5 Merit Scholarships Worth Looking Into (Guest Post)

This article was written by Ananth Kumar Veluvali, co-founder of AdmitYogi.com, a platform for parents and high schoolers to read through examples of successful college applications.


Attending college can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. Many great schools, including in California, offer merit-based scholarships to their students that help reduce the financial toll of attending university. In this article, we’ll take a look at scholarship opportunities that are open to college applicants!

School-specific scholarships (for CA-based colleges)

Many California schools – including some of the Golden State’s most selective institutions – offer merit-based scholarships. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of scholarship opportunities, it can hopefully give you a good idea of what programs are available to applicants.

  • Seaver Scholars at Claremont McKenna College: The Frank Seaver Leadership Scholarship provides complete tuition for four years to up to five entering students each year. This scholarship will be awarded to a student who has exceptional leadership potential and a strong desire to make a positive impact on the world. A merit scholarship will cover the whole cost of attendance for deserving students (students and their families will still be responsible for additional costs, such as room and board and other expenses). Each Seaver Scholar will also receive two $5,000 stipends for summer internships, service learning opportunities, or academic travel that will contribute to their growth as a leader. Seaver Scholars are expected to participate in various leadership-focused small-group enrichment activities throughout their time at CMC.
  • President’s Scholars Program at Harvey Mudd College: Harvey Mudd College established the President Scholar’s Program to identify and support outstanding first-year students from underrepresented or first-generation backgrounds. These are four-year, full-tuition scholarships.
  • Arrupe Scholarship at Loyola Marymount University: This scholarship is dedicated to the memory of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, the first Superior General of the Jesuits. Awarded on a highly competitive basis, Arrupe Scholarships can provide up to four years of full tuition coverage or up to $12,500 annually. Students don’t need to fill out any extra applications when applying for the Arrupe Scholarship. High school seniors from Jesuit and Marymount high schools, as well as Presidential Scholars, are also eligible for additional scholarships at Loyola Marymount University.
  • Stamps Scholarship at USC: USC’s incoming freshmen have the potential to win a full-ride scholarship to the university in the form of the USC Stamps Scholarship. A collaboration between the school and the Stamps Foundation, it aims to develop promising student leaders into effective future leaders. This award is worth more than $51,000 yearly because it pays the whole cost of college. Applicants who submit their applications by either November 1st or December 1st are automatically considered for this scholarship.
  • Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarships (offered at various UC schools): The Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship is among the University of California’s most prestigious scholarship awards. Regents Scholarships are awarded automatically to incoming freshmen at each University of California, and the amount offered varies by school.
  • Other UC scholarships worth looking into:
    • UCLA
      • UCLA Freshman Alumni Scholarship
      • Kellie Newcomb Hepper and Jeffrey Hepper Centennial Scholarship
      • Big Bang Theory Scholarship
      • Corey I. Sanders Centennial Scholarship
      • Delson Scholarship
      • Eisman Scholarship
      • Tourzan Family Scholarship
      • Luce-Fahey Scholarship Fund
    • UC Berkeley
      • Berkeley Undergraduate Scholarship
      • Fiat Lux Scholarship
      • Middle-Class Scholarship
      • Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship
    • UCSD
      • Ellen and Roger Revelle Scholarship
    • UC Irvine
      • Director’s Scholarship

Other Tips for Finding Scholarships

  1. Look into local scholarships: Local scholarships are a great way to access several thousand dollar grants that can reduce the price of school. To find local scholarship opportunities, reach out to nearby educational organizations, local businesses, and religious organizations. School counselors and academic advisers may also be a useful resource; they have access to scholarship information that you may not be able to find elsewhere. Additionally, they can help you find the scholarships most relevant to you based on your interests and abilities.
  1. Check out national scholarships: There are many national scholarships out there that offer large grants that cover much of your tuition costs. While these scholarship opportunities tend to be incredibly competitive, they also may not hurt applying to. Some scholarships worth looking into include:
  1. Utilize scholarship search-finding tools: When looking for scholarships, you should look into “careeronestop,” the scholarship search engine provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. There are other useful scholarship search pages out there: Edvisors, Big Future, and AdmitYogi are great free resources to start with.


Ultimately, you can save significant sums of money by being proactive and searching for scholarship opportunities offered up by nearby Californian universities, local institutions, and more. Best of luck in your scholarship search!

Questions or Comments?