Scholarships are gifts. They don’t need to be repaid. There are thousands of them, offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, and professional and social organizations.
You can learn about scholarships in several ways, including contacting the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend and checking information in a public library or online. But be careful. Make sure the scholarship information and offers you receive are legitimate, and remember that you don’t have to pay to find scholarships or other financial aid.
How To Get Scholarship For College
Some college scholarships are merit-based. You earn them by meeting or exceeding certain standards set by the scholarship-giver. Merit scholarships might be awarded based on academic achievement or on a combination of academics and a special talent, trait, or interest. Other scholarships are based on financial need.
Many scholarships are geared toward particular groups of people; for instance, there are scholarships for women or graduate students. And some are available because of where you or your parent work, or because you come from a certain background (for instance, there are scholarships for military families). Here are some ways to get Scholarship for College
1. Contact colleges about institutional scholarships
Applying early is one way to improve the odds of receiving grant aid from an institution, financial aid experts say. And it’s important that prospective students not underestimate the power of institutional aid, says James W. Lewis, president of the National Society of High School Scholars. “A lot of people don’t realize there are great institutions that have very generous scholarship offerings,” he says. “Some families select not to apply because they think they would not qualify for financial reasons, but that’s often not the case.”
2. Check out local organizations and nonprofits
It’s not always necessary to search far for a fantastic college scholarship. Members of a student’s church, synagogue, or other faith community, as well as charity organizations, may provide scholarships to their members. According to experts, students have a higher chance of winning local scholarships because they are sometimes less competitive than national scholarships.
3. Private and institutional scholarships can be lucrative
Even though colleges receive the majority of their scholarships from institutions, private scholarships still offer opportunities to win thousands of dollars. According to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, almost $6 billion in nonfederal scholarships were given to undergraduates in 2015–2016, with average awards of $6,900 coming from states, universities, businesses, and private organizations. These 12 suggestions will help you earn a private or institutional scholarship.
4. Earn a merit scholarship
Merit aid is not dependent on financial need; instead, it is determined by academic achievement and other criteria. It can take the form of grants or scholarships. Academic scholarships are frequently given out by educational institutions or private organizations. They may be dependent on a student’s GPA or results on standardized tests like the ACT or SAT.
5. Apply to scholarships based on majors
Scholarships are offered to students who plan to study in anything from biology and education to engineering or education. Students who want to work in STEM fields, such as math, science, technology, and engineering, can apply for various awards. One such scholarship is the Generation Google Scholarship, which offers $10,000 to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students studying computer science, computer engineering, or closely related technical fields.
6. Take advantage of employer scholarships
Though it has been around for a while, this kind of scholarship is sometimes overlooked in the age of internet scholarship hunts. Numerous businesses, such as Taco Bell and ExxonMobil, provide scholarships to their staff members or their children. Furthermore, these kinds of initiatives aren’t just found in the business world. A child may be eligible for a national scholarship competition called the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund if one or both of the parents are federal employees.
7. Try for an athletic scholarship
Not every athletic scholarship is given out by an NCAA Division I university. Private scholarships are another source of funding for high school athletes to further their education. For instance, the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program recognizes 20 student-athletes with exceptional leadership qualities in athletics, the classroom, and their communities and awards them a $20,000 prize.
8. Use creativity and talent for nontraditional scholarships
There are scholarships specifically for acting, dance, and music for those who love the limelight. For instance, musicians can apply in a variety of ways to compete for scholarships by submitting audition recordings of their instrumental or vocal abilities. Additionally, scholarships for other extracurricular activities are offered to students who do not participate in the performing arts.
9. Explore personal passions
Students might apply for scholarships by using their life experiences, particularly during difficult times. Lewis comments on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “It’s likely that individual passions have changed as a result of COVID.” Students ought to consider the question, “Who am I? What inspires me with passion? What am I hoping to learn? “What is my life’s purpose?” he asks. “Those passions will ignite experiences and learning opportunities, and scholarship providers are looking for highly motivated individuals with a passion for something.
10. Lean on a mentor
Students can seek and effectively acquire college scholarships by finding a fantastic mentor. Any professional in a student’s desired field of study who is willing to answer questions, provide industry insights, and assist students with their scholarship search qualifies as a mentor. Furthermore, having a strong reference letter might make an application stand out. Scholarships frequently demand them.
11. Write an award-winning essay
Essay contests with modest awards tend to be less competitive since, according to Kantrowitz, most students dislike applying for these kinds of scholarships. “Consider the odds of only 10 applications for a $500 prize,” he states. If the student worked on that task for ten hours, the cost per hour would be $50.
12. Enter a scholarship sweepstakes
Entering a sweepstakes competition is one of the simplest methods to receive a college scholarship. All you have to do to be eligible for scholarship money is fill out the necessary information and respond to a few quick questions. These competitions don’t cost anything, but participants could have to cope with a lot of promotional materials being delivered to their addresses, and dishonest scholarship seekers might try to defraud gullible youngsters. Plus, millions, if not thousands, of people enter these competitions.
Resources On How To Get Scholarships For College Students
Federal Student Aid
All students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Through this application, the federal government evaluates your financial need and tells you what financial aid you qualify for. Keep in mind that most federal awards are based on need instead of merit.
At BestColleges, we’ve put together extensive scholarship guides to help you research financial aid options in one place. Our scholarship pages offer lists of scholarships for students of specific demographics and majors. For instance, you can find scholarships for HBCU students and scholarships for undocumented students.
In addition to offering college admissions advice and many test-prep resources, such as SAT and ACT books, the College Board maintains a college scholarship search service with over 2,200 programs. Students can narrow their searches by clarifying their demographic and/or academic information. This allows students to find scholarships that fit their specific qualifications and interests.
Fastweb has operated since 1995 as a free database of financial aid opportunities and scholarships for college students. Students can take advantage of personalized scholarship matching and get advice about the FAFSA and federal assistance. Fastweb also facilitates an internship search and publishes career planning articles.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop aims to give people the resources, assessments, and advice necessary to find jobs. The website also features a database of over 8,000 scholarships for undergraduate, graduate, vocational, and professional development programs. Users can search for scholarships, fellowships, grants, prizes, and loans.
Scholarship America strives to break down the barriers that keep students from accessing the financial aid they need to be able to afford higher education. To date, the organization has provided $4.5 billion in scholarships to 2.8 million recipients. Students can browse available scholarships, filtering the results by state.
Peterson’s offers college and test prep for students hoping to further their post secondary education. Visitors to Peterson’s website can search through a directory of scholarships for college students from over 4,000 providers. In addition, the company offers its own scholarship. Called the “World’s Easiest Scholarship,” the $2,500 award only requires interested students to enter basic information to apply.
Unigo aims to connect students to financial aid, running a database of millions of college scholarships and grants. You simply create an account and fill out a personal profile, which will enable you to browse scholarships that match your demographic and academic information.
The site also offers helpful categories like “easy scholarships” and “$10,000 scholarships.”
Described as a student-first learning platform, Chegg focuses on improving the return on investment for education. Part of that mission includes providing a scholarship database with over 25,000 opportunities. High school and college students alike can search for scholarships and find matches based on their personal and academic profiles.
A platform that connects students to colleges, Cappex helps students find colleges and search for scholarships and financial aid opportunities. On this site, you can search for scholarships by demographic. These include scholarships for women, Black students, Hispanic students, LGBTQ+ students, and first-generation students.
This site has been helping students search for college scholarships since 1998. With millions of scholarships in the Scholarships.com database, students can find scholarships that fit their specific circumstances. This resource also breaks down scholarships by type, such as awards for athletes, veterans, and Hispanic students.
Niche isn’t just an educational resource — it also aims to help people find out where they belong, whether that’s a school or neighborhood. The site provides several tools to help students discover their place in higher education. One such tool is a college scholarship search, which allows you to search for awards by major or demographic information.
To sum it all up, the application process for scholarships begins long before you sit down to complete it. When it comes time to start applying, you’ll have a plethora of experiences and stories to share if you’ve built your resume throughout high school by volunteering, taking on leadership roles, and participating in your community.
How does a scholarship affect my other student aid?
A scholarship will affect your other student aid because all your student aid added together can’t be more than your cost of attendance at your college or career school.
How do I get my scholarship money?
That depends on the scholarship. The money might go directly to your college, where it will be applied to any tuition, fees, or other amounts you owe, and then any leftover funds given to you. Or it might be sent directly to you in a check.
When do I apply for scholarships?
That depends on each scholarship’s deadline. Some deadlines are as early as a year before college starts, so if you’re in high school now, you should be researching and applying for scholarships during the summer between your junior and senior years