How to Apply For Need-Based and Merit-Based Scholarships


Whether you are a student seeking need-based scholarships or a family wondering whether to apply for need-based financial aid, it is important to know the differences between needs and wants. The definition of need is simple: it is something necessary to live. Want is a desire. Want can become a demand when it is backed by purchasing power. You can make a list of needs and wants and assign dollar amounts to each. When you are able to identify and address your needs, you will be better able to avoid poverty.

Need-based scholarships are awarded to students based on their financial need, academic achievements, or both. These scholarships are awarded by private organizations, foundations, and businesses. You can search for these scholarships online or through your parents’ employers or community foundations. However, these scholarships are not guaranteed, and some students may have to pay tuition out of pocket. You can also apply for need-based aid through federal work-study programs. These programs offer students financial support for school-related expenses such as tuition, housing, books, and transportation.

Need-based scholarships are offered by many colleges and universities, and the financial aid application typically includes a FAFSA. The FAFSA is the basis for determining whether you are eligible for federal aid. The application also includes one or more supplemental documents that help determine your financial need.

Need-based aid may be awarded through federal grants such as the Pell Grant, or it may be offered through the colleges’ own financial aid application. Need-based aid programs are tied to student and family resources, and most schools use proprietary formulas to calculate demonstrated need. Need-based aid programs may also offer tuition waivers or federal work-study opportunities. In some cases, students may receive both types of aid, and may receive preference if they can pay for the school in full.

Need-based scholarships are often awarded to students whose families could not otherwise afford to attend college. In fact, U.S. News & World Report reported that the average merit-based award in the 2019-20 academic year was $10287. In general, need-based scholarships are more likely to help you attend college than merit-based scholarships. You can use a college’s tuition calculator to determine how much money you can expect to pay. You may also need to submit an additional application, called a CSS Profile.

Need-blind colleges are universities that make admissions decisions independent of your financial status. In fact, these schools are considered among the top tier of educational institutions. While need-blind admissions tend to make getting admitted more competitive, it is important to note that need-blind schools do not guarantee that you will receive free tuition.

Need-blind schools are often smaller, liberal arts colleges. These schools are able to provide generous financial packages to students who qualify. Despite the high quality of these institutions, it is important to note that the school may not be able to meet your full need. If you do qualify for need-based aid, it is still important to apply to other colleges, and to consider the costs of attending school. You should also learn about the preferences of the admissions officers.