The following covers the various types of scholarships on offer to help point you in the right direction.
Often the most difficult part of applying for scholarships is actually getting started. The first thing to realize is that there are two different types of scholarships; institutional and private scholarships. Institutional scholarships are those offered by the college or university itself for those students wishing to attend. Private scholarships, on the other hand, are privately funded by organizations, associations or even individuals and they have no connection to any educational establishments. Even big organizations such as the NY Times offer a scholarship. Read more about that here.
The best thing to do is to contact the colleges you are looking at attending and asking them for any information on the scholarships they offer. You might be able to get a scholarship from the college directly. Your high school guidance counsellor is another great source of information. They will likely have information on local scholarships you could get in touch with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s what they’re there for. Lastly, take the initiative and have a look online. Once you have a better understanding of the type of private scholarships you are looking for you can search for what is on offer, not just in your local area or state, but internationally as well.
When looking for scholarships, the best thing to do is to search for them based on academic merit. Often institutional academic scholarships are divided into various levels depending on GPA (grade point average), which can also be affecting by SAT or ACT scores. The higher your grades, the more you can typically obtain. So, make sure you check your facts, as even if you are not eligible for the highest level scholarship, you may still qualify for a lower level one. The requirements for private scholarships can vary, so don’t rule anything out.
If you are particularly good at sports you may qualify for an athletic scholarship. Colleges or universities which are well known for their sports programs will often have athletic scholarships you can look into. However, don’t rule out private scholarships as there are several athletic scholarships offered privately as well.
The most well known scholarships are those based on academic merit or sports. There are, however, other scholarships out there worth looking into. If you come from a low-income family you can apply for need-based scholarships. These can be the most competitive and may require you to provide proof of your family’s income. There are also service-based scholarships, which are mainly offered by private organizations. Requirements vary, but it can range from providing a service to a cause or being active in your local community.
As you can tell, requirements for scholarships can vary greatly. So, if your grades aren’t the best, there could still be other scholarships you qualify for. Don’t give up and keep looking, there is something out there for everyone.