College scholarships are monetary awards that are made for the purpose of defraying higher education costs.Scholarships Fuel the Educational Engine with Economic Assistance.
Scholarships are gifts - not loans. As such, students need not worry about incurring any debt obligation by accepting a scholarship. Usually administered by groups or organizations, many scholarships are established and managed by individuals.
The Different Kinds of Scholarships
Scholarships can be classified into just a few basic categories:
Students are awarded this type of scholarship based upon sheer economic need. In general, the student’s available financial resources is the main determining factor . Financial documentation is usually required
As the name implies, these scholarships are granted based on a student’s performance in a specific activity or endeavor. Common examples of merit-based scholarships are those that recognize a student’s accomplishments for academic, athletic, musical, or extracurricular involvement in social and community service.
Enrollment in a specific academic discipline is necessary to qualify - usually those with a high need for trained practitioners. Fields of study that are targeted especially often are education and medicine.
This category of awards are made based upon a student’s individual demographic, ethnic, racial, religious, or family background. Common examples are scholarships awarded to students of minority racial and ethnic origin.
Nearly all scholarships distribute literature of some sort that details eligibility criteria, an application form, and application deadlines. Scholarships frequently require some sort of “performance” such as a written essay or oral presentation in addition to a written application. Generally, all requirements must be met by a certain deadline to allow sufficient time for applicant evaluations and notification of the recipient(s) selected.
A Treasure Hunt
If you are in need of educational funds, the abundance of available scholarships makes it very likely that there is an agency, organization, or individual just waiting to help finance your schooling. Start by doing your homework.
The Internet provides a wealth of scholarship information - literally at your fingertips. An inquiry through one of the search engines will quickly reveal numerous scholarship-matching sites. Based upon data that you provide upon registration, such sites surf huge databases of scholarships to identify those with eligibility requirements that meet your personal profile.
You can then choose from among dozens or hundreds of scholarships and decide which ones to apply for at your leisure - without ever leaving home! Other sources of scholarship information are school guidance counselors, teachers, and churches, social or affinity groups, your employer, or the college you plan to attend.