Every student applying to college has heard about merit-based scholarships, which are given to students for their academic achievements. However, scholarships are not restricted to academics. You can find scholarships that are awarded to students for a whole host of reasons. There is even free money kept aside for students from a particular race, students who choose to study a particular major, and several other unexpected (and even weird) reasons.
Take a look at these scholarships to determine whether you are eligible to apply to any of them.
Athletic scholarships are just as well known and popular as their academic counterparts. These are awarded to students for their accomplishments in sports. Whether its baseball, football, volleyball, gymnastics, or swimming, there is a huge amount of money awarded every year to student athletes. In fact, if you look hard enough, you can find a scholarship for just about every single sport, not just the popular ones.
Because of the huge amounts of money earmarked for athletic scholarships, they are highly competitive. You will have to be at the top of your game to win one of these. In looking for athletic scholarships, don’t limit yourself to searching on the internet. Make sure you also talk to your coach, research individual colleges and reach out to local businesses that offer free college dollars to student athletes from within the community. If you excel in any sport or sport-related activity, such as cheerleading, you must consider applying for an athletic scholarship.
Scholarships By Major
Many students start college not sure what they want to major in and that’s okay. However, if you are one of those who are sure about they want to major in, you could qualify for a scholarship. Several universities, colleges and even private organizations offer awards to students who choose to major in a particular subject area.
Different schools offer scholarships for different subjects so it is worth researching different colleges to see which ones offer a awards for your subject choice. You will find scholarships offered for majors in subjects as diverse as Business & Marketing, Culinary Arts, Engineering, Theater, Criminal Justice, Computer Science, Design and more. It’s just a question of finding those that you are eligible for.
Scholarships For Ethnic Minorities
Are you Hispanic, Asian, or African-American? Did you know that you may qualify for free money offered to minority students? Many students who are eligible are unaware of this and leave a lot of money on the table as a result.
Several colleges award scholarships to ethnic minorities in order to promote diversity on their campus and to help them realize their dreams of higher education. As with all other scholarship types, different colleges have different eligibility requirements.
Some schools encourage all minority students to apply, while others limit their opportunities to students from specific minority groups. In some colleges, students are eligible purely based on the fact that they belong to an ethnic minority group. In others, students may have to meet additional eligibility requirements, which may be talent, merit or financial based.
Community Service Scholarships
Most educational institutions appreciate students who are committed to giving back to their communities and one way they show this appreciation is by awarding scholarships specifically for community service. If you are an active member of your community and are known for going above and beyond, all of the help you’ve extended towards others may pay off big time for you in the form of free money.
Scholarships for Women
As with the scholarships for minorities above, many colleges also set aside awards specifically for female students. This may seem unusual at a time when men and women are admitted on equal basis, (in fact, about 65% of all college students are women) but this scholarship stems from the fact that for many years, colleges were dominated by male students. Female students were few and far between. In order to level the playing field and encourage more women to get a higher education, many colleges introduced scholarships for women.
Like the minority student awards, in some schools you may be eligible for this award simply by being a female student. In other schools you may need to meet additional eligibility requirements. If you are a female student, this is definitely an opportunity worth looking into.
For the creative individual, there are several scholarships out there that will make it easier for you to pursue your creative interests, whether it is music, dance, visual arts or graphic design.
When you are looking for creative scholarships, you will find that the eligibility requirements for many of these awards are just as creative.
Most of these will require you to audition or submit a portfolio showcasing your best work to qualify for the award. In some cases, you may require additional documentation supporting your application. Regardless of your creative field, if you spend some time researching, you are sure to stumble upon a few very niche scholarships that could have very well been designed with you in mind.
First Generation Scholarships
Are you the first person in your family to go to college? Many colleges understand that more often than not, it is the lack of finances that prevented others in your family from even dreaming about college. To encourage more students to break the mold and get a college education, several colleges offer generous first generation scholarships that can help you achieve your goals. All you need to do is look for them and apply. Getting a first generation scholarship can make all the difference!
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