A scholarship is a financial award or grant given to a student to support their education. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them a form of "gift aid." Scholarships are typically awarded based on various criteria such as academic achievement, financial need, specific talents, community involvement, demographics, or affiliations.
Key features of scholarships include:
- Merit-Based: Some scholarships are awarded based on academic, athletic, artistic, or other achievements. Merit-based scholarships often require a strong academic record or notable accomplishments in a particular field.
- Need-Based: These scholarships are awarded based on financial need, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or similar financial aid forms.
- Demographic-Based: Scholarships can be awarded based on specific demographic factors like ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, or disability.
- Field of Study or Interest: Some scholarships are tied to a particular field of study, career path, or area of interest, encouraging students to pursue education in those domains.
- Athletic Scholarships: These are awarded to student-athletes who excel in sports at the college level, helping them cover tuition and other educational expenses.
- Essay or Project-Based: Scholarships may require applicants to submit essays, projects, or creative works for consideration. Judges evaluate and award scholarships based on the quality of these submissions.
- Institutional Scholarships: Colleges and universities often provide their own scholarships based on a variety of criteria, including academic performance, extracurricular involvement, or other accomplishments.
- Community or Organization-Based: Many community groups, nonprofits, companies, and foundations offer scholarships to support education within specific communities or for specific causes.
Scholarships can cover a range of educational expenses, including tuition, fees, books, accommodation, and sometimes even living expenses. It's essential for students to research and apply for scholarships that align with their qualifications, aspirations, and financial needs.
Scholarships are available everywhere! They can be found in local businesses and companies within your community, as well as on nationwide websites. Below, we've compiled a list of numerous places where you can discover scholarship opportunities.
SchooLinks offers an excellent tool known as Scholarship Matching. Within this tool, students can craft a comprehensive profile that highlights their eligibility, interests, and college preferences. Once they've established their profile, the tool generates a tailored list of scholarships that align with their qualifications, allowing them to proceed with the application process. A walkthrough is available in the Important Guides & Resources section.
- College and University Financial Aid Offices
Numerous colleges and universities provide scholarships exclusive to their institution. It is advisable for students to reach out to the financial aid office of the college they are applying to in order to explore available opportunities. These scholarships hold significant importance upon a student's admission, as they may then become eligible to apply for special scholarships for admitted students, such as the prestigious Presidential scholarship, which could cover full tuition costs.
- Online Scholarship Databases and Websites
Here is a compilation of scholarship databases and websites similar to SchooLinks' Scholarship Matching. Students can create their profile, and the platform generates a curated list of scholarships that align with their profile.
- Community and Nonprofit Organizations
Local organizations, clubs, community centers, and nonprofits often offer scholarships to students in the community. Check with local civic groups, businesses, and charitable foundations.
Living as an undocumented individual can be a daily challenge. As you embark on your post-secondary journey and start exploring scholarship options, you'll discover that opportunities may seem scarce. However, I encourage you not to be disheartened in the least. There are still fantastic opportunities available, some of which you may not be aware of. Many schools now provide support for undocumented students, and numerous valuable scholarship opportunities remain accessible. Please take a moment to review the list below for more information.
- JHCP, Undocumented Scholarships
JHCP, List of Undocumented Scholarships