Merit-based scholarships for non first-time freshmen?

Hello, 19M here. two years ago I left college my freshmen year due to cost concerns after not getting any scholarships. Since then I’ve retaken the SAT and gotten a 1580. I also have a few CLEP exams, DE statistics, and a 4 in AP Bio to my name. My high school gpa was 3.48, with a downward trend.

Does anyone know of any schools with significant merit scholarships which aren’t exclusively for first-time college freshmen?
I’m considering community college and then transferring to UMass Amherst, but if there’s any other option for me which might be cheaper than ~100k over four years including living, I’d like to know about it before I move forward.

Are you from Massachusetts?

One friend of a daughter was a very strong student from Massachusetts. She did her first two years at community college and did very well (nearly all A’s). She then transferred to U.Mass Lowell with a substantial merit based scholarship. She recently graduated with a relatively small debt and a very marketable major. I am pretty sure that this came to less than $100,000 in total over four years. She was however able to live at home with her father the entire time.

There is a good chance that starting at CC and transferring to one of the public universities in-state might be your most economical option.

If you are capable of getting a 1580 on the SAT, then you should be capable of getting a lot of A’s and not much else. The effort will be worth it in the long run.

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Merit scholarships for transfers are less common and less well publicized than those for frosh, but some do exist at some colleges.

For a sophomore transfer, both your high school stuff (high school record, test scores taken while in high school) and your college record (courses, grades, GPA) will be important. For a junior transfer (e.g. if you do sophomore year at a community college), then your college record will be most important, and your high school stuff will be less important or not important.

Is Massachusetts your state of residency?

Yes, it is.