Merit scholarships


The majority of students have turned to scholarship programs for financial support in their academic careers, but unfortunately, most of these programs are “Need-based”. This means a lot of desperate applicants will be ineligible to receive this financial aid due to their income level, even if they are unable to sponsor their education.

However, irrespective of this minor setback in sponsorship programs, there is another way for students to get additional funding to cover their college expenses despite being ineligible for a need-based scholarship. That alternative is a merit scholarship.

What is a Merit Scholarship?

Merit scholarships are a type of Scholarship that is awarded to students with outstanding achievements in academics, art, or sports, whether rich or not.

In other words, a wealthy or average individual with an impressive level of traction in specific fields such as athletics, arts, or academics will qualify for a Merit scholarship.

So, while both need-based and merit scholarships support students with money for tuition and other school expenses, a merit scholarship is awarded based on how much potential the students demonstrate, irrespective of their financial status.

How do you get a Merit Scholarship?

Here is a quick guide to follow if you want to maximize your chances of winning the scholarship award.

  1. Begin Early

To win, you will need to start building your records of “high achievements” as soon as possible. Your logs don’t need to be flawless, but they should at least show a level of commitment and consistency.

  1. Choose Your Field

You also need to specify on the field that your record of “high achievement” is most likely to be noticed.

The more you narrow in on your type of merit scholarship, the more likely you are to be selected for the award.

  1. Assess yourself

Since you’re going to be judged on your previous successes, you’ll need to eliminate any underlying weakness that might hinder your performance before they become more significant.

You can do this by beckoning on your teachers, coaches, or mentors to help assess your weaknesses and eliminate them.

  1. Apply according to your field

You will need to identify the scholarship programs that suit your area of expertise then send your application to maximize your chances of success.

For example: if you were amongst the top %5 of your class but only play JV-level sports, you might want to apply for merit scholarships that are geared towards academic excellence.

  1. Submit A Well-Written Application

Just like a job application, you only have one chance to make an excellent first impression when you submit your application materials (especially if it’s a scholarship program with thousands of applicants).

Therefore, I recommend you compile your application materials as neatly as possible and also crosscheck in case of the spelling or grammatical errors.

Top 3 Merit scholarship programs around the world

Below are a quick list and description of some of the top merit scholarships in the world.

  1. Fulbright Foreign Student Program (USA)

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables students, artists, and professionals around the globe to study and obtain a master’s or PhD degree in the United States.

Host: U.S Universities and Academic Institutions

Field: All fields, including interdisciplinary ones.

Target group: International students from around the world

Eligibility: The eligibility criteria for the Merit scholarship varies from country to country. Please visit the Fulbright website to find out about your country’s requirements.

Value: The Fulbright program will fund the awarded candidate’s course of study, including their airfare, living stipend, and health insurance.

  1. Rotary Foundation Global Scholarship Grants for Development

The Rotary Foundation offers scholarship grants to the student to pursue graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years in any university in the world.

Host: Any university with an approved Rotary club or district.

Field: Graduate-level coursework or research in Peace and conflict resolution, Disease treatment and prevention, Water and sanitation, Maternal and child health, Basic education & literacy, and Economic & community development.

Target group: Non-Rotarians sponsored by Rotary Clubs

Eligibility: Your eligibility requirements will depend on the Rotary club/District in your country. Please refer to their scholarship page to enquire.

Value: A minimum sponsorship grant of $30,000 to fund: Passport/visa, Inoculations, Travel expenses, School supplies, Tuition, Room and board, Household supplies, and Language training courses.

  1. Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

Japan Government and the World Bank have joined to together to lend a helping hand to aspiring students in developing countries.

Field: JJWBGSP offers scholarships for over 200 Preferred Programs in crucial areas of development, including economic policy management, tax policy, infrastructure management many more.

Target group: Citizens of Developing countries


  • Be a citizen of a country with ties to world Bank
  • Not hold dual citizenship of a developed country
  • Must be in good health
  • Must possess a BSc
  • Must have over three years of experience in development-related areas.
  • Be employed in development-related work
  • He admitted unconditionally to one of the JJ/WBGSP Preferred universities
  • Not be a staff or related to any team in the World Bank Group

Value: The Scholarship will cover the applicant’s tuition, monthly living expenses, airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.


One primary reason people encounter problems with scholarships is that they didn’t do enough research before applying. Although this article is well researched, I implore you to do your due diligence before making a final decision to use. That little deed might save you a great deal of time.

We have compiled a list of Merit Scholarships for you below. Good luck! on your application.

Masters Scholarships October PhD Scholarships Postgraduate scholarship Scholarships in USA Undergraduate Scholarships

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Merit Scholarship 2021/2022 for International Students

After School Africa

East Tennessee State University USA offers Undergraduate and graduate Merit Scholarships for international students to study for 2021/2022. Application Deadline: 15th ...