Types of Scholarships
Types of Scholarships
Scholarships are awarded for a variety of talents, abilities, interests, and backgrounds. Not all scholarships are based purely off academic performance, test scores, and community service. Knowing the different types of scholarship opportunities that are available will help you find the ones that are most applicable to you, so let’s get started. Most scholarships will fall within one of the primary categories we share below:
Merit Based Scholarships
Merit based scholarships are what most students hear about during their senior year. A merit scholarship is based off a student’s academic achievement, community service, and history of excelling in extracurricular activities. Typically, these scholarships are awarded based on a student’s GPA and SAT/ACT scores.
Depending on where you live, you may have unique scholarship opportunities available in your area. One of the best ways to find out about local scholarship opportunities are to search for scholarships specifically in your state or city. Asking a school counselor about your options can also help refine your search.
Demographic and Minority Scholarships
Demographic scholarships and scholarships for minority students can be given based on:
- Other Specific Factors
When it comes to applying for these scholarships, use what makes you unique to search for potential opportunities. Keep in mind, in most cases you will be required to show proof of your background or qualification criteria within the scholarship application, so be sure to double check you meet the requirements.
These scholarships are for the musically gifted! If you’re musically talented, especially in unique instruments such as the oboe or bassoon, you can find scholarships and play for certain schools in the process. Musical talents can include playing instruments, singing, songwriting, and more. University music programs welcome talented musicians to their musical ensemble groups. In most cases, these scholarships will require an audition and can be very competitive. Some may also require you to study music alongside sharing your musical talent to qualify for their scholarship. Checking in with the music department of your desired school is a great place to learn what scholarship opportunities may be available.
Athletic scholarships are used to attract fresh talent to represent schools on the field or in the court. Not only can students live, breathe, and eat their sport of choice, they can continue to grow in their athletic career and get paid for it. Nearly every sport around has a scholarship opportunity, from ultimate frisbee to lacrosse and handball, schools are willing to reward you to play for them. Well known sports such like football, baseball, and basketball can have extremely competitive scholarships for those hoping to go pro. However, don’t let that stop you from applying for every scholarship opportunity you are given. Check in with your coach and your local sports clubs to see what scholarship opportunities are available for you and make sure that you’re training for success.
Studies Based Scholarships
Are you on a straight path to becoming the next top doctor or qualified accountant? Are you positive about your passion in STEM and looking to become the next aeronautic professional? For those who know the career path they want to take, there are scholarships available for specific field of study. A great place to start looking for scholarships is through career-based organizations. Many organizations in a wide variety of fields offer scholarships to aspiring career-driven students ready to work with the best in the industry. For those looking to work in the medical field they are scholarship opportunities that can help pay for your program or residency. Start researching scholarships in the area of study you’re looking to grow in.
Contest and Sweepstakes Scholarships
Though scholarships won by sweepstakes or contest can be challenging to win, they are still worth giving a shot. In addition to all of your traditional scholarship applications, consider applying to a contest or sweepstakes scholarship! Typically, the application process for these types of scholarships is very quick and much less involved than the other types of scholarships we’ve shared so far. Think of them as a quick and easy way to potentially win money for school. ScholarshipPoints.com is a great example of a place you can earn points by completing cool offers to enter to win scholarships.
There are scholarships available for just about anything. Being a twin, making your prom attire out of tape, duck calling abilities, and many other weird and random things can also get you money for school! This can include students with unusual abilities and talents (circus artists anyone?), creative abilities, or special talents. The more unique the better when it comes to these scholarships. If you have a unique and special ability or feature, it’s worth researching potential scholarships!
Scholarships are for Everyone
Most students aren’t aware of the vast number of scholarships available to them. Just because you aren’t a straight A student doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for an awesome scholarship. Millions of dollars in scholarship money goes unclaimed each year, so don’t put your scholarship search by the wayside. Get started today and begin researching scholarships based off your interest, abilities, academic or athletic success, and pretty much anything else you can think of. When it comes to scholarships, the more opportunities you qualify and apply for, the better.