Types of Scholarships
Scholarships come in various types and can be awarded for different aspects of an applicant’s identity, academic accomplishments, or extracurricular activities. Here are a few different types of scholarships you can apply for:
Scholarships for Minorities
Many different types of scholarships are available to minorities which include students of color, LGBTQ students, and international students. Minority-identified students can qualify for these scholarships based on a number of factors including academic merit, athletic ability, and interest in specific fields of study.
Scholarships for Women
There are also scholarships available today to help women (and feminine identifying people) pursue higher education. A wide range of local, national, and international organizations offer scholarships specifically for women to help alleviate the financial burden of attending college. Some are geared towards women returning to school after raising children or for women who are a part of ethnic minority groups. Since women have been historically underrepresented in higher education and the workforce, many of these scholarships are offered to women who are working to close the gap in educational attainment, particularly in fields like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Check out womens’ organizations like the American Association of University Women or your local League of Women Voters chapter to start your scholarships search.
An athletic scholarship is awarded based predominantly on an individual’s ability to play a sport. Most often, athletic scholarships are awarded by universities to high achieving athletes who play Division I or II sports for their school. This usually entails the student signing a letter of intent which cements their commitment to enroll at the school and play the sport for which they were recruited. Aside from Division I and II schools, many private organizations also offer scholarships for students who have excelled in athletics.
Religious scholarships are available to students who are actively involved with faith-based religious activities or a part of a particular religious community. These scholarships help students of varying religions attend college when they otherwise might not be able to.
Scholarships for Veterans and Military Members
There are a wide range of scholarships available for military service members and veterans. Some of these opportunities are specific to a particular military branch (like those from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation). These scholarships are not only available to service members. Many military-related scholarships are also open to dependents and spouses of active duty and veteran military members are also eligible for a wealth of financial aid opportunities and other benefits. There are also scholarships available that are reserved for women military members and veterans including funding from the Women’s Overseas Service League.
Due to the hardships lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students have faced in the past, scholarships for LGBT students are available from both private and public organizations. These scholarships exist to help LGBTQ students overcome the barriers that are a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign, local PFLAG chapters, and groups like the Pride Foundation, all offer scholarships for LGBTQ students who are headed to or currently enrolled in college. The Human Rights Campaign website features a database of LGBTQ scholarships which you can filter by state. LGBTQ scholarships are also available to those who advocate for LGBTQ rights or are otherwise active in the LGBTQ community.
Individual universities and colleges offer many scholarships specifically for students who attend their school. These scholarships, which are sometimes offered in conjunction with an offer of admission, are provided to help students ease the financial costs of attending the granting institution as well as encourage the student to choose the school over one offering fewer incentives.
Scholarships for Graduate Students
Scholarships for graduates students, including PhD candidates, those in med school, STEM majors, among others, are available from local, national, and international organizations. Grad school scholarships can be merit or need based and like scholarships for undergraduates, they can be granted based on other factors like field of study, personal identity, residency, or school.