Merit based scholarships

What are Merit-based Scholarships?

Merit-based scholarships reward meritorious students for their learning efforts. They are a form of financial assistance that helps students pursue higher education and build a fulfilling career. Merit-based scholarships in India evaluate students on the basis of their performance in offline or online scholarship tests. Several organizations offer such scholarships for Indian students. This blog provides detailed information about the various types of merit-based scholarships in India.

Types of merit-based Scholarships:

Not only do merit-based scholarships recognize academic learning efforts, but consider several other aspects of learning as well. Therefore, merit-based scholarships are categorized into the following types:

1. Academic Scholarships:

As the name suggests, academic scholarships are a method of awarding students with exceptional academic performance. The grade percentage and assessment scores determine student excellence and eligibility for such scholarships in India.

2. Athletic Scholarships:

Another type of scholarship program is the athletic scholarships awarding students showing athletic excellence. Students who get this type of scholarship in India can use their athletic abilities to take admissions to colleges and universities. Then, they can play on a higher level and maintain their scholarships by participating in relevant college athletics.

3. Arts Scholarships: 

Some students show a keen interest in a certain type of art. These art forms may include music, visual arts, dance, photography, sculpture, films and others. However, such talent does not get recognition due to the perception of society that art forms are not great career choices. The art scholarships award students displaying an extraordinary aptitude for any of the art forms.

4. Special Interest Scholarships:

Some extraordinary students take up an entirely different pursuit and display excellence in it. The pursuit might relate to their interest in community development through volunteer efforts or even student entrepreneurship. Students with such remarkable hobbies are eligible to get special interest scholarships.

5. Other Merit-Based Scholarships:

The last but not least type of scholarships in India come under the category of other merit-based scholarships. Schools and other educational institutions provide scholarships to students for different learning efforts. These scholarships are specific to the school or institution providing them. Another evolving concept of scholarships in India, i.e., micro-scholarships also come under this category. Micro-scholarships are a form of monthly online scholarships for Indian students. Such scholarships are in the form of easy assessments that test students' abilities in subject-based quizzes. For instance, Auro scholar, the world’s 1st micro-scholarship program, offers online quizzes for K-12 students. Students can practice and get micro-scholarships on each quiz score of 8 or more.

Merit-Based Scholarships in India

Merit-based scholarships in India reward meritorious students for their exceptional performance. Both private and government institutions fund these types of scholarships. Given below is a list of privately funded and government-funded scholarships.

Government Funded Scholarships

1. NTSE Scholarship: 

The NTSE scholarship is a merit-based scholarship examination that the NCERT conducts for students all over the country. The candidates who qualify for this scholarship receive an amount of INR 2,000 per month. NCERT conducts this examination at the state and national levels. Overall, NTSE gives out a total of 1,000 scholarships in India every year. Students can get a scholarship up to the doctoral level under this scholarship program. Every student studying class 10, in a recognized school or Open and Distant Learning, is eligible to apply for this scholarship.

2. Swami Vivekananda Merit cum Means Scholarship:

Swami Vivekananda Merit cum Means Scholarship offers up to INR 8,000 as scholarships for Indian students. The scholarship program specifically caters to the meritorious and needy students belonging to minority communities of West Bengal. Students studying in class 11 up to the doctoral level can apply for this merit-based scholarship in India. The eligibility criteria for this merit-based scholarship requires that the applicant must be domiciled in West Bengal. Candidates at higher secondary/Diploma/ UG level must have a score of at least 75% marks in classes 10 & 12. Likewise, PG applicants must have a score of at least 53% marks in graduation or 55% marks in the case of engineering. Also, the family income must not exceed INR 2.5 lakh per annum.

3. Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana:

The Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana offers a monthly scholarship of INR 7,000 with a contingency grant to the meritorious students studying in classes 11 &12. The eligibility criteria require that the students must be studying in Cambridge International Exam Board. Applicants must have a score of at least 75% marks in Maths & Science subjects in class 10 Board examination. Also, students studying in the 1st year of B.Sc/BS/B.Stat/B.Math or Integrated M.Sc., MS of Basic Science subjects must possess a score of at least 60% marks in Maths, Physics, Chemistry, biology in class 12 Board examination. However, students belonging to SC/ST/PWD categories get a relaxation of 10% in marks.

4. INSPIRE Scholarship:

The Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research Scholarship for Higher Education (INSPIRE) offers INR 80,000 per annum. Meritorious students undertaking Bachelors and Masters courses in Natural & Basic Sciences can apply to this merit-based scholarship in India. Every year, 10,000 students get this scholarship for a maximum duration of 5 years. The only requirement to maintain the scholarship is that the scholars demonstrate good academic performance every year. The students can submit their applications on the scholarship website to apply for the INSPIRE scholarship.

5. UGC Merit Scholarship:

The UGC Merit scholarship is a Post Graduate Merit Scholarship for University rank holders. Students with 1st or 2nd rank at the UG level, currently studying in a Master’s programme can apply for this merit-based scholarship. The rank holding applicants can receive an amount of INR 3,100 per month for two years under this scholarship program. However, the eligibility criteria mandate that the applicant must not be above 30 years of age.

Private Funded Scholarships

1. Aditya Birla World Academy Scholarship:

The Aditya Birla World Academy Scholarship is a national merit-based scholarship that aids corporate funding. It offers full tuition fees as scholarships to the students studying in class 11 in Aditya Birla World Academy. However, outside students seeking admission in class 11 can also apply for this merit-based scholarship. Applicants must fill the ‘Application for Admission’ and ‘Aditya Birla World Academy Scholarship Programme Merit Scholarship Application Form’ to apply.

2. National Scholarship Exam:

The National Scholarship Exam is a form of talent search examination offering a scholarship amount up to INR 35,000. The students of classes 5 to 12 and students pursuing a diploma or degree course can apply for this merit-based scholarship. Students need to take a national level examination to qualify for this scholarship.

3. North-South Foundation (NSF) Scholarship:

The North-South Foundation (NSF) Scholarship offers an amount of INR 25,000 to meritorious students passing class 12. Students willing to pursue a career in engineering, medicine, or a 3-year polytechnic diploma in engineering can apply. However, the eligibility criteria also require that the annual family income of the applicant must not exceed INR 90,000.

4. SRM Scholarship:

This scholarship provides up to a 100% tuition fee waiver with other benefits to the students applying for admissions to SRM University after class 12. The criteria to qualify for this scholarship is the academic performance of the student. Also, this merit-based scholarship for Indian students is renewable if the student maintains a score of 8.0 CGPA. This scholarship program offers a waiver of 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% to 20, 40, 60, and 80 candidates respectively. The scholarship amount includes fees, mess charges and hostel fees altogether.

5. Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship:

The Reliance foundation offers Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship to students passing class 12. Students looking to pursue graduation in engineering, medical science, law, and other social sciences can apply to this merit-based scholarship. Students with their names on the merit list of their respective state board or CBSE can apply for this scholarship. Engineering students can get up to INR 36,000 and Medical students can get up to INR 40,000/annum.