Scholarship – Understanding Scholarship: Needs and Merit

Do you know that you can handle your student financial needs with a scholarship? How? This is because a scholarship is a fund that students receive without paying back. In other words, it can come in two ways like Needs and Merit.  There are two ways that you can receive scholarships. They include Needs and Merit. Thus, read on for more details.Scholarship - Understanding Scholarship: Needs and Merit


  • While scholarships and grants reduce the costs of attending college, loans will require that you pay back the money. In essence, some students who are unable to pay back will run into debt.
  • Do you know that you can receive a scholarship because of “need”? For instance, Pell Grants. Pell Grant is granted to students with exceptional financial need.
  • For Merit scholarship, students don’t need to have financial need. Thus, a scholarship can come because the student has a talent that needs to be harnessed.Scholarship

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How Scholarship works

Firstly, Scholarship is a state whereby the government, college, or Non-governmental organizations takes care of some or all of the cost of attending college.

Grant is not a scholarship, but it is an example of a scholarship. This is because many also take grant as scholarship. Indeed, grants and scholarships are used almost when the government takes care of a student’s cost of attendance.  Most scholarship is awarded because of merit. Thus, some may consider both merit and need.

       Scholarship Based on Needs

A grant is a scholarship that is obtained because of the needs. Furthermore, they are given to students with exceptional need. Students must fill out the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” Hence, this is the first step to qualify for a Grant. This form is issued by the U.S Department of Education. With the list of questions in the form, information needed from parents and student is clear. Thus, the parent’s income, assets and more are what is needed.

With the details on FAFSA, the expected family contribution (EFC) is gotten. Also, it gives an estimate of what a family should pay as part of the college cost. Furthermore, when this is done, the school involved will then calculate the amount and type of federal aid they will offer a student.  Thus, to keep this ongoing, each family that receives federal aid must fill out the FAFSA form every year the student is in college.

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Federal aid based on needs

 Pell Grants, work-study programs, and low interest-Direct Stafford loans are kinds of federal aid based on needs, which offer help to students and their financial needs. What do think? Pell Grants are offered to students with exceptional financial need. Thus, this calls for the need to be met. Therefore, the federal government has set out a maximum Pell Grant for each student ($6,195).

Non-federal Aid

Non-federal aid

Aid can come from private entities such as NGOs. At the same time, it can come from federal aid. Here, private scholarship programs make use of what is called the CSS profile. In other words, it is used to check the eligibility of a student. The CSS profile is an online form issued by College Board, and it is free to sign up likewise the FAFSA. Families who fill out the CSS will pay $25 for the first school they apply to, and $16 for each additional school. In other words, those fees show low-income families.

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Non-Need Federal aid

There is also federal aid that is free from need. That is to say, your need does not matter.

Most non-need federal aid comes in the form of loans such as direct unsubsidized loans for students or Plus loans.

Merit Scholarships

Aids are also offered because of merit. That is to say, the college offers merit aid that can replace federal aid. Student aid like merit scholarship can be used to compete with other schools for students with outstanding academic performance or with talents. Therefore, it is a tool that sets down tuition costs to be able to compete with less expensive schools.

Of course, each College that offers scholarship aid has a way to determine the merit aid to offer. Thus, Grades, test scores, etc.

Furthermore, on different grounds, merit aid can be sponsored by civic groups, foundations, etc.

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