Different types of Higher Education Scholarships in the USA

Doing graduate school and college is expensive, especially in America.. no doubt! Unfortunately, not every student is able to get a full-ride scholarship or graduate assistantship to take care of their educational cost. The good thing however is, there are hundreds of generous individuals, partnerships, and organizations who use their platform to offer educational scholarships to other well-deserving students. Usually, this type of support offered is either given to student's after they have demonstrated some type of promise in their field after about a year or 2 of school or at the beginning of their academic journey. This post will focus on 5 different types of scholarships students should be on the look out for.

1. Merit-Based Scholarships : Like the name implies, these scholarships are purely based on merit. This means, the scholarship committee evaluates applicants specifically based off on the requirements and details of the scholarship. Scholarship awards could be based on a high level of achievement in academics, athletics or extra curricular activities. Usually, most institutions have these scholarships available for incoming students and consider all first - year students for it once they submit a completed application by the admission deadline. In other cases, a student will have to submit a separate application, aside of admission and meet the requirements of the scholarship in order to be considered. Illinois Wesleyan University is among 1 of many U.S. institutions offering merit - based scholarships to international students.


2. Need-Based Scholarships : Just like the name implies, these scholarships are granted to those students in financial need. To determine eligibility of need-based scholarships, the income and assets of the prospective student and family are taken into consideration. In a couple of cases, need-based scholarships may partially also be based on one's academic performance. In effect, one will have to attain a certain grade point average or test score before they can qualify for this type of scholarship. Federal Student Aid is the most popular type of need-based scholarship, which unfortunately, is restricted to US citizens and permanent residents. However, institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania and Carleton College tend to offer some financial support to international students in need depending on their budget available. In a situation where an institution cannot meet the financial aid of a student in need regardless of how strong their application is , it is important for students to note that their application may be rejected for such a reason.

3. Athletic Scholarships : These scholarships are usually awarded to students based predominantly on their ability to play exceptionally in a sport. If you are an international student and want to participate in varsity athletics, you must follow the National Collegiate Athletics Association's (NCAA) rules for eligibility here


4. Community Service Scholarships : These scholarships are awarded to individuals who can demonstrate active participation and involvement within the community. Students who tend to be awarded scholarships under this category usually have a history of partaking in extracurricular activities and community service. Institutions and communities across the USA offer various opportunities for individuals to get involved in community service.


5. Personal Background Scholarship : There are a number of scholarships whose applications are exclusive to certain students based on their background. One's background could be based on their race, religion, major of study, state of residency, or corporate affiliation. CVS, for example, has a scholarship program where children of full-time employees are given the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to a two- or four - year college or university.


It's never too early to begin searching for scholarships. Every scholarship amount awarded goes a long way, and the importance of securing scholarships and grants to help pay for educational expenses cannot be underestimated.

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