Academic scholarships are available from a number of sources including educational institutions, businesses, community organizations, etc. These are merit based scholarships and are available for a number of categories for instance: Subject topper, essay contest winner, best grade point average, securing highest rank in school or college, high percentage of attendance. Academic scholarships can also be need based and are determined by the financial condition of the family of the applicant. Some are also provided for a specific high in demand profession.
The aim of academic scholarships is to provide financial assistance and/or encouragement to the students. It also aims to stabilize the geographical demand for scholars. These are also offered to minorities or left handed people. You must keep in mind that some scholarships are bonding and you will have to agree to serve the organization in a way specified in the terms, in the event that you win the scholarship.
Eligibility criteria are just like other merit based scholarships. You must simply compete and have a higher position than others on the merit to win the scholarship. You will have to face an interview which will present a clear picture of your potential and also determine your aptitude and inclination. You may also have to write an essay so be prepared.
You will have to fill out an application form carefully and include information about your strengths, your weaknesses, your future plans, reasons for applying, etc. Another option can be applying online. This option is advantageous in a number of ways. You will have plenty of options available and will be able to easily obtain application and eligibility criteria. You may also want to check the internet for offers regularly because they are often updated.
You must keep in mind that it is generally good for you if you have won a scholarship previously or if your own institution offers scholarships to its students. You must not be discouraged though to get an academic scholarship if you have not previously had one before of if your institution does not provides one. You can always try your luck and you can always try to avail scholarship opportunities from third party providers.
Generally, you must remember that academic scholarships are also called merit scholarships and you must have very good grades to qualify for them and you must also be involved in plenty of extra-curricular activities because these are the main factors that greatly enhance your chances of success.