A variety of college scholarships are available for motivated high school students with a 4.0 grade point average, or GPA. Many academic institutions offer merit-based tuition scholarships to attract new students, and your state may also maintain generous academic scholarships for high achievers. If you have a more varied high school experience, such as participation in athletics or clubs, even more scholarship opportunities exist, and your grades will set you apart from the competition.

Prepare a list featuring both your academic and extracurricular achievements in high school. Many scholarships look for a high GPA and a well-rounded student, so prepping an initial reference list will help streamline your application process later. Your list can also help you zero in on scholarships for specific groups of students.

Visit the websites for your preferred colleges and locate each school's "Financial Aid" or "Paying for College" page for details about institutional scholarships and a list of deadlines for applications. A perfect GPA coupled with a solid ACT or SAT score should help you earn tuition scholarships and, depending on the school, an additional award for books or housing.

Visit your state's department of education website to determine whether your state provides tuition assistance to academic achievers. For example, Louisiana offers numerous college scholarships at various award levels based on your GPA and ACT or SAT scores, while California provides a sliding scale of scholarships to students with good grades and demonstrated financial need. In some instances, your higher GPA will mean a higher award, such as the Louisiana TOPS honor award that covers tuition, some fees and provides an $800 stipend.

Read bulletins provided to members of your high school's club. Many nationwide student organizations, such as 4-H; Future Business Leaders of America; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; and Future Farmers of America, offer a limited number of college scholarships to qualified applicants. If you were an active club member while maintaining a perfect GPA, you will be a standout applicant.

Ask your athletic coaches about scholarship opportunities for students who meet the time demands of sports while keeping a high GPA. For example, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program provides scholarships to select athletes with a minimum 3.0 GPA and who maintain leadership positions within the community. A perfect 4.0 makes you extremely eligible for such awards.

Search for scholarships made available through private individuals, small businesses, corporations and nonprofit organizations. Your school guidance counselor may maintain a database of scholarship opportunities from trusted sources and can help you locate the awards for students with high GPAs. Pay attention to the scholarship application requirements, such as a 400-word essay, and the deadlines for submission.


Scholarships offered by colleges based on your academic merits often require early application to the university. For students who meet the school's selection criteria, this form also serves as an application for merit-based scholarships. Early applications to your top schools will help you secure the best scholarships possible which, in turn, will help you make a more educated decision about which school to attend.


Keep an eye out for scam scholarships. A valid scholarship should never ask you for an application fee or your bank account information.

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About the Author

Ashley Mott has 12 years of small business management experience and a BSBA in accounting from Columbia. She is a full-time government and public safety reporter for Gannett.