Special Students- Academically Gifted, Athelets, Legacies, Minorities)

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In case you are a bright student, merit aid can be really helpful.

The merit aid is sponsored by the colleges, but who is it meant for?

It is generally meant for exceptional students, who have the highest GPA, stand out in the class rankings, and have great experience in community leadership.

  • Just like, to get an entry into a college, financial aid is your major need – the colleges have their own needs for filling up the classes.
  • These students might be offered exceptional benefits like athletic scholarship, or non- need- based grants. In these cases, you don’t have to apply-rather, the school will select of its own.


The best way to ensure your selection is to sell yourself through your application.

EXAMPLE – A candidate, who is a great athlete must back his/her application with a recommendation from his/her coach, and the awards that he/she has won must be mentioned in the application.

If, the student is fortunate enough to get the grant – he/she must find out-

  • Whether or not these grants are renewable.
  • In case, these awards are renewable, then what should be the level of his/her performance to get the same benefit for the upcoming year.


The National Merit Scholarship Program acknowledges special talents and rewards them with 1800 non-renewable scholarships, and 2800 renewable scholarships.

If, you have performed exceedingly well in your SAT or ACT exams, then you can be considered in the pool of 120 students who will be designated as Presidential Scholars.

Some schools are totally based on need, and the students won’t get any aid until and unless they demonstrate need. However, some colleges are lenient and award the National Merit finalists with a four-year free scholarship.

There are some awards like the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which is granted on the basis of the student’s performance in the college. So, if you are extremely talented, and take interest in extracurricular activities like music, drama, debate, presentations etc., then you have a great chance of getting awarded with this type of aid.

Interestingly, colleges look for these types of talents who can go a long way and represent their respective colleges in various events.


An Athlete always has a chance of getting the scholarship based on his/her skills. In order to avail the athletic scholarships, the student needs to prove his/her skills.

The student needs to ensure that he/she doesn’t pay scammers who make false claims, stating that they can provide them scholarships.

You must understand that, there is always a difference between having sports as a hobby, and playing really good. In other words- Having sports as a hobby might improve your chances of getting admission, but in order to get scholarships you need to play really well, by demonstrating your athletic skills.


  • A student must communicate his/her specialty that makes him/her a firm contender for financial benefits.
  • A student must communicate his/her specialty that makes him/her a firm contender for financial benefits.
  • Average athletes should never give up the idea of getting the scholarship as a candidate who doesn’t get a scholarship in one school might get a preferential package from another school.
  • You should not develop a stereotype about a particular sport. Schools may not only need footballers, they might as well need swimmers, cricketers, runners etc.


Minorities add diversity to the class, and their demand has increased considerably over the years. Providing minorities with the scholarships and financial aid has been a challenge for the Financial Admission Officers.

The students who are a minority, must have exceptional grades, and a brilliant academic record, in order, to have any chances of qualifying for the financial aid. The biggest positive is that, once you are admitted- you will be provided with all the resources and support required to sustain your education. Most colleges are strongly committed and have an objective to retain talents.


If, the students are talented and eligible, but financially weak, or their parents cannot afford their education – then they will have the option of seeking help. Most schools will consider the situation.

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