Will I be eligible for merit-based financial aid?

Merit-based financial aid is offered through colleges and universities, or through private organizations. It is based on a talent you have, such as grades or test scores, musical or athletic ability, or leadership skills.

Many colleges and universities have their own institutional scholarship programs. Check with the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend for more information. Your high school counselor and other people you know may help you with the application process. An essay is often required as part of the application; be sure to write the essay yourself.

There are other scholarships available through private organizations, such as businesses and service clubs. You can ask your school counselor for assistance. You can also research scholarships at the library, or on the web. Several reputable websites offer scholarship searches. If you find one that charges a fee, or if you're solicited by telephone, mail, or email, be careful. You can almost always find everything you need for free. If you have additional questions regarding the different types of merit-based financial aid, contact your State's student aid information center.

Another great resource is the Find Scholarships feature. You can use the My Scholarship Profile there to build a profile then search for matching scholarships. You can also find scholarships using a keyword, browse scholarships in the database, and more.