Private Colleges That Give Merit Scholarships

The following list of colleges, from Amherst to Dartmouth, offers merit scholarships. These awards are typically based on your academic performance and involve a combination of merit-based scholarship money, grants and other financial aid. The award amounts can range from $500 to full tuition coverage or more. To qualify for these awards, you must submit an application and complete interviews with each college’s admissions committee.

Private Colleges That Give Merit Scholarships

1 Amherst College

Amherst College is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States. Founded in 1821 as an all-male school, it was the first liberal arts college in the United States. Amherst is an exclusively undergraduate four-year institution, enrolling 1,795 students (1,822 undergraduates and 79 graduate students) and employing 245 instructional faculty members.[4] Students choose courses from 38 major programs in an open curriculum; additionally they may design their own interdisciplinary major or minor subject studies through independent research with faculty advisors’ approval.[5]

2 Babson College

Babson College is a private business school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The college was founded in 1919 by Albert Anderson Babson as part of his mission to educate future business leaders. Babson College offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through its School of Business Administration, which is consistently ranked among the top 20 MBA programs by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Babson offers a variety of merit-based scholarships for students applying to the undergraduate program or its part-time MBA degree program (for students who already have a bachelors degree). In addition to these scholarships, Babson College also offers need-based aid through its College Work Study Program and Federal Work Study Program.

3 Bates College

Bates College is a private liberal arts college in Lewiston, Maine. It was founded in 1855 by abolitionists who wanted to create an inclusive learning environment where people of all races and backgrounds could study together. Bates is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and has several intercollegiate sports teams, including lacrosse, soccer, cross-country skiing, field hockey and football. In addition to its athletic programs, Bates offers students over 60 majors across six different academic schools: Fine Arts; Humanities; Natural Sciences; Social Sciences; Business Administration & Management; Computer Science & Information Systems (CSIS).

Bates is also committed to providing its students with opportunities for personal growth both inside and outside of the classroom through field trips like canoeing on Moosehead Lake or hiking Mount Katahdin—the highest peak entirely within Maine’s borders—or by allowing them to study abroad at one of the many universities around the world that offer exchange programs with it.

4 Boston College

[Boston College]( is a private Jesuit research university located in the city of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, 6 miles (9.7 km) west of downtown Boston.[1] It has 9,660 full-time undergraduates and 6,117 graduate students.[2] The university’s name reflects its early history as a liberal arts college and preparatory school that focuses on undergraduate education for women and men.[3][4][5]

Boston College is ranked as one of the most prestigious universities in the United States[6][7], according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 rankings for national universities; it tied for fourth place among all private universities alongside Stanford University.[8] The Boston College Eagles compete in NCAA Division I athletics as members of Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).[9]

5 Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College is a private liberal arts college located in Brunswick, Maine. Founded in 1794, Bowdoin offers a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes small classes and student-faculty interaction. With over 2,000 faculty members and an acceptance rate of just 13%, Bowdoin has become one of the most selective colleges in the country.

In addition to its academic reputation, Bowdoin College also boasts an impressive athletic program with over 75 Division III varsity sports teams including lacrosse and hockey teams that compete against other colleges across the country. This past year’s football team won their first-ever playoff game against Amherst College by a score of 28-21 while their women’s basketball team reached the NCAA Division III Championship Game for the fourth consecutive year before ultimately falling short against Lynchburg College (Virginia).

6 Carleton College

Carleton College is a private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota. It was founded in 1866 by the Presbyterian Church as an all-men’s school and became coeducational upon admitting women in 1969. Carleton is one of the 60 colleges that make up the Annapolis Group, a consortium of liberal arts colleges in the United States.

The college has been considered one of America’s most selective institutions since 2010 when Carleton admitted only 9% of its applicants after they were reviewed using “holistic admissions process” (Carleton). Since then, it has maintained this reputation as one of the most selective and prestigious private institutions in America.

7 Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College is a private liberal arts college in Claremont, California, United States. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,340, its setting is suburban and the campus size is 170 acres. Claremont McKenna College was founded in 1946 by Donald Bren, a real estate developer.

It’s important to note that Claremont McKenna offers an unlimited number of scholarships based on academic merit only—no financial need required! You can learn more about these merit-based awards here:

8 Dartmouth College

  • Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States.
  • Dartmouth is known for its focus on undergraduate education and its highly competitive admissions process.

The college traces its roots to 1769 when Eleazar Wheelock founded Moor’s Charity School with a donation of 100 acres (400,000 m2) of land in present-day Dover and Portsmouth. In 1817, the school changed its name to Hanover Academy. By 1836 it had grown large enough that you could offer a full curriculum which included classics and languages as well as scientific studies such as physics, chemistry and astronomy.

9 Davidson College

Davidson College is a highly selective liberal arts college in North Carolina. The school offers students the opportunity to study in small classes with professors who are dedicated to each student’s success. Davidson also offers a wide range of scholarships, including merit-based and need-based opportunities. As an example, the Charlotte Wachovia Bank Scholarship Fund awards 100% tuition assistance over four years to up to 40 students each year; these scholarships are worth $24,000 per year.

A Davidson education has been shown to help prepare graduates for life beyond graduation by teaching them how to think critically and creatively about issues facing society today — skills that employers value highly. In fact, recent alumni have gone on to earn some of the highest starting salaries among all four-year institutions according to PayScale’s latest survey data released in 2018:

10 Duke University

Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. The school has an acceptance rate of 7.2%, making it one of the most selective colleges in the United States.

The school attracts students from all over the world with its reputation for attracting some of the best and brightest students.

Duke offers merit scholarships for high-performing students as well as other financial aid options to help make attending Duke possible for anyone who wishes to join this community of scholars and leaders.

11 You may qualify for a merit scholarship, even at some of the most prestigious colleges!

You may be surprised to learn that even some of the most prestigious colleges and universities give out merit scholarships. While you won’t necessarily get a full ride, a merit scholarship can significantly reduce your tuition costs and make it easier for you to attend college.

While most schools require that students have at least a 3.0 GPA or above, there are other ways to qualify for a merit scholarship even if your GPA is lower than this requirement. There’s no reason not to apply and see if you qualify!

If you’re not sure whether or not your grades are good enough, check out our guide on how many AP classes are needed for an Ivy League school. If your grades aren’t quite where they need to be right now but would like them to improve before applying next year (or when it comes time for SAT/ACT tests), try using our strategy guide on how long does it take for my gpa go up?!


I hope this article has helped you learn more about the merit scholarships available at some of the most prestigious colleges in America. I know that applying for college can be a stressful and confusing process, but it’s important to remember that there are many different types of scholarships with different qualifications and requirements. If you want to find out more about how these schools might accept your application and award you their own merit-based financial aid package, reach out to them directly!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *