Merit-Based Scholarships

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Ashley Milligan
English 102
Prof. Belangia
Writing Assignment 5
22 January 2011
Merit-based Scholarships
Figuring out how to pay for one’s college tuition is probably one of the most stressful processes a person will face in his or her life. Many parents save money over the course of a child’s life to help pay for college, but this money is very rarely enough to cover the outrageous cost of a higher education. This is where scholarships come into play. But how should schools choose which students to award scholarships too? There have been many debates about whether a more money should be allotted to need-based scholarships or merit-based scholarships. Merit-based is obviously the best way to go.

The strongest reason why colleges should primarily give merit-based scholarships is stated in the name itself. Students work hard to earn their grades, so it only makes sense to reward their hard work with money to help them continue their education. If colleges were to do away with merit-based scholarships, there would be less motivation for students to do their best in school. Earning an academic scholarship also gives a student a sense of pride in their accomplishments. A scholarship is something to strive for over the course of a high school career.

There is a huge problem with doing away with merit-based scholarships: a majority of students rely on these scholarships alone to pay for college. The family of a student must be extraordinarily poor to qualify for a need-based scholarship, and each year colleges make it harder and harder to qualify for this type of scholarship. Where are the middle class, and even upper-middle class, students supposed to get money for college? Most collage applicants are wealthy enough that they cannot qualify for a need-based scholarship, but not wealthy enough to be able to afford a college education without assistance. Taking away these merit-based scholarships would cause countless financial problems for many...
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