There are many different types of scholarships targeting different set of students. Some of the scholarships are applicable to everyone (like the NMSQT) whereas the others are applicable to special interest groups (athletics, STEM, etc).
Lets go through these different type of scholarships one at a time:
Applying for economic scholarships based on need is quite common. These types of funds are only offered to those who can show some financial hardship. The overall dollar amount that they make or that they have access to isn’t much of a concern. It generally comes down to whether they will reasonably be able to attend the college they have been accepted to without the funds.
The process of deciding which students will get such a college scholarship is harder to determine than the scholarships that are merit-based only. There are usually some other requirements, too, to make the process easier. For example, a person may need a certain GPA or desire to pursue a degree in a particular field.
Those requirements will be weighed in along with the economic need. Most of the time, letters of recommendation also need to indicate why the need for financial assistance is so great. A personal narrative about why that scholarship is so critical is usually required as well. That way, the deciding committee will be able to get a more intimate view of those that have applied for the scholarship.
Now for a fundamental question – How do colleges decide who has an actual need?
The answer lies in a tried and tested formula that most colleges and universities use. Determining the need is a straightforward mathematics equation that computes the difference between the cost of college attendance and expected family contribution. It may be easier to understand through the following depiction
The process of calculating student need begins with students filling out the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form asks all the relevant questions about the student’s family income and assets and then uses a formula to compute the expected family contribution. That value is then sent to the college that the student is interested in attending.
The cost of attendance is a lump sum that takes tuition, housing, books, meals, supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous materials into consideration. The college’s financial aid office then applies the above-highlighted computation and comes up with the amount that the student needs. Students for whom this amount is the maximum get the most amount of money.
The rules that apply to need-based college scholarships can vary. You should go online and explore how they fit into the laws for where you live. In many areas, you must apply for free scholarships and other financial aid first. Then you can apply for scholarships that are economic-based after that. The process can become quite complicated once you have been approved.
You may be required to provide certain types of financial information along with economic scholarships. This way, the scholarship application reviewers can have the proof they need that you do fit that criterion. Sometimes you will have to provide that information when you apply. Other times they will only require it from the top remaining contenders. You do want to be sure you are applying for legitimate need-based scholarships, though.
Many scams out there will be under the pretense of really offering to fund for college. They will then request financial information to expose personal data, which is what they are after. Make sure you find out the reputation of scholarship offering entities before you agree to send them any types of financial records. Chances are, what you send them will affect your parents, so make sure you get their permission.
For example, you may find that the more economic scholarships for college that you earn, the more that the financial aid office will remove from your grant package. This can become frustrating, especially if you’re still running short to get the funding you need to pay for the schooling. Make sure you discuss these issues with the financial aid office so you will know exactly what to expect.
There are several academic scholarships out there for those who've obtained stellar grades at school. If you believe you stand out from the crowd, you can apply for a merit based scholarship to colleges who are open to it. Financial needs does not need to be demonstrated here.
These scholarships may include housing and course materials as well as tuition, or just the tuition. It may also only be a percentage of the education. What a scholarship covers is dependent on its terms and conditions and its offerings. It may last for an academic year or the duration of your degree course. However, it will always have conditions attached, which will most likely relate to your Grade Point Average (GPA). To qualify for a merit-based scholarship, you'd have to maintain a GPA that's above a certain level.
Scholarship application forms are usually quite extensive and can take hours to fill properly. There will be thousands of candidates who apply for any scholarship, so you have to make sure that your application stands out from the crowd.
If you have very high grades, chances are you won't have any problem getting into the college of your choice. Ensure that you carefully evaluate the financial burden of going there, though. Some of the top schools are so expensive that even with academic scholarships, you have to take loans or obtain funds in some other way. But avoid letting such issues prevent you from getting the college education you want. It will be a massive part of your future, so make sure you make good choices now.
Most high school students take numerous tests before graduation. And it's a definite possibility that in your junior or sophomore year if you live in the United States, you'll most probably take a test called the PSAT (also called the NMSQT). This test helps you to prepare for the SATs but also helps students qualify for scholarships.
Each year about 3.5 million students take this test. The PSAT measures a candidate's critical reading skills, math ability, and writing skills. It is referred to as the PSAT because it is the preliminary test associated with taking the SAT.
PSAT is conducted in October every year, and many students appear for the test in both the 10th and 11th grades. The test consists of three main sections – Evidence-based Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. The PSAT score is a composite score, which is a combination of your scores from each section, making 1520 the perfect score for the test. You will be presented with two percentile ranks that give an idea about your performance compared to other test-takers in your grade.
These scores are primarily provided to calculate a selection index for each student for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Students that progress to the semi-finals, or come in 99 percentile, are recognized for outstanding academic achievement.
There is a tendency among students to disregard the PSAT as a practice run when it can have a massive impact on their future in terms of scholarships and other financial awards. In truth, the SAT determines which college you go to (this, of course, needs to be backed with an all-round school performance too), but it is the PSAT that may give you the head start you need via National Merit Scholarships.
PSAT scores automatically qualify for National Merit Scholarships. Your score needs to be high enough, and if you are lucky to get to the semi-final stage, you can apply for a National Merit Scholarship. The process involves filling out an application form for funding, following which a panel of judges chooses the winners of the scholarships. The application consists of a form, an essay, a list of achievements, and a list of activities that you've taken part in inside as well as outside of school. The application is then reviewed along with your academic record, and then the winners are chosen and awarded scholarships.
The Nation Merit Scholarships are funded by various large American corporations. Several of them offer their specific scholarships, but smaller. In effect, a National Merit Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards to be given out because you would be competing with all the students of your age in the country to try and win it. It can be extremely competitive, but the goal must not be lost. A scholarship like that could most definitely help you when it comes to affording college, and the prestige that comes along with it could help you to get into the college of your choice. In truth, the PSAT is there to gauge your level in comparison with your peers, and it should be used as a practice run for the actual SATs.
There are other scholarships in addition to National Merit Scholarships that are offered by corporate sponsors. Please note that the same screening process is adopted for these special scholarships as well. After you meet all the eligibility requirements, corporate sponsor scholarships additionally may require you to be children of current or past employees.
Music scholarships offer a viable option for pursuing a college education at lower costs. But such scholarships are often not common as compared to scholarships in other areas like athletics and academics. Also, these scholarships are usually awarded only to top musicians from across the country.
You need to understand, the rarer the music instrument, the higher your chances of securing the scholarship. Instruments like the tuba, bassoon, harp, and oboe are some of the rarest ones and have the best scholarships. If you can seek scholarships on similar musical instruments, you are much likelier to face less competition. Also, there are scholarships for vocal music too. Each of such music scholarship considers the proficiency in the particular discipline.
The key to successfully securing the scholarship is to understand the process and to maintain a positive outlook. For instance, for college-specific interviews, the interview panel is on the lookout for the best talent that fits their vision. So firstly, you need to make sure that you understand the vision of the panel.
Lastly, it would help if you kept your intentions clear. Music schools and colleges are excessively competitive. The panel will always consider talent that has absolute clarity on attending college. Remember only the most deserving candidates that desperately pursue such opportunities, get these scholarships.
Additionally, the internet can provide you with a wide range of music scholarship resources. There are different websites that you can visit, and once you're in their site, see what requirements are needed to qualify for the scholarship.
Sports scholarships are an excellent way of seeking out financial aid for higher studies as there are fewer applicants for these scholarships as compared to other scholarships. If you are passionate about playing sports, you might be able to use it to your advantage after high school.
Landing a Sports scholarship may be difficult, but it's not impossible. It would help if you had a solid game plan.
Some sports scholarships cover full expenses, and others include only some costs. Make sure you fully understand what you're getting with any scholarships that you may be awarded. Depending on the scholarship you land, you may have to come up with other sources of funding to pay for your college education. With that in mind, you should still apply for different types of college scholarships that are offered, one of such is academic scholarships. Academic scholarships allow you to stay in college, even if your athletic career has derailed because of injury or poor performance.
Losing a Sports Scholarship is unfortunate, but it is a harsh reality that the students must be aware of. When you receive a sports scholarship, some requirements apply. You must be playing a sport that's attached to your scholarship. If the school offering the scholarship has academic guidelines for eligibility, you must also agree to follow them. In case you end up on academic probation, you can risk losing your sports scholarship.
You may also lose it if you get injured and can't continue to play. This is an unfortunate set of circumstances that often does happen as injuries are part and parcel of the game. It would help if you did all that you can to keep your body healthy enough for participation. Following all rules for workouts and playing will help ensure that does happen. However, since sports-related injuries are always there, you can't rule out the risk of this possibility.
Other reasons may include:
Thankfully, things are changing with the passing years. People have started realizing that women possess unique perspectives and experiences towards situations, and scientific research will only benefit from this. Of late, there is a quest to get more females interested in these fields. That's why you will find so many generous college scholarships offered to them. The great thing about these scholarships is that they are gender-specific, so that means all males are eliminated from the competition.
Science contributes to almost every sphere of our life. Most of the products that we use in our daily life have evolved with critical developments in the field of Science. And Science will continue reshaping the ecosystem with medical discoveries, technological advancements, and consumer products.
But since the majority of areas of emerging technological advancements continue to be male dominant, it seems that most of the products we are currently using or may use in the future will lack the vision of women. This seems quite unfair, considering women in household chores use most of the consumer products.
This is enough to stress the fact that adding diversity to STEM roles will drive innovation and creativity with different perspectives. Let's look at one of the recent scenarios where innovation by women engineers has helped save lives.
Did you know that airbag design in cars lacked an essential element and was unable to protect smaller female bodies or children? This was true until recently, inputs from women engineers helped in the identification of this major flaw. Consequently, changes were introduced to ensure safety for all. This is just one minor development that people are still not aware of. There have been several such developments that confirm the need for diversification in STEM roles.
Several initiatives have been aligned to bring this change. In 2007, the Congress made efforts to provide more funding for females in the area of Math, especially. This is a much-needed boost as the cost of pursuing studies in Science and math has continued to rise drastically in recent years. If you're looking to earn a degree in Science, or one of its elements, now may be an appropriate time to find out what funding is available for you. This can undoubtedly ease the burden of paying for your education. At the same time, by pursuing a career in Science and Math, you can feel proud about helping to lead the path for other females who wish to take on leading roles in these areas.
Such opportunities can offer you the funding you need to obtain specialized education. You'll also find that there's less competition for such scholarships than there is for many others. Of course, you can also apply for college scholarships that are open to both men and women.
Many such programs will give more weight to female applicants, even though males can apply for them. To provide yourself with the best chance of receiving college scholarships in the areas of Math and Science, you should apply for both these kinds of scholarships. That way, there's a higher chance that you'll be awarded several of them to pay for your education.
Such funding and scholarships may seem unfair to the male population, but they have to look at it from a new perspective. They will have to realize that boosting a section of the community doesn't mean eating others' opportunities.
They need to realize that women can lend a great deal of new information to the areas of Math and Science. We already see positive results of such initiatives in critical areas of Science and Technology. Women's way of solving problems and looking at information may be what is needed for a huge breakthrough. The very fact that the society strives for equality among men and women is also a key reason they are offered the chance to get college scholarships in these areas.
Educational institutes and parents are the crucial players in bringing the change and inflicting a positive outlook for society when it comes to women in STEM roles. The key is to enroll them young as a positive mindset at a young age goes miles.
Schools and educational institutes need to create STEM programs to engage girls at the elementary level. Some schools do it in the form of interdisciplinary STEM projects, and some introduce in and out of school programs to make girls aware that they can equally achieve in STEM sectors.
Women should step into roles regarding the field of IT as well. This is a field that has been dominated by men for too long. The world of Science is fascinating, and what's interesting is that more and more women are looking into it. If Science and Math entice you too, allow the funding that is offered to help you down the path of achieving such an education. There are several opportunities for Math and Science college scholarships for females.
The desire to seek out higher education in Math or Science is one that you may have. The good news is that with the volume of college scholarships offered out there, you don't need to be held back. Just make sure you find out about such specific scholarships as early as you can. You don't want your opportunity to elude you. While the areas of Math and Science continue to be flooded by males, with dedicated scholarships on offer, females have ways to get their foot in the door.
Did you know that anyone crossing a state border to go to college in America has to pay extra in terms of fees? The difference between the college attending cost of home students and out-of-state students is also quite significant. It is almost double at some colleges. For instance, if you chose to go to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but you belonged from Mississippi, you would have to pay double the fee that a student from Raleigh would pay. Although it is the state that counts here, non-Americans do have a problem getting their heads around the entire concept because it is within the same country that they're traveling to school.
In fact, no other country in the world has this particular rule because it doesn't matter where you live as long as you go to college or university in the same country. For instance, if you lived in Liverpool in the UK but went to school in London, you would pay no extra cost despite the university and home being in different counties. It would only be if you were to go to Europe that there would be a price hike.
This rule may help individuals staying in their home state because it would keep the costs low, but what if you lived in Florida and wanted to go to California to study a one of a kind degree? Not only would you have to bear the expense of traveling, but also the added cost of paying double fees. This would render some potential students poverty-stricken before they even set off.
At first, hearing that out-of-state students need to pay more for education in America may sound unreasonable. However, once you know the reason behind such a move, it somehow becomes a little easier to digest the discrimination.
Out-of-state students pay more since they don’t pay taxes to the state in which the school, college, or university is located. In comparison, in-state students who are residents of the same state are considered to have funded the institution all their lives by paying taxes. That’s why in-state students pay a much lower tuition fee as compared to out-of-state students. The reduction in prices is a sort of reward for all their contribution towards the upkeep of the institution.
Interestingly, even if you’re an out-of-state student, you can still become eligible for the same rate of tuition as in-state students. And the most natural way to do that is by making yourself count as an in-state student.
Since the process may seem a little too daunting for some, a more natural approach would be to move to the state in which want to go to college before enrolling as a freshman. It may sound like a big step, but keep in mind that you might end up saving upwards of $10,000 every year!
Thankfully, specific scholarships are available for out-of-state students to extend a little help! There are very few scholarships that cater to out of town applicants, though. As a result, there's much competition for such scholarships. The application process is extensive and can take months to complete. Also, similar to other scholarship applications, you have to fill in the respective form as well as write an essay and complete a list of interests and activities.
On top of everything, you also have to justify your decision to move out-of-state. Any reasons you put forward have to be logical and well reasoned for them to be considered. If any hint of emotion comes through, the reviewers may doubt your motives. But if you were going to school in another state because you wanted to pursue a specialist course, that would undoubtedly go in your favor.
Also, if you happen to have completed your first year and are then transferring to an out-of-state college, finding funding is much more comfortable. There are several scholarships offered for those looking to move, and they include some set up by individual schools aiming to attract talented students. However, in such cases, your talent would have to be already proved at the college that you are transferring from. So in effect, the scholarship offering institutions make sure that they are not taking any chances, and comparatively less justification is required.
You can use a scholarship search engine to find potential sources of funding and visit your intended school website to see what help they will offer. Additionally, you should make it a point to apply for as many scholarships as you can because the competition is fierce. A lot of students want to brighten their horizons by trying something new away from home.
Moving out of your home state can be a daunting experience, and it may make your financial troubles more poignant. But, when you look back on the experience, you'll realize that the preparation made it more accessible. It's not an experience that you'll look back at and regret in any way!