Welcome to Merit Scholarship List!

My name is Wendy Nelson–the founder of this site. Much like you probably are right now, I was a frustrated, overwhelmed parent trying to navigate the college selection process for my eldest daughter. Between test scores, campus size, campus location, essays, college visits, and tuition costs, finding the best school for my daughter to attend was a massive undertaking. 

We soon realized we would need to rely on merit-based college scholarships to make her education affordable. While we did not qualify for financial aid, we could not pay the sticker tuition price for four years out-of-pocket. There were plenty of schools my daughter liked, but it was only counterproductive to have her envision herself at a school we could not afford. 

As a project manager and business analyst by trade, my first instinct was to gather and organize data about schools my daughter liked into a spreadsheet. I created a college search spreadsheet for our own use and shared it with a few friends who were also going through the college selection process. To my surprise, I started getting more and more requests for the college search spreadsheet from others who heard about it. This led me to start mykidscollegechoice.com to share my spreadsheet template and blog about our college search experience.

As I helped my daughter find schools that fit what she was looking for academically and also offered great merit scholarships she would qualify for, I developed a passion for helping other families find merit scholarships to make college more affordable. I started compiling all the top merit scholarships I was finding into a spreadsheet and I offered it on my website. The response from families and independent college counselors was overwhelming. 

I realized that the predicament my family was in was not novel. After all, with 45 million borrowers in 1.6 trillion dollars of student loan debt, plenty of families struggle to find affordable education. There was a need for a tool that would help families like mine identify the colleges that would offer the best merit scholarships. That’s when I started meritscholarshiplist.com, a college scholarship resource where I can help families find the best affordable colleges for their students. 

With this tool, I hope to help families who are “caught in the middle,” where their income is too high to qualify for need-based aid but too low to pay universities’ sticker prices. Through this merit scholarship search tool, you will be able to: 

  • Find the colleges where your student will qualify for the best merit scholarships.
  • Fully comprehend the multitude of factors at play in your college search with an easy to follow process.
  • Take the lead in identifying affordable college options before your student falls in love with a school that is not financially viable. 
  • Assess the ranking and attributes of a school against its cost to determine the school’s value. 
  • Set your student up for long-term success with a school that fits their needs for a price that does not burden them with unmanageable debt.

Merit-based college scholarships are, by far, the best way for families who are “caught in the middle” to afford higher education. And, very often, the best opportunities and value for your student come from schools you have never considered. After all, with more than 4,000 universities to choose from in the United States alone, finding the best merit aid is impossible without a tool to do the heavy lifting.

I have been helping families through the college search process since 2014 with my innovative upside-down college search process, where we start with tuition and find schools that fit the budget. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than hearing success stories from families who used my merit scholarship search tool at the end of each application season.

If you have specific questions about the tool or success stories to share, please email me at wendy@meritscholarshiplist.com. I would love to talk!