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Many colleges and universities offer academic excellence scholarship programs. Each institution sets its own criteria for awarding institutional academic excellence scholarships. Typically, these types of scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to those students who exhibit exceptional academic achievement, as exhibited by a combination of grade point average, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities.
The best way to learn about academic excellence scholarship programs at the schools you are interested in attending is to ask your admissions representative or financial aid officer to provide details about the types of scholarships available, application deadlines, and eligibility criteria.
Each year, more than 10,000 high school students receive prestigious National Merit academic scholarships. The non-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation has been recognizing outstanding high school students with college scholarships since 1955. Currently, the organization awards more than $50 million in college scholarships to high achieving high school seniors each year.
In order to be considered for the National Merit scholarship program, students must take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) by their third year of high school and plan to enroll in college during the fall semester following high school graduation. Students with the 50,000 highest test scores are recognized as commended student or semi-finalists. The field is narrowed to finalists, who are selected for monetary scholarship awards. Finalists may receive scholarships directly from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, corporate-sponsored Merit scholarships, or college-sponsored awards.
Grade point average is not the only criterion for academic scholarship eligibility. Most academic college scholarships have a minimum SAT or ACT score requirement that is just as important as grade point average. In order to improve your chances of receiving an academic excellence scholarship, it is a good idea to take steps toward making sure that your test scores are as high as they can be.
There are many different strategies for preparing for standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Your local bookstores and libraries are likely to have test preparation books on their shelves that you can purchase or review. There are also a number of online test preparation resources. You may even be able to find local classes designed to help students get ready for college entrance exams.
The four United States Military Academies offer college scholarships to the highest achieving high school seniors each year. Awards cover full tuition, books, room, board, a monthly stipend, and medical and dental insurance for four full years of education at West Point,
These academic excellence scholarships are highly competitive, and are awarded on the basis of high school grades, SAT or ACT scores, athletics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, demonstrated leadership ability, and employment experience. Admission to the military academies is limited to scholarship recipients.
Graduates are required to serve a minimum of five years in the military. Upon graduation, each cadet receives a Bachelor's degree and is appointed to a leadership position in the branch of service that corresponds with the particular academy attended.