Top 5 Merit-Based Scholarships for Exceptional Students

Merit-based scholarships are a great way for outstanding students to receive recognition and financial assistance for their academic achievements. With the rising cost of college tuition, these awards can provide students with much-needed relief during their college careers. Let’s take a look at five of the top merit-based scholarships available for exceptional students: 

1. National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Program is one of the most prestigious merit-based programs in the nation, offering thousands of scholarships to academically talented high school seniors each year. To qualify, applicants must take part in the preliminary round PSAT/NMSQT exam and score highly on it before they can be considered for an award. Those who are selected will have their college or university tuition paid in full for up to four years depending on their academics and achievements. 

2. Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation provides over $40 million annually in undergraduate transfer scholarships that help “exceptional” community college students transfer to selective four-year universities and complete their bachelor’s degrees with ease. Eligible candidates must have minimum cumulative GPAs of 3.5 or higher and demonstrate leadership abilities, extracurricular activities, strong writing skills, and financial needs. 

3. Gates Millennium Scholars Program

This program was established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to recognize outstanding minority high school seniors from all backgrounds who demonstrate significant academic achievement and desire to pursue a higher education degree in any field of study at an accredited college or university of their choice. The scholarship covers tuition fees, books, and living expenses for up to nine semesters or twelve quarters (depending on which academic calendar the recipient chooses). 

4. Davidson Fellows Scholarship

Offered by the Davidson Institute, this scholarship rewards young people “with significant accomplishments in math, science, technology, literature, music, philosophy and more” who are between the ages of 18–21 upon application submission with up to $50K for their postsecondary studies and projects related to any one particular area of expertise that they excel in. 

5. Thomas Rhett Scholarship Program

Named after country music singer Thomas Rhett (and his father), this unique merit-based scholarship program helps fund deserving students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds who wish to pursue a degree path in music after completing high school graduation requirements through its partners—the Country Music Association Foundation and Big Machine Label Group Record Company & Music Publishing Company.. Recipients will receive $10K per year up until they complete their four-year degrees at accredited colleges or universities located within the United States.

These five merit-based scholarships offer exceptional students amazing opportunities to fund both traditional college experiences as well as specialized studies related directly to one particular field they excel while receiving valuable recognition for their excellent academic achievements!

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