Absolutely, but only if a student is willing to put in the work it takes to apply correctly using winning strategies and doing a bit of research before submitting any application. Scholarships are FREE money that does not have to be paid back, so learning how to strategically apply is crucial to a student’s scholarship success rate. Students who quickly write an essay without much thought will have basically no chance of winning unless there is only one applicant, which is very rare.
Where can you look for these types of awards?
Many companies, foundations, community organizations, and clubs sponsor grants or scholarships. Grants and scholarships from these private organizations are called outside, or private, scholarships. Here are some examples of possible sources of outside scholarships:
- Your parents’ employers or labor unions
- Your family’s religious center
- Organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 4-H, and the Boy Scouts of America
Ask your school counselor or principal about awards for students graduating from your high school and for residents of your town, county and state. Look online and in your public library for information on local scholarships as well.
You may find scholarships sponsored by
- Your church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or other religious community
- Local branches of organizations such as the Rotary Club or the Kiwanis
- Your parents’ employers
- Your employer
Almost every state has a scholarship program for residents, and the awards are usually limited to students who will attend college in that same state. For example, the State of Florida offers Bright Futures Scholarships to qualified Floridians who will attend college in-state.
Examples of national scholarships include those sponsored by
- National Merit Scholarship Corporation
- Gates Millennium Scholars
- Intel Science Talent Search
- Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
How to apply for the scholarships?
I personally like the BigFutures website as they aren't selling you anything and you see learn the potential criteria quickly to later do an online search with. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/grants-and-scholarships/how-to-apply-for-a-college-scholarship
9 best scholarship search engines
- www.Scholly.com (popular with teens as its mobile interface is nice)
- AFSA High School Scholarship.
- Because College Is Expensive Scholarship.
- Dr. Pepper Tuition Give-Away.
- Easy Money Scholarship.
- Valentine's Day Scholarship.
- “No Essay” College Scholarship.
- ScholarshipPoints $10,000 Scholarship.
- You Deserve It Scholarship.
- National Eagle Scout Association STEM Scholarship.
- American University National Achievement and National Merit Scholarship.
- AXA Achievement Scholarship.
- UNCF STEM Scholarship.
- CIRI Special Excellence Award.
- Coca-Cola Scholarship Program.
- Give the scholarship sponsor what it wants. ...
- Get involved with your community. ...
- Use a scholarship search engine. ...
- Don't ignore the optional questions. ...
- Learn more about scholarship odds. ...
- Apply to every eligible scholarship. ...
- Look for essay contests. ...
- Be passionate.
Federal Student Aid recommends that students start researching for scholarships the summer after their junior year of high school. If you have time and energy, you should even start before that. Every scholarship has different rules and different deadlines. Some even require submissions a year prior to starting college.
How can I get a scholarship with a low GPA?
You just have to know where to look.
- Play the scholarship “lotto” ...
- Go for “no” or “low” GPA scholarships. ...
- Tap your parents' network. ...
- Pre-package your application materials. ...
- Use social media. ...
- Embrace failure.