Merit based scholarships provide money for college based on a student's ability to excel in a given field. They are typically awarded based on the student's record of accomplishments.
Merit based scholarships are awarded in academics, sports and the arts. Sports and artistic scholarships are also further categorized by specific areas of interest.
Academic merit scholarships are granted for high grades and quality academic performance during high school and are usually intended for students going into college right after high school graduation. However, some academic scholarships do exist for students currently enrolled in college. Artistic and sports scholarships generally require students to demonstrate skill in a particular field rather than a general interest.
Academic scholarships often have benefits long after graduating college. Scholarships show future employers and admissions boards at graduate schools that a person is hardworking and successful at difficult tasks. Students applying for artistic scholarships may be required to submit a portfolio or other sample of their completed work such as a video of a performance. Students seeking athletic scholarships may need the recommendation of a coach or a video record of athletic ability.