Easily Search for Subject and Student-Specific Awards
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Loans, scholarships and grants are important resources for college students seeking to make ends meet. At the end of the day, college students rely on financial aid packages that contain all three types of financing.
Loans get the job done, but even though interest rates are low for college students, the money needs to be paid back eventually. Grants and scholarships are coveted college cash sources, because the money you receive does not require repayment.
Grants are primarily need-based, reserved for students exhibiting the greatest levels of financial hardship paying for college. Scholarships, on the other hand, usually reflect a high academic standard; so candidates are required to hold high grade point averages and do well on tests.
There are thousands of scholarship programs open to undergraduates, so qualifying may be easier than you think. Your school’s financial aid office and your high-school guidance counselor are primary resources for up-to-date scholarship information. Government agencies, professional associations, corporations and advocacy groups are all in the business of doling out scholarship dollars, so leave no stone unturned in your quest for college cash.
Each scholarship makes up its own rules, so don’t count yourself out for being different. Student-specific financial aid is aimed at certain groups within the student body. Your location, ethnic background, gender or some other unique feature might be your key to landing undergraduate scholarships.
Subject-specific student scholarships promote excellence within certain fields. High-need vocations use scholarship incentives to lure competent prospects. Corporations sponsor industry-related scholarships that ensure a well-trained workforce for the future. Your career ambitions might be rewarded with undergraduate scholarship dollars that zero in on your academic major.
Begin Your Scholarship Search
The first step toward undergraduate scholarship money is identifying programs that are open for application. Some scholarship money actually goes out to high-school and middle-school students, so it is never too early to be proactive about securing educational aid.
As you lay out your educational path for the future, the student scholarships to target will begin to stand out. Answer questions like these to refine your scholarship search: Are you going for a bachelor’s degree, or is an associate’s program better-suited to your career goals? Are you attending an in-state college? What is your major?
Scholarships for undergrads are open to the following student groups. Follow application instructions precisely, and be aware of filing deadlines and special eligibility requirements.
- High school students – especially seniors
- Enrolled university students
- Community college and technical college students
- Home-school students
- Adult, Non-Traditional, and Returning students
Sponsoring Student Scholarships Sources
A wide spectrum of scholarship awards originate from a diverse collection of funding sources. Undergraduate scholarships are sponsored by:
- Local Government Agencies.
- Colleges and Universities
- Professional Organizations
- Charitable Foundations
- Advocacy Groups
If your academic path is clear, then evaluate the subject-specific undergraduate scholarships offered by groups associated with your field of study. Dozens of free-money programs are specifically packaged for students who enter certain fields.
Accounting, engineering and psychology are academic majors supported by subject-specific scholarships. And sub-specialties within fields like engineering open even more scholarship doors in related fields like: aerospace, chemical, industrial, manufacturing, and systems engineering.
Undergraduate student scholarships also target individual student groups based on ethnic diversity, disability, gender and a host of other personal characteristics. Student-specific scholarships strive to increase educational access for under-represented groups, and provide a leg-up for disadvantaged members of the student body.
These student-specific categories represent a wealth of targeted financial aid dollars for diverse undergraduates: First in family, international students, low-income, military, and students studying abroad.
Women can apply for some student scholarships that are not available to their male counterparts -which is like eliminating half the competition before the contest begins.