As soon as high school seniors go back to school this fall, it is imperative that time is dedicated to find and apply for scholarships! It’s an incredible way to supplement the cost of tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses that students don’t have to pay back. If the mere thought of filling out countless applications frightens you, just to be told no, don’t fret. Look for scholarships that apply to you and your unique situation. There are various types of scholarships available, some offered by a college or university, and others offered by foundations or organizations. Most federal student aid is awarded based on financial need rather than scholastic achievement. Many are not based on a financial need. For example, some are available for students who have a knack for writing a great literature-based essay, volunteer their time for community service, students who are military dependants, or whose life is affected by someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Below are some easy applications to fill out that only require answers to a few questions, whereas others, require an essay, but you won’t receive any financial awards unless you try…so get started today!
AFA Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness College Scholarship – The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a nonprofit organization that awards a $5,000 scholarship to a college-bound student each year. In addition, scholarships of $500 and $250 are awarded to the first and second runners-up. Applicants submit an autobiography and write an essay of up to 1,500 words explaining how Alzheimer’s has affected their lives and what they learned from coping with the disease. Applicants must enter a four-year college or university within 12 months of application deadline and winners are selected by a panel of judges appointed by the foundation. This scholarship creates an opportunity for students to reflect on and express their own experiences with Alzheimer’s disease. The deadline for applications is February 15 of each year.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Program – Coca-Cola offers this scholarship as an achievement-based scholarship awarded to 250 high school seniors each year. Fifty of these are four-year, $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year for four years), while 200 are designated as four-year, $10,000 scholarships ($2,500 per year for four years). The scholarships must be used at an accredited U.S. college or university. Selection is based on a balanced consideration of leadership, character, achievement, and commitment, both inside and outside of the classroom. Coca-Cola Scholars are characterized by their ability, perseverance, determination, and motivation to serve and succeed in all endeavors. Student must be a current high school or home-school senior anticipating graduation from a school or program in the United States during the academic year in which application is made. A U.S. Citizen; U.S. National; U.S. Permanent Resident; Temporary Resident (legalization program); Refugee; Asylee; Cuban-Haitian Entrant; or Humanitarian Parolee; planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution; carrying a minimum 3.00 GPA at the end of your junior year of high school. Deadline is October 31.
Discus Awards College Scholarships – U.S. high school students in 9th – 12th grades are eligible to win this award. Students may nominate themselves, or students may be nominated by others. The Discus Awards was created in 2009 by Campus Direct and Recognition Media, the operator and owner of the Webby Award. This particular student scholarship gives you merit to your passions, such as volunteering at Habit for Humanity, being a leader on a dance team, or playing a good game of soccer. To submit a nomination, students must select three of 10 attributes and write a blurb about each attribute. The 10 attributes are arts, athletics, academics, faith, government, green, community service, technology, work, and other. Recipients receive a $2,000 National All-Around Student Scholarship. When submitting an application, this is where it pays off to boast about yourself. Consider, “I’m vice-president of my school’s “Go Green club” rather than “I want to help the environment.” If you have a picture of yourself in action, include that with your submission. Deadline is May 31, 2013.
Scholarships for Military Children Program – Scholarships for Military Children were created to honor the contributions made by military families. The awards were also created to recognize the role that military commissaries have played in the lives of members of the armed forces and their dependents. All applicants must also have a minimum un-weighted GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 basis) to be eligible to apply. Note: Do not request an application via mail. Either visit your nearest commissary for an application or download one from this website. Bookmark this website and check back in December 2013, to apply.
Signet Classics Student Essay Contest – Five high school seniors or juniors can be awarded $1,000 each by winning the Signet Classics Student Essay Contest. To enter, applicants must write an essay on one of five topics relating to the book selected for the year. For 2012, the competition novel is “1984” by George Orwell. Questions may relate to themes, point of view, characterization, heroes and anti-heroes, religion and superstition found in the novel. Eligible applicants must be between 16 and 18 and enrolled in a United States high school. Copies of the essay are mailed by an English teacher on behalf of the student. A panel of judges selects winners on the basis of such elements as style, originality, content and grammar. Winners also receive books for their school library. Deadline is April 14.
ThanksUSA Scholarship Program – Preference will be given to children of service personnel killed or injured during active duty. If selected as a recipient, the student will receive an award of $3,000 or up to the program costs, whichever is the lesser amount. Awards are not renewable. Students may reapply in subsequent years if ThanksUSA is offering the same scholarship program. High school seniors are eligible to apply for scholarships with ThanksUSA®. Recipients are selected on the basis of financial need, academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, a statement of goals, and unusual personal or family circumstances. They must earn at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in high school. Applications will be available this spring. You can sign up now for an email notification when they are open to submissions on their website.
Transferring Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits – Veterans who have served the Armed Forces for at least six years and agree to continue serving the Armed Forces for another four years are eligible to transfer all unused Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to their children. Children may use the benefits only after the sponsoring veteran has completed at least 10 years in military service. Recipients of transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits may claim benefits only between the ages of 18 and 26. Dependents must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) at the time of the transfer. In addition, a dependent child’s marriage or divorce does not have any effect on eligibility. However, the veteran reserves the right to take back benefits and reverse the transfer at any time.
U.S. Bank Internet Scholarship – The U.S. Bank Internet Scholarship is available to graduating high school seniors. They offer one of 40 $1,000 scholarships. The application process is fairly simple, but can only be completed online. Students must plan full-time attendance at accredited colleges that issue federally-funded student loans through U.S. Bank. Winners are selected at random. Deadline is March 31, 2013.
Take into account, submission deadlines! Also, remember that the internet is a powerful research tool. There are a lot of scams that operate on the internet, so if a website charges a fee, do your research! Better yet, try one of the many free services and information websites available online.
- College Board
- Discus Awards Scholarship List
- FastAid.com College Scholarship Director
- FastWEB – Free, searchable database
- Our Military – Education and Scholarships
- Peterson’s Aid
- Scholarships.com – Free Scholarship Search
- Scholarship Resource Network
- Smart Student Guide to Aid