Some students don’t bother looking for scholarships because they don’t think they’ll qualify for any. There’s a persisting myth that in order to have a chance at winning scholarship money you have to have significant financial need. However, that’s not true of all scholarships.
There Are Student Finance-Based Scholarships, But…
While there are plenty of scholarships that focus on financial need, or require “demonstrated financial need” as part of their eligibility rules, there are just as many that don’t focus on EFC, FAFSA, or financial elements at all.
Just about everyone needs help paying for college, not just students from low-income families.
This is largely where merit-based scholarships come into play. These are awards given to students based on a number of things, like: academic accomplishments, extracurricular talents, college major interests, ethnic or religious demographics, essay writing skills, volunteering, competitions, or even unique things like having red hair or being a twin.
Merit scholarships are generally awarded by outside sources, like companies, organizations, private citizens, or schools, looking to promote local students in higher education, or encouraging a certain field of study, or even a particular belief or ideal.