What are scholarships?

The financial support given to a student based on the academic achievement or other criteria and not based on the financial need is known as scholarships. The basic idea of scholarship is that it is the money given to you by somebody for paying the tuition and fees in college or university. The scholarships may be for a short period or the entire course. The U.S. Department of Education's National Centre for Education Statistics conducted the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) to learn the different aids students and families seek to pay for postsecondary education.

  • There are over 2,600,500 eligible students seeking scholarships worth $50 billion who are enrolled at degree colleges and universities in full-time educational programs.

  • Around 31% of the scholarships were granted by state or local scholarships, 36% of the students received scholarships from civic and private organizations and groups. The majority of 48% students were provided financial aid by the federal scholarships.

  • As of 2011, 177,559 athletic scholarships were granted to students which paid the annual fees and other expenses of $1 billion.

  • The major advantage of scholarships is that the student need not pay the money back as it is given as an award for the deserving students to improve and evolve their education and career.

  • Some scholarships granted by various organizations, government and non-government, are renewable too.

  • Government and non-Government organizations, clubs, and even the educational colleges and universities provide a number of various scholarships for students who excel in different areas of study.

  • Different scholarships are available for students pursuing a career in different fields. Although the scholarships are mainly granted based on the student’s merit, there are other miscellaneous scholarships that are awarded on the basis of the talents and skills acquired by the students.

  • The scholarships are available for students who are enrolled or planning to enroll in approved universities, colleges, and other vocational institutions in and around the United States of America.

  • Scholarships are available for undergraduate, postgraduate, Ph.D. and postdoctoral students doing the course in different disciplines.

  • As there are a wide array of scholarships available, the student has to do a lot of research to apply for receiving the right scholarship.


How to get a scholarship?

The basic requirement for scholarships is the academic merit of the student. There are no pre-set rules or criteria that have to be followed to apply for a scholarship. Most students are eligible for the various scholarships available. The first and most important step to applying scholarships and other grants is filling Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application.

  • After completing FAFSA, the student can search for scholarships and contact the scholarship committee of the organization or group providing the scholarships.

  • There are scholarships were students can take part in the contests and the winner is awarded the scholarships based on essays by the applicants or other competitions.

  • The student should be a legal resident to receive a scholarship granted by the state government.

  • Scholarships have nothing to do with the financial status of the recipients.

  • All residents and citizens of the United States of America are eligible for scholarships awarded by the private and federal organizations.

  • The legal non-citizens of the United States are eligible for many scholarships as well.

  • The scholarships may or may not be renewable, depending on the criteria. Some scholarships are available to many students whereas some scholarships are awarded to only one person.

  • The students must be enrolled in undergraduate, graduate or any other eligible educational program offered by an accredited university, college or other institutions.

  • Some scholarships may have various factors that are important to be followed to receive them.


How do scholarships work?

Scholarships offer financial support and encouragement to students who have performed extraordinarily in academics or any other fields.

  • The fund is received by the student either as a check or the college or university the student is enrolled in receives the amount as the student’s tuition and fees.

  • In cases where the scholarship award is more than the fee, the balance amount is refunded to the applicant. If the award is less, the student has to pay the rest amount.

  • Some scholarships that choose recipients through contests are one-time where the recipient receives the scholarship only once.

  • The student has to complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be able to apply or receive any financial aids.

  • Scholarship amount and the number of awards may be fixed or may vary according to the different organizations or institutions and the number of applicants.

  • Since the students do not have to pay the money back, scholarships help students in pursuing higher education.


Who funds Scholarships?

Scholarships are provided by a number of government and non-government organizations that help a lot of students pursue their career without having to face financial crisis related to the paying tuition and fees for college.

  • The state governments offer their residents and legal non-residents various scholarship as it can help in the development of the state too.

  • Organizations like the Pride Foundation offer scholarships for the students belonging to the LGBTQ community and who are excellent in academics and are neglected by the society.

  • Universities like Liberty University also offer many scholarships for their students.

  • There are hundreds of scholarships offered by charity organizations, popular companies, brands, and many other groups.


How are scholarships awarded?

Scholarships are awarded according to the eligibility criteria. There is a scholarship for every student who is talented in anything and everything.

  • The different private and state organizations in and around the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and the other states.

  • The students are given massive opportunities to pursue their education and a successful career. The various scholarships require very few eligibility criteria making it easy for the students to receive them.

  • Like loans or certain other financial aids, the scholarships need not be paid back helping the students get through financial barriers.

  • Some of the huge companies in the U.S grant scholarships as an investment to the future of their state or company as these students may be required or offered job opportunities creating a bright and educated generation.

  • Students who are excellent in athletics, business and administration, who can write, act, and who have any particular talent, including unusual ones, are given scholarships under different categories encouraging more students to get an education and a proper career.

  • Students are awarded based on the cumulative GPA, ACT and SAT scores acquired as well.


Types of Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships based on different criteria. Scholarships can be generally classified as

  • College Scholarships: These scholarships are for incoming freshmen and undergraduate students.

  • Scholarship by State: These are different scholarships offered by the states to the permanent residents of the state.

  • Scholarship by Major: These scholarships are awarded to students who want to pursue their higher education in a particular major like nursing, history, etc.

  • Minority Scholarships: These scholarships are for the students belonging to the minor class in the society.

  • Types of Scholarships: There are a number of scholarships under this category that are based on various factors and not just the merit of the students.

  • Scholarships for college students: These scholarships help college students pursue their education in the field of their choice.

  • Military and Veteran Scholarship: For veterans and students who have been on active duty, different organizations provide scholarships to help them pursue their education.

  • Religion Scholarships: For students who are active in their church or strong believers are eligible for these scholarships. Scholarships are available to atheists, agnostics, and non-religious students too.

  • Scholarships for Disability: These scholarships help students who are specially-abled to realize their educational dreams by supporting them with the financial needs.

  • Healthcare Scholarships: These scholarships are available for students who have unhealthy physical conditions and excel in studies.

  • Single Parent Scholarships: This scholarship helps students who are single and have one or more children to pursue their education without having to face a financial crisis.

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