Nancy Paul, Merit Scholarship Strategist, Cautions That No One Owes Students Money For College

By definition, merit scholarships — money for college that never has to be repaid — are awarded for achievement. It’s reasonable then, that students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average, take a solid work load, and stay out of trouble to keep their scholarship. A recent article points to statistics revealing the growing number of students losing merit scholarships. The article cautions families that “Getting that scholarship renewed for your whole college career isn’t a sure thing: Every year, tens of thousands of rising sophomores, juniors and seniors lose scholarships they had counted on.”

“No one owes our kids money for college,” Paul says. “They must do something to deserve – and preserve it. That reality is a vital life lesson.” Paul finds it quite sensible that scholarship providers impose standards. She speaks to families nationwide about the importance of understanding the requirements of maintaining eligibility to continue receiving merit scholarship funds.

She views the requirements as a positive and believes they provide incentive for students to focus on academics. Her youngest daughter, Kayla, a sophomore at The Ohio State University, graduated high school with a 3.4 GPA and earned a 4.0 her first semester in college and a 3.9 for her freshman year. “Kayla was determined to keep her large merit scholarship,” Paul shares. “She’s very proud of her achievement and doesn’t take it for granted. In addition, her academic excellence is the reason she’s currently one of only nine new initiates living her sorority house.”

Paul reminds families to fully understand the requirements of any scholarship before accepting it. “Some require a specific amount of volunteering on campus, as well as a minimum number of units and GPA. That minimum number of units also helps keep the student on track to graduate in four years … when the scholarship expires.” Incoming freshman, in particular, are wise to take a lighter load their first term, garner tutoring assistance as soon as possible, and keep up with course work. Paul advises families to set expectations early about whether the student will be allowed to remain at that college should they lose their scholarship.

Paul consults with families nationwide on how to leverage their student’s achievements to pay less for college with merit scholarships. You can learn more at: