There are two types of high school scholarships. One is need based and is offered to students from low income families, and the other is based on merit, which is offered to students with good academic records. Merit-based scholarships are mostly offered by private organizations for specific educational courses. These scholarships have individual eligibility criteria, apart from just academic records. Every year, millions of students apply for them, because the financial reward received from them, doesn't need to be repaid.
National SMART Grant
The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent grant is one of the options you could apply for. Students have to maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be eligible to receive this grant. The financial reward under this grant is up to USD 4,000 for each of the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. Filling the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is one of the basic requirements of this grant.
Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund
This program, amongst other things, is for helping civilian, federal, and postal employees. Scholarship awards range from USD 500 to USD 7,500 for one year and more than 400 students benefit from this program. Civilian, federal, and postal employees with at least 3 years of employment are eligible, along with their children and spouses. Eligibility criterion also states that students should have a GPA of 3.0 and must be enrolled full time. Employed personnel can enroll for a part-time educational program.
National Merit Scholarship Program
For this scholarship, students are required to take a Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test to be eligible for the award. The best thing about this scholarship program is that students are selected, irrespective of their choice of college, education program, and financial background. Every year, around 1.5 million students apply for the National Merit Scholarship Programs which are funded by several corporate organizations.
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Students are judged on the basis of their leadership potential, academic achievement, and community service undertaken. Another eligibility criterion for this program is that applicants must be federal Pell Grant eligible. The application forms and details about deadlines are available on the GMS website.
Dell Scholars Program
The Dell scholarship offers USD 20,000 to each student. 250 scholarships are offered every year. The application process is online and eligibility criteria include graduating from an accredited high school. Students who have a minimum GPA of 2.4 are eligible and should be looking to enroll in an accredited higher education institute. Applicants will also be evaluated on the basis of their plans to achieve their goals.
The rising cost of education and the prevailing economic conditions have made merit scholarships an important asset in today's education system. It is advisable that you apply for as many scholarships as you can; the rewards will far exceed the efforts, if you qualify.