What should you know about scholarships?

Scholarships come from many different sources and not all of them require students to maintain a specific GPA. Like grants, scholarships do not need to be repaid and are issued for specific amounts, so you may find it necessary to apply for several scholarships in order to obtain the funding you need to complete your college education.

Awards from Universities and Colleges

Many colleges and universities have scholarship money available for those students who have been granted admission but need additional funding for their educations. These scholarships have many different types of criterion under which the student must qualify including maintaining a certain GPA or enrolling in a specific major.

Athletic Scholarships

Even though you may go all through high school being the star athlete, keep in mind that athletic scholarships are highly competitive. Colleges award athletic scholarships, so if you are interested, you can plan to market yourself in the same way you would if you were an actor pursuing a movie role. There are several steps you need to pursue in order to increase your chances of acceptance:

  • Visit the National Collegiate Athletic Association website
  • Contact the financial aid office at the college or university you are hoping to attend in order to obtain more information about available athletic scholarships they have available
  • Conduct some research concerning the process of winning athletic scholarships

Academic Scholarships

Academic scholarships are based on the specific academic achievements. You can obtain all the information you need about these awards by contacting the financial aid office of the school you are attending or hope to attend. You do not always have to apply for these scholarships separately—quite often they are included in the financial aid package you obtain from the college when you submit your college application.

Departmental Scholarships

Sometimes specific departments have scholarships available in order to attract new students or retain the older students within that department's field of study. Once you know what you wish to study you can contact that department in order to ascertain what scholarships are available.

Private Organizations

Many private organizations offer scholarships in varying amounts.

Corporate Scholarships

Corporations offer scholarships for many different purposes including the retention of employees and to support the communities where the business is located. The first place to begin looking for these funds is through your parents' employers, businesses in the area where you live or in the archives or you local newspaper.

Other Scholarships

While those listed above are the major sources of scholarships, a few others include religious organizations, unions, high schools and school districts, Chamber of Commerce and the military. You do not want to leave any page unturned because you may overlook something that may provide additional funding for your college education. If you aren't sure where to look, your guidance counselor or career advisor may be able to help you locate scholarships for which you may be qualified.

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