How Do Scholarships Work?

Are you looking for scholarship guidance and how can they be helpful during your study? Get detailed info on how do scholarships work and more.

Updated by Niharika Padiga on 17th February 2020

The scholarship is free money, it’s not just money to use anywhere, but to minimize your educational expenses without having to pack them back.

A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education without any financial risks of paying back. This is awarded based upon certain criteria which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.

Types of Scholarships

There are a lot of scholarship opportunities available for students it is important that they identify the resources available and apply them before the deadline. It is suggested to focus more on merit-based scholarships as there are a lot of opportunities and most of the universities and colleges do award grants when the student initially arrives or based on their performance.


This type of aid helps you cover almost all your educational expenses such as tuition, books, travel, living, and many more.

It is necessary that a candidate provides necessary documents proving their financial status to the financial aid department of the institution to receive the necessary financial assistance.

Athletic Scholarships

These are the type of scholarships provided for being an exceptional athlete and competing in various competitions on behalf of their institution. This is one of the most famous and common aid opportunities for students of the USA.

If you are an energetic sports person then you can apply for these grants and pay for your education with less burden. To find the athletic scholarships, a candidate can talk to their coaches, contact their financial aid department of the institution, or visit local organizations.

Find More - Athletic Scholarships

Scholarships Based on Degree

A graduate degree, masters, certification, or doctorate, whatever it is. A candidate will be eligible to receive various scholarship opportunities based on their education and marks. It is suggested to keep a check and stay updated regarding the deadlines and application submissions for these scholarships.

Find More Scholarships

Scholarships for Majors

Well, this is a financial aid opportunity for those who are majoring in a specific field of study. The major you decide in your college would be your career and future profession. Since all the scholarships are merit-based, a candidate must make sure their scores are maintained really good to easily avail the benefits of scholarships.

Find More - Scholarships For Your Major

Who Funds Scholarships?

There are four main sources where scholarship money comes from.

  • Federal Government

  • State Government

  • Colleges, universities or any organization, corporations

  • Private companies/foundations

How To Search For Scholarships?

When searching for grants it’s important to think about who you are and what sets you apart from others. Your unique skills are what all it takes to receive the necessary monetary funds. Yes, you are exceptional and eligible to receive the scholarship award amount. But, where do you search for it?

There are many opportunities available for you to pay for your education. All you have to do is hunt for it.

Here are a few sources that you should consider while searching for scholarships.

  • A financial aid office at your college/university.

  • Agencies

  • Educational Portals

  • State Grant Agency

  • Organizations

  • College library's reference section.

How To Apply?

Check your qualifications and follow the requirements and guidelines of the scholarship providers.

Make sure all the documents required are clear and keep your scholarship application and documents organized.

Once you set all your documents, start applying for the grants. And wait for a response from the scholarship provider after applying, usually, it takes 2-3 weeks duration to be processed. 

After the valuation process by the scholarship provider, a candidate will receive the instructions about the next process.

Where do scholarships come from?

The scholarships come from various different sources such as businesses, celebrities, clubs, organizations, foundations, colleges/universities, and many more.

Most of the scholarships from the universities are merit-aid. It is important that a candidate who applies for the scholarship must have a grade point average of 4/5 to be eligible for financial assistance.

Where To Look?

The first place most international students start with is their college or university. 

When you submit your application, depending on the school, you will be applying through the admission department. The next place to touch base with on the university level is your branch of study. 

Whether that is the business school or humanities branch, talk to them and let them know what your passions are and where you want to take your education. This could end up leaving you with extra funds being partial grants or even a full-ride.

Many students attend universities in the US with academic or athletic branch grants. These awards are usually given by the coach depending on basketball, football, soccer, all these are relevant areas of athletics where you can get awards to help you continue with your education.

Many of these are great grants so be sure to talk to the coach and look for organizations that can get you in touch with those coaches to whom you could showcase your skills and could also be possibly led to a scholarship.