According to USNews.com, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 school year was $38,185 at private colleges, $10,338 for in-state students at public colleges, and $22,698 for out-of-state students at state schools. How can families and students afford to take on this expense? Student loans and financial aid are always available to apply for, but scholarships and grants are a great way to get money for school without having to repay later. You may be surprised by both the number of scholarships available and the wide range of qualifications and reasons for which they are awarded. With so many options out there, where should you even start?
At A Grade Ahead, we are all about educational advancement. We’re happy to have a host of young people who have participated in our programs before going on to study at respected universities – check out this success story! Many scholarships are contingent on achieving excellent grades in school, and if your child is struggling with Math or English, consider looking into an enrichment program that truly wants to see your child succeed. You can also check out some of our other relevant blogs geared toward high schoolers to help your student reach his or her highest potential, like these midterm study tips!
We understand that not every family can afford to pay out-of-pocket for the knowledge that awaits in higher education. Even if a family can, why pay full price if you don’t have to? Every child can succeed given the right tools, so we are happy to provide this resource to help anyone who might gasp a little when looking at those scary price tags.
Check out these websites to find scholarships for college or university!
U.S. Department of Education
A great place to begin your search is with the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site. This is an excellent resource for families looking for any type of aid for college. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education awards more than $112 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study awards. Not only can you apply for financial aid through this website, but it also gives information on different federal grants available, lists military scholarships offered, and provides general advice on finding scholarships and avoiding scams.
Sallie Mae has a long history of making college affordable for students through its student loans and other financing options, but they also provide resources and tips on applying to scholarships and understanding the types of scholarships that might be out there. Check out their college scholarships section to find even more tips and tricks on how to snag some extra money to cover your college education!
Scholarship search engines are a one-stop spot where you can find literally millions of scholarships and details about them. There are several of these available on the web. Scholarships.com is a trusted resource that allows you to search over 3.7 million scholarships in its database. Known to be user-friendly, you can find nearly any scholarship available through its listings and customize your search to meet your eligibility and interests. Other popular websites include fastweb.com and niche.com. Just remember that searches such as these should always be free. Double check that you are using a trusted site before giving them any personal information!
U.S. Department of Labor Scholarship Tool
The U.S. Department of Labor offers a search tool of its own through its website, CareerOneStop, where you can search over 8,000 scholarships and other financial aid award opportunities. You can narrow your search by award types, school location, level of study, and more, making your customized search quick and easy. From there, you can find a summary of the award, application deadlines, and contact information for submitting your application. You can trust that scholarships found on this government website are regularly updated and accurate.
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awards $3.55 million in annual scholarships through its 3 nationally recognized scholarship programs. The Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors, recognizing both their academic achievements and their commitment to serving the community. Through this scholarship program, 150 scholars are selected to receive $20,000 each, along with the honor of being a Coca-Cola Scholar. Coca-Cola also offers awards specifically for those enrolling in community colleges. The Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program awards up to $237,500 annually to 200 students enrolled in two-year colleges, and The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise awards 200 scholarships to Phi Theta Kappa members during their community college years.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has recognized over 3.3 million students since it was established in 1955. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and scholarships. Students first qualify for the competition through the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Ultimately, about 7,500 students receive Merit Scholarship awards each year and are considered for the National Merit $2,500 Scholarship, which is judged on students’ accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in their college careers.
Society of Women Engineers
Professional organizations will often offer scholarship opportunities for students majoring in fields related to the organization. The Society of Women Engineers is one such organization that offers scholarships to those who identify as women preparing for careers in engineering, engineering technology, and computer science. In 2021, they awarded nearly 290 new and renewed scholarships valued at over $1,220,000!
Rotary gives out over $7.5 million in scholarships each year through local Rotary clubs and The Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation awards professionals and college graduates studying conflict resolution and peace. On average, $7.5 million in scholarships are given out by Rotary every year! Check with your local rotary club to see what scholarships are available in your area.
When looking for scholarships, try to think outside of traditional sports and academic scholarships awarded by the colleges themselves. While these can be great options for some, there are so many more scholarships waiting to be found out there if you think outside the box! Professional organizations, corporate foundations, non-profits, civic groups, religious groups, and ethnic-based organizations offer millions of dollars in scholarships every year. Check with your local organizations and businesses to see what they may have available and apply anywhere you think you may be eligible to maximize your chances!
We sincerely hope that this resource helps you and your student discover a couple of extra places to find scholarships for college. It is never too early to start researching and exploring! Is your student applying to college or university right now? Have they found any great resources for finding scholarships? Please let us know below! We love hearing from our A Grade Ahead readers!
Original Author: Brenna Waugaman, Curriculum Writer and Teacher at A Grade Ahead, Inc.
Updated By: Jackie Aukerman, Curriculum Writer at A Grade Ahead, Inc.
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