No student ever got every scholarship he or she applied for, but most of the ones who’ve sent out enough applications eventually found something that worked for them. We’ve created this short guide that covers most categories of scholarships and shows our top pick for them.
Merit based academic scholarships
If you’ve worked exceptionally hard during your high school years, there’s nothing wrong with aiming big. The scholarships which award the largest amount of money usually have the strictest requirements. If you have a high GPA and a lot of different extracurricular activities try to apply to the highest paid scholarships. You might be afraid of the competition, but you won’t lose anything other than some time. If you have a well thought out and well rounded application that the highest paying scholarships usually require, you’ll be able to tailor and customize it for other applications you later find. We suggest checking the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation because they award more than 3 million dollars to high achievers annually. The biggest prize for top 50 national winners is jaw-dropping $20,000.
Scholarships for Mere Mortals – the Average Students
Even if you can’t say you’re at the top of your class in every subject, there’s still no reason to give up on your search. There are many scholarships around that put emphasis on something other than your GPA. Let’s face it, most people are average and enough people recognize that we must provide some aid to the majority of students. These scholarships come with lesser award pools, but they usually attract fewer contestants, so it levels up. Make sure to look for options available locally first, with your guidance counselor, in local library, youth centre or some other interesting organization. We highlight the AXA-Equitable Scholarship which offers a $10,000 award for well-rounded candidates who are able to prove their determination and motivation trough a detailed application form.
Creative Writing Scholarships
If you know your way with words, focus on scholarships that require essays. Even though you might be truly gifted, first make sure you’re not making silly mistakes such as going over the given word count. It never hurts to have someone you trust proofread your essay because you might overlook some of your own mistakes. You’ve probably spent a lot of time looking at your writing and you know it by heart, so you read it mechanically. Our pick is aimed towards book loving high school juniors or seniors this time – Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest. They award $1,000 for the best essays on literary classics that most of the interested students read and appreciate anyway. You can choose between five different topics related to Shakespeare’s The Tempest this year. If you happen to hate writing, then maybe you should check out a few scholarships that require no essay. They may be harder to qualify for though!
Scholarships for Students Active in their Communities
There are various scholarships available to students who are passionate about certain causes. You might be interested in environmental issues, animal welfare, fighting social injustice or you simply strive to better your community trough small every-day life changes. It goes without saying that you should ask for advice and recommendation from representatives of every organization you were affiliated with. It’s not unlikely that they will know about some scholarships that you might not have heard of yourself. We’d like to point out to The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes because it’s open to young activist trying to better the world and themselves in various ways.
If All Else Fails – Go for Plain Weird
Many scholarships have peculiar selection criteria, often based on something quite unusual. You should conduct a search based on your hobbies and things that you truly like, maybe someone wants to promote that trough a scholarship, you never know. We find Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest to be quite interesting because duck calling is a skill rarely associated with academic achievements. We’re glad that it seems there’s someone willing to award a passion towards anything, as long as it’s genuine.