Scholarships are financial aid provided to students by various organizations. These scholarships help financially weak students continue their education without worrying about finances. There are many types of scholarships. 

In this article, we will discuss the Merit-based scholarships.

What are merit-based scholarships?

Merit-based Scholarships are financial aids generally provided to students based on their merit i.e. Academic Qualifications, GPA, Test Scores, talents, and other extracurricular activities. Some key features of a merit-based scholarship are:

  • Solid academic background i.e. good scores in all major exams, brilliant essays, and letter of recommendation.
  • They might get recognized for skills in music, art, theater, sports, leadership abilities, or community service.
  • Examples include academic scholarships from colleges/universities, national merit, and corporate/organizational scholarships for high achievers.
  • The awarded sum can be used to pay for partial or complete tuition and is renewable every year, relying on the student’s capacity to sustain a high level of achievement.
  • Merit aid is perceived as a method for schools to draw in high-quality and intelligent students, regardless of their income levels.

Eligibility Criteria

There are various eligibility criteria for a merit-based scholarship offered by prestigious scholarship organizations. These eligibility criteria for Merit-based scholarships vary depending on different scholarships. But there are few General Eligibility criteria. Some of them are:

Academic Excellence:

  • Must have a GPA of 3.5 or on a 4.0 scale(or related marks in examinations)
  • Must have top percentile in class
  • High test scores

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Demonstrate leadership qualities in school clubs/organizations.
  • Excellent community services and volunteer work
  • Achievements in co-curricular activities.

Application Components:

  • Well-written essays with accomplishments highlighted
  • Strong LORs
  • Portfolios of work for art, music, etc.

Renewal Criteria:

  •  Maintaining the minimum required GPA
  • Enrollment in a continuous full-time program
  • Continuous/Ongoing participation in qualifying activities

The top merit-based scholarships are highly competitive and thus require a lot of dedication from students.

 Types of merit-based scholarships

Under the Merit-based scholarship system, there are many types of Scholarships available for students to choose from. Some of these types are:

  1. Academic scholarships are awarded to students with excellent academic backgrounds.
  2. Sports scholarships: This scholarship is best suited for athletic students and is more competitive than other scholarships.
  3. Average academic performance scholarships: A student’s overall performance is considered in this scholarship. Other aspects besides academics like extracurriculars, community services, and other things are considered before the scholarship is awarded.  

 Top merit-based scholarships for Indian students

Scholarships relieve a burden from the shoulders of the students. Top merit-based scholarships awarded to Indian students going to study abroad are:

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria Amount Awarded
Visvesvaraya PhD Scheme (India) Indian nationals with a master’s degree and GATE/NET qualification, pursuing a PhD program abroad Up to ₹5.5 lakhs per year for 4-5 years
ICCR Scholarship (India) Indian students pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate, or research programs abroad Varies based on the program and country
National Talent Search Scholarship (India) Top performers in the National Talent Search Examination, pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate programs ₹1,000 – ₹2,000 per month
Erasmus Mundus Scholarships (Europe) Outstanding students from around the world pursuing master’s degrees in Europe Up to INR 44,16,617.58for 2-year programs
Schwarzman Scholars Program (China) Exceptional students with leadership potential, pursuing a master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing Full tuition, living expenses, and travel costs
Fulbright Scholarship (USA) Outstanding Indian students pursuing graduate studies or research in the United States Tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs
Rhodes Scholarship (UK) Academically talented students with leadership potential, pursuing postgraduate study at the University of Oxford Full tuition, living expenses, and travel costs
Chevening Scholarship (UK) Future leaders with strong academic backgrounds, pursuing master’s degrees in the UK Tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs
Melbourne International Undergraduate Scholarship (Australia) Academically excellent international students enrolling in undergraduate programs at the University of Melbourne Up to INR 550,561per year for 3 years
DAAD Scholarship (Germany) Outstanding students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs in Germany Depends on the program and level of study

NOTE: The eligibility criteria and amount awarded may change every year. Students need to cross-check the information from the official website before applying.

Merit-Based Scholarships are offered by the Indian Government for Indian students studying Abroad.

Here are the 5 merit-based scholarships offered by the Government of India along with Eligibility and the amount offered:

Scholarship Eligibility Amount Offered
General Scholarship Scheme (GSS) Students from economically weaker sections Varies based on the course and country, ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month for a maximum of 3 years
National Overseas Scholarship (NOS) Students from Scheduled Castes, Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Landless Agricultural Labourers, and Traditional Artisans Up to Rs. 20,000 per month for Masters and up to Rs. 23,000 per month for Ph.D. programs for a maximum of 4 years
Scholarship Program for Diaspora Children (SPDC) Students of Indian origin (PIOs and NRIs) Tuition fees of up to $4,000 per annum for undergraduate courses in Indian institutions
Ishan Uday Scholarship Meritorious students from economically weaker sections Up to Rs. 1.25 lakh per annum for tuition fees and other costs for studying abroad
Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) Students pursuing Ph.D. programs in Indian institutes and universities, and in certain cases, abroad Rs. 70,000 per month for the first two years, Rs. 75,000 per month for the third year, and Rs. 80,000 per month for the fourth and fifth years

The Admissify advantage

At Admissify we believe in limitless dreams hence we are your go-to place for your study abroad journey. Here at Admissify, we offer Career Guidance to students facing conflicts in choosing a career best suited to them. Our counselors with years of experience have helped students with soft skill development, helped them tell their stories via profile building, and assisted them with internships that will allow them external exposure. At  Club Admissify we foster a growing,student-centered environment by offering counseling, webinars, and networking, preparing them for their study abroad journeys.

You can contact us at 9999127085  or [email protected]


  • When to apply for a merit-based scholarship for studying abroad?

             For studying abroad you should apply 6 months in advance.

  • Can I get a full scholarship for studying abroad?

            Yes, you can get a fully funded or 100% scholarship for studying abroad.

  • Can I apply for more than one scholarship for studying abroad?

             Yes, you can apply for more than one scholarship for studying abroad.