What Scholarships are Available for Bachelor Degree Programs?

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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Check out var­i­ous types of schol­ar­ships, includ­ing mer­it-based, need-based, minor­i­ty schol­ar­ships, and schol­ar­ships for spe­cif­ic fields of study.
  • Tips include: Start ear­ly, stay orga­nized, and write strong per­son­al statements.
  • There are mul­ti­ple sources for schol­ar­ships, such as gov­ern­ment pro­grams, pri­vate orga­ni­za­tions, and universities.
  • Spe­cif­ic schol­ar­ships include the Pell Grant, the Fed­er­al Sup­ple­men­tal Edu­ca­tion­al Oppor­tu­ni­ty Grant (FSEOG), and schol­ar­ships offered by indi­vid­ual uni­ver­si­ties and pri­vate foun­da­tions.

There is a myr­i­ad of schol­ar­ships avail­able to stu­dents that are pur­su­ing their bach­e­lor’s degree. Whether you look local­ly, at the state lev­el, or nation­al­ly, you are sure to find plen­ty of great schol­ar­ships which can help make a col­lege edu­ca­tion more afford­able for you. The best thing you can do to find as many schol­ar­ships as pos­si­ble to pay for your bach­e­lor’s degree is to be proac­tive. The more research you can do and the more peo­ple you can ask, the bet­ter your chances will be in find­ing schol­ar­ships for which you can qual­i­fy. Don’t be deterred if a schol­ar­ship appli­ca­tion requires an essay or some oth­er work in addi­tion to the appli­ca­tion. While it may take a lit­tle bit of time, the schol­ar­ships which take a bit more time to apply for prob­a­bly have few­er appli­cants due to the amount of effort nec­es­sary. Research­ing and apply­ing for schol­ar­ships is, in many ways, a job because you will be putting in a cer­tain num­ber of hours of work and, in response to this work, you can poten­tial­ly receive sig­nif­i­cant amounts of schol­ar­ship money.

When apply­ing to dif­fer­ent col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, make sure to inves­ti­gate if those spe­cif­ic insti­tu­tions pro­vide any aca­d­e­m­ic, ath­let­ic, or oth­er tal­ent-based schol­ar­ships to their stu­dents. Often­times, just by apply­ing to an insti­tu­tion, you will be con­sid­ered for mer­it-based schol­ar­ships which are eval­u­at­ed by your high school GPA and stan­dard­ized test scores (typ­i­cal­ly from the SAT or ACT).

There are also numer­ous “weird­ly obscure” schol­ar­ships that are offered at the nation­al lev­el. Because these schol­ar­ships often have very unique require­ments, you could have a great chance of being cho­sen sim­ply by qual­i­fy­ing. Exam­ples of these types of schol­ar­ships include:

  • Aspara­gus Club Scholarship
  • Duct Tape Prom Dress Scholarship
  • Left-Hand­ed Appli­cant Scholarship

You should explore local schol­ar­ships, as well, since the num­ber of appli­cants is sure to be far less in a small­er radius. Check with a high school guid­ance coun­selor, local clubs like the VFW or Kiwanas, and ask local busi­ness­es such as gro­ceries and hard­ware stores to see if they offer any sort of schol­ar­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties. Don’t think any amount is too small, even low­er-lev­el schol­ar­ships can add up to some great sav­ings for your education.

If you are an ath­lete, you may already be aware of stu­dent-ath­lete schol­ar­ships. Be sure to inquire with coach­es or ath­let­ic direc­tors about what kinds of schol­ar­ships are avail­able. It is also impor­tant to be aware of the ath­let­ic divi­sion your insti­tu­tion is in. NCAA — Divi­sion III teams, for exam­ple, are not allowed to offer ath­let­ic schol­ar­ships to their stu­dents. Know­ing the rules in these regards can be very impor­tant in find­ing an afford­able education.

If you are not the ath­lete type but still love sports, you should still inquire about schol­ar­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties. Many schools offer man­ag­er schol­ar­ships to stu­dents that assist ath­let­ic teams. If you don’t mind doing a bit of laun­dry, fill­ing water bot­tles, car­ry­ing equip­ment, or oth­er “grunt” work, you could find a great way to secure some addi­tion­al schol­ar­ship money.

If you are more of the artis­tic or cre­ative type, there are some great poten­tial schol­ar­ships based on tal­ent for you, as well. Many insti­tu­tions have artis­tic depart­ments that are able to award tal­ent-based schol­ar­ship mon­ey to stu­dents who excel in the­atre, music, art, cre­ative writ­ing, and more. In fact, many schools offer these tal­ent-based schol­ar­ships in addi­tion to mer­it-based schol­ar­ships you may secure based on your GPA and test scores.

As you begin to accu­mu­late schol­ar­ships, whether local, state-wide, or nation-wide, be sure to inquire with the schools you are inter­est­ed in attend­ing to see if there are any lim­i­ta­tions to how your out­side schol­ar­ships are account­ed for. Some­times you may be award­ed a schol­ar­ship that can only be used at an insti­tu­tion in the provider’s state or some oth­er spe­cif­ic require­ment. Ask how your schol­ar­ships are allo­cat­ed (and what reg­u­la­tions are attached to them) when you are awarded.

Addi­tion­al­ly, if you find your­self in the advan­ta­geous place of secur­ing enough schol­ar­ships to cov­er the entire cost of your first year of edu­ca­tion, check with your schol­ar­ship providers to see if you can defer any of your schol­ar­ship amounts to the fol­low­ing years. While you may have enough schol­ar­ship mon­ey for your first year to be ful­ly financed, most insti­tu­tions’ tuition, room, and board increase each year to match infla­tion. If you can defer some of your small­er schol­ar­ships you may be able to use these amounts to off­set that inflation.


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