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If you are looking for help paying for your college or university tuition, you have several options – Scholarships, Grants, Student Loans and Internships. We regularly compile opportunities for you so start with a search above. You can also qualify for more than one program.

The Four Types of College Scholarships

There are four basic types of college scholarships – merit-based, need-based, student-specific, and career-specific. The following is a brief overview of each type:

  1. Merit Based Scholarships – These are what most people think of when they hear someone talking about college scholarships. They are awarded based on a student’s academic record, athleticism, or artistic abilities. Merit-based college scholarships often factor in community service work done by the applicant, as well as extracurricular activities and miscellaneous awards and honors. SAT or ACT scores are often important as well. These scholarships are generally given out by private organizations or the colleges themselves.
  2. Need-based college scholarships – Need-based college scholarships are awarded to students who can demonstrate significant financial need, and an inability to pay for school without outside assistance. Federal need-based scholarships are given out through the evaluation of the FAFSA form, which calculates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Private college scholarships often use information from the FAFSA as well.
  3. Student-specific Scholarships – These are scholarships that are awarded specifically to members of a particular race, religion, gender, etc. They are most commonly offered to minority students, but there are many types of student-specific college scholarships available.
  4. Career-specific College Scholarships – These scholarships are awarded to students who plan on pursuing an education that will lead to work in a particular field. A common example of a career path with these scholarships is nursing. Students studying nursing can often get large scholarships because they are so needed throughout the country.

Local Scholarships Can Add Up

In addition to the scholarships that accept applications from all over the country, there are countless local scholarships offered throughout the United States. These scholarships are often less competitive than their national counterparts, and are offered by a wide variety of groups and organizations. Organizations that may offer these scholarships include local non-profits, charitable trusts, community foundations, music programs, religious organizations, and local chambers of commerce.

How Do I Find the College Scholarship for Me?

There are so many college scholarships out there that it is important to realize that you probably qualify for some of them, regardless of your situation. The best place to start when seeking out college scholarships is a high school or college guidance counselor. A large part of these individuals’ jobs is to help students get into and pay for college, so they will generally have a wealth of knowledge of the subject of college scholarships.

A good guidance counselor will have information on all the local scholarships in your area and be able to match you up with the ones that you are most likely to be awarded. They may even give you tips on activities you can participate in to make yourself more competitive in the scholarship game. Make sure that you speak to a guidance counselor early and often, because you want to get a leg up on your fellow students and do everything you can to improve your changes.

The internet is another important tool in the hunt for college scholarships. There are many websites that have databases of scholarships, both national and local. Some even allow you to input a few facts about yourself and receive back a list of the scholarships that you qualify for. There is a lot of information out there – even more than a guidance counselor will have access to, so be sure to do your own research online as well.

The Application Process

Just like college applications, scholarship applications can vary quite a bit. Sometimes you will get lucky and find a few scholarships that require the same general information on their application. However, some college scholarships require more extensive details of your life, as well as a number of essays. These applications may require a fair amount of time and effort, but all the work will be worth it if you receive a big scholarship award. The most important thing to do when going through the college scholarship application process is to give yourself enough time to do your best. It’s easy to procrastinate, but concentrating hard and putting forth your best possible scholarship application will go a long way towards getting you the money you need to pay for school.

Additional College Scholarship Resources

We focus on providing students with information on college scholarships, college grants, financial aid, student loans and more. Use the links below to get information on the different type of financial options available to you.

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