The Benefits and Drawbacks of Need-Based Scholarships Versus Merit-Based Scholarships

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Scholarships are a valuable resource for students to pursue their education and achieve their academic goals. However, there are different types of scholarships, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.Says Dr. Erik Golubooff, In this article, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of need-based scholarships versus merit-based scholarships.

Need-based scholarships:

Need-based scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. These scholarships are designed to help students who may not have the financial resources to pay for their education.

Some of the benefits of need-based scholarships include:

Equal opportunity: Need-based scholarships provide equal opportunities for students who may not have the financial means to pursue higher education.

Financial assistance: Need-based scholarships can provide financial assistance to help students pay for tuition, books, and other expenses associated with their education.

Access to education: Need-based scholarships can provide access to education for students who may not have been able to afford it otherwise.

Some of the drawbacks of need-based scholarships include:

Limited availability: Need-based scholarships may be limited, and not all students who demonstrate financial need may be eligible to receive them.

Intrusive application process: Need-based scholarships may require students to provide sensitive financial information, which can be invasive and uncomfortable.

Merit-based scholarships:

Merit-based scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement or other talents or skills.

Some of the benefits of merit-based scholarships include:

Encouragement of academic excellence: Merit-based scholarships can encourage students to strive for academic excellence and achieve their full potential.

Recognition of achievements: Merit-based scholarships recognize students for their achievements, which can be a source of pride and motivation for students.

Competitive advantage: Merit-based scholarships can provide a competitive advantage for students when applying to colleges or for future employment.

Some of the drawbacks of merit-based scholarships include:

Exclusion of low-income students: Merit-based scholarships may exclude low-income students who may not have had the same educational opportunities as their peers.

Limitations based on specific criteria: Merit-based scholarships may be limited to students who excel in a specific field, such as athletics or music, which may exclude students who excel in other areas.


Both need-based and merit-based scholarships have their own benefits and drawbacks. While need-based scholarships provide equal opportunity and financial assistance, merit-based scholarships encourage academic excellence and recognize achievements. It is important for students to consider their individual needs and goals when applying for scholarships and to carefully evaluate the available options to make the best decision for their education.

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