Scholarships: Everything You Need to Know

Refers to a type of monetary relief/assistance provided by institutions to students, which covers their tuition and may/may not cover other college expenses.  Most scholarships are given on the grounds of academic or athletic excellence. Scholarships come from a broad range of sources, including individuals, organizations, clubs, foundations, charities, colleges and universities, businesses, and the government. Unlike student loans, students don’t need to repay scholarships.

When searching for scholarships, students need to keep in mind that there’re hundreds of them available. Therefore, they’ll have to spend hours researching to find the right one that they qualify for. However, students shouldn’t get discouraged by this because investing this time can be the difference between taking out a student loan and free education. It’s important to make a list of personal strengths before starting the scholarship search. Students can consider their interests and passion areas, skills, along with any past awards or achievements that may lead to future scholarship dollars.

Common types of scholarships include:

Academic scholarships: High-achieving students can get scholarships based on transcripts and standardized test scores. When applying, students can impress scholarship committees with a commitment to learning and exceptional transcripts.

Athletic scholarships: Students who’ve got a talent for sports can consider winning an athletic scholarship. Some scholarship search tools, which have an athletic scholarship category, may allow students to narrow down the search results based on a particular sport.

Community service scholarships: Students who have a history of community involvement can try to win volunteering-based scholarships.

Scholarships based on identities of applicants: Some scholarship programs have been created to support traditionally underrepresented students. When searching for scholarships, students can indicate their gender, ethnicity, race, or other aspects of their identity to find the right opportunities.

Scholarships for hobbies and extracurricular activities: These scholarships aim to support certain hobbies and interests and offer some exciting opportunities. Extracurricular activities, such as involvement in musicals and plays, can also be leveraged to win money for college.

Need-based scholarships: Several scholarship organizations help students with demonstrated financial needs. Many of these scholarships have additional criteria, such as pursuing a particular area of study or living in a particular community in the U.S. Therefore, students must review any additional requirements before applying for these scholarships.

Military scholarships and employer scholarships: Children of certain reserve, active duty, National Guard, or retired members of the United States military may apply for the Military Commanders’ Scholarship Fund. Students can also find the money for college through the employer of a family member. Many employers have scholarship programs to support their employees’ college-age children.

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