Scholarships are one of the best ways to pay for college. Scholarships provide free money you don't have to earn (through student employment) or pay back (like student loans).
More than $6 billion in scholarships are awarded each year. About $5 billion in scholarships go to students in Bachelor's degree programs and about $1 billion in scholarships to community college students.
There are several different types of scholarships. Most scholarships are awarded based on merit, such as academic, artistic or athletic talent. Merit-based scholarships can also be awarded based on the student’s activities and accomplishments.
Some merit-based scholarships may also consider demonstrated financial need. However, awards based solely on financial need are called grants, not scholarships. For example, the Federal Pell Grant is based on financial need, not merit.
Another type of scholarship doesn't require merit or financial need. These scholarships, like the ones here on ScholarshipPoints.com, are awarded based on random drawings.
Scholarships are awarded by foundations, corporations, employers and other private organizations, as well as by colleges and universities.
Here are some helpful resources:
When you win a private scholarship, you have to tell your college about it. Your college will then change your financial aid package:
|Some Policies Help You Financially||Some Policies Provide No Financial Gain|
When choosing a college, it's important to find out about the college’s "outside scholarship policy" to make sure that winning a private scholarship will help you financially.