What are your scholarship options?

Choosing the scholarships that are right for you—or more appropriately, for which you qualify—can be quite time-consuming. You are no longer confined to academic or athletic scholarships like students were many years ago. Today's students have many options when it comes to scholarships, making it much easier for students to enter college without having to work full-time while attending. The many different scholarships that are available allow students the option to attend school full-time and work part-time for spending money instead of working full-time and attending school part-time or full-time.

Academic Scholarships

The most common scholarship until recent years was the academic scholarship. Today these types of scholarships are more open and allow students from lower academic levels to attend college. In the past, academic scholarships were usually reserved for those in the 3.75-4.0 GPA range, but now there are some scholarships available for those in the 3.0-3.74 GPA range. In fact, you may even find a limited number for students who maintain a 2.5-2.9 GPA. The important thing to remember is that academic scholarships are for those who work hard in high school and want to pursue the career of their dreams after graduation. Of course, you increase your opportunities if you participate in extra curricular activities at school and in your local community.

Athletic Scholarships

While athletic scholarships have been available for quite a number of years, they have become more difficult to obtain. With so many students attempting to enter college on athletic scholarships, many schools have had to tighten the requirements and are offering only the very best student athletes scholarship money. In fact, some are only taking those students they feel will provide them with four years of winning sports and are good enough to join professional leagues after college.

Financial Needs Scholarships

Those who have financial need and either don't qualify for grants or have exhausted all available funds also have access to scholarships. Sometimes these scholarships come through various organizations and corporations while others are available through the colleges themselves. These scholarships usually come in the form of discounts on tuition, subsidized tuition and books, or programs such as work-study that allow students to earn money working on the campus to pay for their tuition.

Scholarships through Profit and Non-Profit Organizations

Other scholarship options are available through both profit and non-profit organizations. These may be directed toward specific groups such as single mothers, Asian women, African American students, and many more. Corporations often make scholarships available to those who live and work in certain communities or to families of employees. There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of these scholarships available for the taking; students just need to find out how to access them. The financial aid office may not be aware of all the possibilities, so those who are interested may need to conduct some research on their own in order to find out how to apply for these specialized scholarships. Start with the resources available on the Internet and attempt to locate more in your communities.

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