Scholarships &

Financial Aid

Meridian List of Scholarships (from Mrs. Gregg)

Please visit the Meridian website at for a detailed list.

"Finding Scholarships to Pay For College" Article

Financial Aid Options

  • Both grants and scholarships are types of gift aid or free money that does not have to be repaid in contrast to student loans although some scholarships are taxable. See the IRS's website for more information. Generally, tuition and books are not taxable, but money for living expenses is.

  • A student loan is money you borrow with the intent of paying back with interest. Loans can come from the federal government or private sources or organizations. Check out the Federal Student Aid website for more information on the differences between federal or private financial aid.

Grants vs. Scholarships

  • Grants tend to be based on financial need and are mostly funded by the federal government while scholarships tend to be based on merit and are funded from the private sector.



  • Scholarships are based on merit such as the student’s academic, athletic, or artistic merit or special interests (e.g. STEM) or ethnicity (Black, Native American, Hispanic, etc.) as well as underrepresented populations (people with disabilities, children of veterans, etc.)

  • Scholarships may be from private companies, foundations, philanthropists, non-profit organizations or even religious institutions.Many colleges offer academic scholarships based on GPA, admissions test scores, and rank.

  • One difference between scholarships and grants is that scholarships are taxable. People may want to use the Scholarship Tax Calculator to see how much they will have to pay on taxes for scholarship. Tuition and textbooks may be tax-free, but living expenses may be taxable.

Examples of Scholarships

  • National Merit Scholarships ($2,500)

      • The National Merit Scholarship Program is a national competition among high school students. Students qualify for the program based on their PSAT score.

      • All finalists compete with their state or other selection unit. A committee of college admission offers and high school counselors select winners.

      • Recipients receive a one-time payment of $2,500. Scholarship offers usually are sent in late March.

  • Corporate-sponsored Merit or Special Scholarships

      • Finalists who meet criteria specified by a corporate sponsor may qualify for a scholarship e.g. children of employees, residents of a specific community, finalists with a certain major or career plan, veterans, etc.

      • These scholarships are based on 1) academic merit, 2) an area of study, 3) a specific religion, or 4) an ethnicity, especially for minority or underrepresented populations.

      • Awards vary by sponsor and can be one time or renewable and range from $500-$10,000 a year with either a fixed or variable amount per year. There are some full scholarships, but not as common as a fixed amount. They may come out as early as March or April.

      • To see some examples of corporate-sponsored scholarships, check out College's website.

  • College-sponsored Merit Scholarships

      • A college-sponsored scholarship is financial aid to help students pay for an undergraduate degree and are usually renewable and provides money for the student for each semester or school year.

      • Awards are usually renewable for 4 years of study at the sponsor institution and may range from $500-$5,000 per year. Scholarship offers usually come out in early May.

Scholarship Links

Scholarship-Matching Searches/Services

College Board Scholarship Search

Career One Stop (US Department of Labor)

Learning Express Search

Niche Scholarship Search

USA Grant Applications

Student Scholarship Search


Unigo Scholarship Search

College Data Scholarship Search Search

FastWeb Scholarship Search

Texas Scholarships:

General Scholarships

Major-Specific Scholarships

College-Specific Scholarships

Demographic-Specific Scholarship

Attribute-Specific Scholarships

Community College Scholarships

Full Ride Scholarships

General Texas Scholarships, $500-$6,000

(Need and Merit)