When it comes to scholarships for college students, there are literally thousands upon thousands of opportunities for students to receive financial support and assistance. Not everyone who’s going to be applying for scholarships has a specific financial need for assistance. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be eligible to receive hundreds and even thousands -and in some cases tens of thousands of dollars- to help pay for their college education.
There are many different types of scholarships available to college students.
What kinds of scholarships are there?
There are simple, local scholarships that are provided by nonprofit organizations in small towns and even large cities. These scholarships are generally reserved for students who attended high school within their community. Some of the scholarships can be used to attend any two or four-year accredited college or university anywhere in the United States while others may have certain stipulations that the student needs to be attending a specific college or university locally.
There are also regional scholarships that increase the level of competition. These regional scholarships can be based on the county in which the student lives, the type of universities in that particular area, and more.
There are statewide scholarships that provide financial support and assistance to residents in that particular state and some of them can be used to attend any college or university throughout the United States while others need to be used at a public college or university within that particular state.
Finally, there are national scholarships that see the greatest level of competition. To earn a scholarship on the national level, students need to exhibit exceptional academic excellence throughout their high school career or their current college career. They also likely have to exhibit numerous extracurricular activities and strong leadership capabilities. These national scholarships have a tendency to provide the largest awards of any other scholarship, including potentially paying for a student’s entire tuition.
It’s a good idea to become more familiar with the difference between a scholarship and a grant.
A scholarship is any award that is provided based most significantly on merit. This usually includes a student’s cumulative grade point average, sports and other extracurricular activities he or she may have participated in during their educational career, and certain community service and other work they’ve done throughout their community.
A grant is financial support based on need. For a student who has limited financial resources and may not be able to attend college without outside assistance, they don’t need to have produced the best grade point average or other academic results. There will still be certain minimum requirements with regard to grade point average to qualify for most grants, but these grants are more focused on financial need rather than academic achievement.
If the student was average academically and didn’t participate in a lot of activities outside of the classwork, they may find it difficult to compete for scholarships, even locally. For these students, if they have a specific financial need for assistance, grants may be a more practical way to go about finding support and assistance.
The various kinds of scholarships.
There are scholarships that are intended for women only, African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, other minorities, and more. Most scholarships are awarded one time and are not renewable.
When a student receives a scholarship award, they will generally be handed money that can be used for tuition, books and supplies, and other related expenses for their college education.
Some scholarships are renewable and award the same amount to the student each year throughout his or her college education.
Most colleges and universities throughout the United States also provide scholarships to students attending their classes, especially those who have declared a major and are excelling academically. For example, the Department of English in one university may provide a number of scholarships for students who are majoring in English or some other literature based discipline.
How to find these various scholarships.
There are many ways to go about finding scholarships for students all across the United States and around the world. The easiest way people look for scholarships is to go online and type in certain keywords. However, many of the results that get returned on the major search engines are from organizations and businesses that make money in advertising and even selling services to help students apply for these scholarships.
Most of the information listed on a lot of the sites requires membership to that particular website. Be careful about these organizations and focus more on those websites that provide this information freely.
What to know about applying for scholarships.
When you find scholarships you are interested in applying for, make sure you thoroughly read all the requirements. It can take a considerable amount of time to fill out an application for one single scholarship. When you multiply that by dozens upon dozens of scholarships, a student can spend 40, 80, 100, and even more hours throughout the year filling out these applications.
If you fill out an application and then realize you didn’t qualify for it, that can be deflating, to say the least. So, before filling out any scholarship for college students, make sure you look through all of the requirements, including the minimum cumulative GPA, if there is one, and other stipulations to determine whether or not you actually qualify for it.
If you do qualify, then apply for it. The more scholarships you apply to, the greater your chances are of receiving financial support and assistance to earn your degree.