Koodoos - Providing Expert Help with Personal Statements and College Admissions Essays
Cart 0

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.

Athletic Scholarships

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

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.

LGBT Scholarships

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.

College-specific Scholarships

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.


Best Websites to Find College Scholarships

There are a ton of scholarship websites out there and it’s hard to know which ones are legit and which are well-cloaked scams. Our team here at Koodoos vetted a whole bunch of scholarship websites and databases and picked the best to list below.

Bookmark these sites and check them early and often in your scholarship search as new scholarships can pop up every day.

JLV College Consulting (Best for Grad Students)

JLV College Consulting is the top pick on this list. The site is updated frequently and has tons of different types of scholarships featured. A great part about the website is that in addition to grouping the 1000s of scholarships it features by category (minority, international, athlete), it also lists scholarships by (monthly) deadline, which helps applicants stay organized. This site is useful for a variety potential recipients including grad students, undergrads, and international students. JLV College Consulting is run by the founder, Jessica, who has over ten years of experience in higher education and has served as an admission officer and director.



Fastweb hosts more than 1.5 million scholarships and boasts having $3.4 billion in funding available to students. To access scholarships, users must create a profile through which the site helps you find scholarship matches. Maintaining a profile also allows you to organize and maintain a list of scholarships through Fastweb, and track which scholarships you’re not interested and which you have already completed. The site also features a database of helpful articles that walks you through the college admissions process as well as a page with “deals” from companies like Dell, Spotify, and Tom’s that are only available to college students.


Scholarships.com hosts one of the largest scholarship databases out there and it’s updated on a daily basis. According to the site, Scholarships.com has over 2.7 million scholarship and grant opportunities worth more than $19 billion available to students to apply for. Users can browse scholarships by category, or make a personal profile, which will help you find the opportunities that are the closest match.

Scholars4dev (Best for International Students)

Scholars4dev, short for Scholarships for Development, is an updated listing of international scholarships specifically for people from developing countries, people who would like to pursue development-related fields, and people who seek global and national development through further education. You can subscribe to the scholars4dev bi-weekly newsletter to get updates on the latest scholarship listings and tips on how to complete scholarship applications.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Foundation (Great for Minority Students)

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation, or EAF, is the philanthropic arm of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, an organization founded in 1908 as means to create a support network for Black women. EAF’s mission is to support lifelong learning by providing scholarships, fellowships, and community grants. The deadline for EAF funding applications is April 15 of each year for undergraduate students, and August 15th for graduate students and community assistance grants. Endowed scholarships maintain a rolling deadline.

In 2016, the EAF distributed over $500,000 to over 3000 undergrads and grad students to attend colleges, including HBCUs. And while the AKA Sorority, Inc was founded as an organization to support Black women, the EAF provides funding for students regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

Human Rights Commission (Great for LGBTQ Students and Allies)

The Human Rights Commision, or HRC, is the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, and maintains a list of scholarships, fellowships and grants for LGBTQ and allied students at both the undergraduate and graduate-level. HRC’s scholarships list allows users to find scholarships by state and school, making it easier for users to find funding opportunities that are a close match.


While the College Board is primarily known for providing college readiness tests like the SAT, it’s website also has a scholarship section. Big Future, through which the scholarship search function operates, features scholarships, other financial aid, and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion. Users can search for scholarships by citzenship, state of residence, minority background, student’s disability, ethnic background, and other characteristics.


SallieMae is known for being a student loan provider, but also has a robust scholarship database for those looking for another way to pay for college. The site requires you to register for access to the more than 5 million college scholarships worth up to $24 billion dollars —— there’s even a whole section just for grad students.

Honorable Mentions


Create an account to get access to one of the nation’s largest scholarship databases.


Peterson’s provides a database of articles related to financing your education, plus over 1000 scholarships.


Currently lists over 400 scholarships available to current high school and college students.


Questions to Help Your Scholarship Search


With 1000s of scholarships available to the average student, there are many different factors to consider when deciding if a scholarship is right for you. Here’s a list of questions to ask about each scholarship you’re interested in to help you improve your search.

1. Am I eligible for the scholarship?

Consider the criteria you must meet as an applicant to qualify to win the scholarship. Scholarship requirements can be based on merit or need or open to certain students based on demographics, location, or field of study. There could also be special requirements like a minimum GPA or number of community service hours.

2. What documents or items do I need to submit with the scholarship application?

Many scholarship applications require the applicant to provide various types of information to qualify for their scholarships. This information is used to verify an applicant’s credentials or learn more about the applicant by way of an essay, for instance. Depending on the number of documents or information that must be submitted for an application, completing the application could take from less than an hour to multiple weeks. Common documents that scholarship applications require include:

  • Official or unofficial transcripts

  • One or more personal essays

  • Test scores (ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT)

  • A tuition statement

  • Letters of recommendation

  • A resume

  • Proof of residency or citizenship

  • Monthly budget

  • A list of other financial resources

3. How much is the scholarship worth?

Scholarships are awarded for various amounts that range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Based on the cost of your tuition, a single scholarship can cover the entire costs, or on the other hand, mean you have to find additional sources of funding like students loans or grants. Just remember, every little bit counts, so don’t be hesitant to apply for scholarships of every amount.

4. When does the scholarship expire?

Some scholarships are one-time awards that are paid out in full upfront. Others are distributed over time and can last as little as a few semesters or the length of your education. Most scholarships will provide details in the application about whether a scholarship is renewable over time. It’s important to consider this factor when prioritizing what scholarships you apply for.

5. Does the scholarship organization’s mission align with my personal beliefs or identity?

Scholarship organizations provide funds to high-achieving and/or needy students in order to fulfill a mission and to help students get an education. When it comes time to answer the scholarship application question, “why should you receive this scholarship?”, you want to be sure your reasoning aligns with the mission of the organization, whether it be a religious institution, a sports association, and or an LGBT advocacy group, to increase your chances of winning the award. It’s also important to know that you’re personally ok with accepting money and support from an organization considering their principles and vision.

6. Does the scholarship application require an interview?

While most scholarship application processes don’t require an interview with the applicant, some do. Be sure that you can conduct the interview whether its in the first, second, or final phases of the selection process. The scholarship application requirements should list:

  • If an interview will be required to select winners

  • During what time frame interviews will occur

  • If the interview will be by phone, video, or in-person

  • Details about who will conduct the interview

7. What can I use the scholarship funds for?

A lot of scholarships restrict their funds to being used for tuition, room and board or fees only and are paid directly to your school’s finance office. For these scholarships, granting organizations usually require awardees to return or forfeit any funds over the amount required to pay tuition and fees in full. Other scholarships permit winners to use scholarship awards for any type of school or living expenses and are paid directly to the recipient. While the latter type of scholarship, may sound more appealing, you should keep your search broad to maximize your scholarship opportunities.


Featured Blog Posts

Koodoos - Providing Expert Help with Personal Statements and College Admissions Essays