Do you think that you can’t get a scholarship award due to a low GPA and modest sports accomplishments? Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities available out there to get financial aid for anyone seeking it.
- Types of Scholarships
- Unusual College Scholarships Infographic
- Top 5 Websites for Scholarships Search
- Final Impressions
Types of Scholarships
You just need to know what kinds of scholarships you can apply for and where you can find them. They are divided into the following types:
- Academic Scholarships
It is awarded to those who have shown impressive achievements in academics. A perfect candidate has a high GPA, community service experience, and substantial extracurricular activities.
- Average Academic Performance Scholarships
This type of award isn’t limited to academic performance. It can be given to a student displaying athletic, artistic or leadership skills, the gift of creativity, participation in community service, or non-academic achievements.
- Athletic Scholarships
Universities give this type of award to top-notch athletes to recruit them for their sports teams. Students benefit from this financial support but have to pay with balancing their rigorous training schedule with studies.
- Minority Scholarships
This college scholarship is designed to support students from various minority backgrounds. A candidate needn’t be a first-generation immigrant, just a member of African American, Pacific Islander, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, or any other minority group.
- Scholarships for Women
The award was created to increase the educational opportunities for female students. It is sponsored by organizations that would like to see more women in male-dominated fields, such as science, business or politics.
- Community Service Scholarships
A lot of scholarships are offered to young people who have taken the initiative to help others in their communities through volunteer work. Hours of community involvement and significant civic accomplishments can make you a suitable candidate for this financial aid.
- Creative Scholarships
Artistically inclined individuals have a lot of financial support opportunities. To apply for an art scholarship, you’ll need to present a portfolio. A music scholarship committee requires art examples provided in an audition or in person.
- Unusual Scholarships
These scholarships are usually unexpected and even strange (see infographic below). But you’d better apply if you meet the requirements because any finance you get now will decrease your college costs in the long term.
Unusual College Scholarships Infographic
Top 5 Websites for Scholarships Search
A computer or a smartphone and Wi-Fi are the tools for looking up a scholarship for your educational goals. We’ve analyzed scholarship facts statistics and defined 5 most visited search engines that assist you in finding the most appealing options.
According to college scholarships statistics, Fastweb is the most used scholarship search engine. Since 1995, it has helped 50 million students get funds for tuition. It hosts more than 1.5 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion.
- The search engine is well-organized. Enter the required academic info alongside some helpful identifying details, and you will get a tailored list of possible money awards.
- Scholarships are shown in order of application deadline. You won’t waste time checking out grants that are no longer applicable.
- The site claims that it rigorously vets scholarships. A seeker is safe from dubious organizations and scams.
- To sign up, one has to fill out a profile. You will indicate your contact information. It can end up with spam.
- You may come across offers you find undesirable, such as sweepstakes awards or scholarship programs with ulterior motives or political agendas.
- Its’ scholarship organizations who have to update their awards, requirements, and policies on Fastweb. Some information may be out-of-date.
The College Board provides students with information about more than 2,200 scholarship opportunities that total nearly $6 billion.
- There’s no need to provide personal information or sign up for anything to start looking up for a scholarship.
- The search platform is user-friendly. You can filter awards according to your financial need, GPA, minority status, etc.
- The College Board publishes the book of scholarships. It gives a possibility to do an offline research and explore various awards deeper.
- The user profile is not saved. You must go through the same research process every time you use the site to search for scholarships facts you forgot.
- The site lists sweepstake style scholarships where you have to fill out your contact information, thus subjecting yourself to spam.
- The site itself updates monthly. But some of the scholarship organizations who have to update their information procrastinate with that.
This scholarship search is one of the most recognized and largest. With more than 2.7 million scholarship and grant opportunities reported to worth more than $19 billion, they guarantee every user to find an appropriate option.
- You have to fill out a profile, but Scholarships .com promises to ensure privacy. Each user can opt-out of having their personal information shared.
- You can save the offers you are interested in or remove them later, thus creating your own scholarship list.
- Users can see what awards are actually given (and how much they are worth) with each scholarship listing.
- You can’t search by keyword or use filters to find scholarships based on type.
- The result lists are too long. This is a “less is more” situation.
- Just like with above-mentioned sites, some information at Scholarship .com may be not updated.
- Scholarship “ads” from sweepstakes scholarship programs will pop up asking you to sign up for different sites or services.
It is a social networking platform that helps students get educational financial support. The program is unique. And that’s why:
- Scholarships are listed according to the sum of the award, starting from the highest payout. You can search by keyword or make a personalized profile to get filtered results.
- The site hosts an online community. The users vote on scholarships they want to be introduced to the site or stimulated to appear. The most voted scholarships are brought to fruition for the members of CollegeNet .com.
- Visitors can participate in forum discussions by creating topics or sharing comments. The lucky student who receives the most votes within a week wins $3,000-$5,000 in scholarship money.
- The search results are often extensive. But it’s possible to narrow down the list by specifying additional information about oneself.
- The profiles are temporary.
This search tool’s database consists of more than 1 million scholarship awards worth more than $3 billion. It’s a great site, but it’s trickier to use than others on the list.
- A visitor can use the online search tool without the need to create an account or sign up for anything.
- You can read testimonials from ex Scholarship Monkey users.
- You get a notification every time a new matching scholarship is added.
- Scholarship Monkey holds contests to give away tuition money.
- The keyword search function doesn’t list by relevance, so you might miss an important award.
- The preview descriptions don’t identify the sum of the award. To clarify that, you have to follow the link.
- Visitors experience troubles with loading some pages. These errors occur because some links are outdated. To deal with it, Google the scholarship name to discover more.
- Although you can opt out from receiving emails from third parties, be ready to get some spam even after unsubscribing.
- Despite its huge database of scholarships, the site doesn’t offer a clear guide on navigation.
I’d recommend that you take your time and explore these databases. Get to know what's out there before starting a more focused search. Just seeking guidance from college counselors is insufficient since they can’t be aware of every scholarship that you are eligible for. Besides, they might not know about some unusual financial aids or grants like the ones you can see in the infographic about scholarships.
I’d recommend that you take your time and explore these databases. Get to know what's out there before starting a more focused search. Guidance or college counselors can’t be aware of every scholarship you are eligible for. Besides, they might not know about some unusual financial aids or grants like the ones you can see in the infographic about scholarships.