Basically, there are two categories of scholarships:
Need-based and Merit-based.
Whats the difference between Need-based and Merit-based scholarships?
Need-based scholarships are awarded based on the familys financial situation, i.e., primarily the parents and students income and assets and total number of students in college.
Merit-based scholarships are based on the merit of the student. Most of these scholarships are given out by colleges and can be awarded based on: Academics SAT or ACT scores, grade point average, class rank, etc.
Athletics These scholarships are used by the colleges as recruiting tools to attract the best athletes to their school.
Artistic Colleges will award scholarships based on a students talent: musical, artistic, dramatic, etc.
Another way to look at these collegiate scholarships is to consider them tuition discounts. The scholarship dollars do not go into the students pocket but directly to the college to pay tuition. And what does it cost the college to discount their tuition? Nothing! Of course they cant afford to discount room and board so most of the time only the tuition is discounted. Colleges discount their sticker price to lure the kinds of students who raise the colleges rankings, to round out a basketball team or orchestra, or simply to even out an imbalance between men and women. Small regional colleges also cut prices to fill their empty seats.
How do I go about getting a college scholarship?
Most colleges will automatically award you a scholarship once you are accepted, as long as you qualify. In most cases there are no additional applications. But you must check with each college to see if there are any additional applications.
Where else can I get scholarship money? Merit-based and Need-based scholarships are also given out by private companies, organizations, unions, etc. and are sometimes based on a combination of need and merit.
|Some Tips for Getting Scholarships
Ask Yourself - "What am I involved in? Science? Politics? Music? Athletics? Arts? Helping others?" Your answers will help select scholarships that fit well, and identify skills and talents you can incorporate into your scholarship and college application essays.
Plan ahead - Start researching scholarships for the first year of college in your junior year of high school, as many deadlines are in the fall of senior year.
Keep an Open Mind - Take the time to review all scholarship descriptions and qualifications. Avoid limiting your options.
Too Good to Be True? - There are more than 700,000 scholarships out there. Be sure to select valid scholarships before applying. Be wary of scholarship scam companies that "guarantee" you a scholarship. No service can guarantee you money.
Start at Home - Parent's employers, labor unions and associations often offer scholarships to children.
Explore Community Resources - Local foundations, service clubs, and religious organizations often sponsor scholarships for which membership is not required.
Dollars for Scholars - Dollars for Scholars is a network of scholarship foundations based in communities throughout the United States. Chapters often coordinate local scholarships via a single application process.
Visit Your Local Libraries and Guidance Offices - These locations have a vast quantity of resources on scholarships and can help find ones that are applicable.