition or a part of the tuition fee. 

To be eligible for an academic merit award, the student must be recommended by their teacher or professor and have excellent scores, including a good high school GPA, ACT, and SAT score, besides flourishing in overall scholastic performance. 


Merit awards can be won by students when passing out of high school and entering college. They can also be offered to students who have done well in their early college years and want to pursue a higher education level like postgraduate and Ph.D. 

You can check out the academic merit awards offered at American University here.

Athletic Merit Awards 

Most universities look to attract exceptional athletes to their campus. Athletic scholarships are offered in various sports like football, baseball, swimming, gymnastics, and tennis. 

You will need to excel at the sport of your choice and have a good academic record to apply for an athletic merit award.

Those interested in these scholarships need to plan much as the competition is very fierce. You will need to research various colleges that offer merit awards in your field of sport and look into the courses available that are of interest to you. 

You will need to get a recommendation from your coach and go through a grilling process to finally get in. That particular university’s scout will also test you to see if you really deserve the scholarship. You can browse through this list of athletic merit awards offered by various colleges and organizations for deserving candidates.

Artistic Merit Awards

Artistic merit awards are offered in the fields of dance, music, visual arts, creative writing, and fashion design. You will need a good portfolio to apply for such an award, be it recordings of musical performances or dance recitals, a compilation of your artwork, or prose and poetry. 

Such scholarships are awarded by both universities and public and private organizations that support art and interpret the true essence of this particular arena. 

However, you will also need to have good academic scores and do well overall at high school to better your chances of winning such an award. 

Check Out These Common Merit Awards Colleges Offer

The Bottom Line

Winning a merit award in your field of expertise helps you financially to take up a course of your interest and excel at your higher studies and looks great on your resume. 

When you apply for a job in the future, your prospective employer is sure to be impressed with the fact that you have won such accolades in your college career.