14 Scholarships for High School Seniors
SATs, college tours, and finals are all signs that you’re close to graduating from high school—so is continuing your scholarship search! There are many different college scholarships for high school seniors. We know searching for scholarships can be a lot of work, so we’ve compiled a list of scholarships that are available for students graduating from high school.
Scholarships for High School Seniors
The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (with the support of American Academy of Chefs, AAC) offers a limited number of scholarships to students each year. Applicants must be accepted to an institution with a culinary, pastry or foodservice-related major.
Amount: Up to $2,500
Deadline: April 30 and October 31 every year
The American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship Program is open to high school seniors who are planning to enroll in the upcoming fall semester. Home-schooled students may also apply. It is not a need-based scholarship, nor is it based on FPA or demographic.
Deadline: April 1
The Bryan Cameron Education Foundation offers the Cameron Impact Scholarship to high school seniors who demonstrate strong leadership qualities, active participation in community service, and excellence in academics. It’s a four-year, full-tuition scholarship that can be used for any major.
Amount: Full Tuition
Deadline: Early – May 22; Regular – September 11
CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program provides a scholarship and a summer internship to students with financial need and a high school GPA of at least 3.0. An SAT score of 1000 or ACT score of 21 or higher is also required. Receiving this scholarship and internship requires relocation to Washington, D.C.
Amount: Up to $18,000 per calendar year (Up to $25,000 for STEM field positions)
Deadline: July 7
Graduating high school seniors can apply for the Coca-Cola Scholars Program. Each year, there are 150 scholarship recipients, and Coca-Cola Scholars have collectively received more than $73 million to date. Students committed to leadership and service within their schools and communities would be competitive for this scholarship opportunity.
Deadline: October 31
The Equitable Excellence Scholarship is for high school seniors who excel in community impact and beyond. Each year Equitable Excellence awards $1.8 million in scholarships and has awarded over $30 million to date. Previous $25,000 scholarship recipients have founded organizations, programs, charities, and more.
Amount: $25,000, $10,000, or $2,500
Deadline: December 15 (or until 10,000 applications have been received—so don’t wait on this one! Get it in asap during the application period.)
Gen and Kelly Tanabe fund the Gen & Kelly Tanabe merit-based scholarship. Students have to submit a short answer essay (250 words or less) on the application to be considered.
Deadline: December 31
The BOMME STUDIO Fashion Scholarship provides financial assistance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students to help fund their college education while they’re studying fashion at any U.S. institution. An essay and fashion sketches are required to apply.
Amount: $500 or $1,000
Deadline: May 30
Entrepreneurs Grace and Ranier Pabilona provide this scholarship for Asian American high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in entrepreneurship. This scholarship is open to U.S Citizens who are at least 25% Asian and/or Pacific Islander studying any major.
Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
Deadline: May 31
If you’re planning to major in a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics) field, the National Society of High School Scholars has a scholarship for you.
Deadline: April 15
Students with a declared major in a science related field are encouraged to apply for the R&D Systems scholarship.
Deadline: Fall and Spring scholarship opportunities are available. Check The R&D Systems Scholarship site for more details.
Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to education and training. You need to provide primary financial support to yourself and your dependents. They offer the Live Your Dream Awards to help women offset their education costs.
Amount: $1,000 to $16,000
Deadline: November 15
The V&E Scholars Program was created in 1990 for historically underrepresented racial or ethnic group (including identifying as a member of the LGBTQ community) living in Houston, Dallas, or Austin, TX with strong academic credentials, financial need, and an interest in the legal professions. In addition to receiving a scholarship, awarded students are also offered summer internships at Vinson & Elkins and reimbursement for an LSAT preparatory course.
Deadline: See scholarship website
Underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students who are majoring in graphic design, illustration and photography (minoring does not count). Not only are the scholarship recipients selected for their talent and need, but they’re also selected for their demonstrated commitment to giving back to the community.
Amount: $2,000 to $5,000
Deadline: April 15 (deadline has been extended until April 20, 2020)
Scholarship Application Advice
1. Research Previous Scholarship Winners
Plenty of scholarships provide information on recipients from previous years. In some cases, that information can be your best way to assess how you would measure up against the competition. For scholarships with different award amounts, it is especially important to examine previous winners. Students who received the top awards may overwhelm you with their accomplishments, but you may be qualified enough to land the smaller award of the same scholarship!
2. Apply to Big and Small Scholarships
Many high school seniors searching for scholarships want to get the scholarships with the big awards, and there is nothing wrong with that approach. However, remember that the smaller awards add up too. Mixing up the sizes of the awards you apply for is a sound strategy to use. Scholarships with larger awards tend to be more competitive, whereas those with smaller awards may have less competition. Furthermore, national scholarships are typically more popular and competitive than statewide or local scholarships. All in all, if you seem like a good fit for a scholarship, no matter the size, apply. The trick here is that applying for scholarships big and small helps you cover all your bases. So mix it up.
3. Complete the FAFSA®
There are many scholarships and grants that you will run into will require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For scholarships, the FAFSA can be used to determine your need-based aid, and this is integral for numerous need-based scholarships. Getting this done as early as possible can give you a head start and permit you to focus on other parts of your scholarship applications like your essays or recommendation letters.
4. Start Your Scholarship Applications Early
Deadlines vary from scholarship to scholarship, and staying on top of them can be a challenge. Finding a scholarship you would be an excellent candidate for is great, but finding out that you missed the deadline could be discouraging. On top of that, some scholarships close before deadlines because they reach a maximum number of submissions. To help prevent moments like these, we suggest that you start early.
If you start your scholarship search the summer before your senior year, you can get an idea of the scholarships out there and their deadlines. One of the best practices for staying on top of these application deadlines is keeping a scholarship document or spreadsheet that you keep up with. Many people ask when should a high school senior apply for scholarships, and the answer depends on the deadline for each scholarship. This document can help you answer that question, keep track of opportunities you are interested in, and apply for the scholarships you may qualify for.
5. Recycle Scholarship Essays
Although each scholarship is different, scholarship essay questions can be similar if not the same in some cases. This can work to your benefit if you have a strong scholarship essay.
Tweaking your essay could be what you need to improve it. If you need help writing a scholarship essay, check out our article on how to write a scholarship essay. You may be able to draft the ideal essay that you can recycle for your scholarship applications!