Question: Can transfers get merit-based scholarships?
Some colleges offer merit scholarships to transfer students and some do not. The only way you can find out if your target colleges have merit aid for prospective transfers is to look on their Web sites. It is often something of a treasure hunt to locate the merit aid pages, but--once you do--check carefully to see if there are options for transfers.
If you currently attend a two-year school, you may find that some colleges have scholarships that are specifically for graduates of community colleges or other two-year institutions. Inductees of Phi Theta Kappa (the two-year-college honor society) are eligible for scholarships at more that 700 four-year schools. See http://www.ptk.org/schol/newscholdir/list.php
You can also check out MeritAid.com to search for colleges that provide transfer merit aid.
So, like so many other times in the college admission process, there is little consistency when it comes to merit money policies for transfers, and you'll need to do some research on your own to see if the colleges that interest you will offer it.