Types of Scholarships

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Last week, we had you do a little homework to determine what kind of scholarships could be right for you.

Types of Scholarships

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This week? We’re going to define the most common types of scholarships for college students so you know how to tell when you’ve found the right one!

Merit-based scholarships

These are the most common types of scholarships that can serve as financial aid for student college costs. They are awarded to students who can demonstrate high levels of achievement in a certain area.

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Often, that simply means they go to people with a really great GPA or rock star test scores. But merit scholarships can also be awarded on the basis of athletic ability, extracurricular involvement or even volunteerism.

Need-based scholarships

As you might expect, these scholarships go to students who really need them, financially speaking. The majority of need-based scholarships come from the federal government and are awarded based on information you’ll supply in your FAFSA.

However, there are also tons of organizations with need-based scholarship programs. It’s just a matter of finding them.

Student-specific scholarships

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These are the scholarships you can get just for being you! Student-specific scholarships are given out to people who satisfy the specific requirements of the organization giving out the scholarship.

So, a scholarship awarded because of your ethnic background would be considered a student-specific scholarship. So would a scholarship you get because of where you live or what you’re interested in.

Career-specific scholarships

Have you known what you want to do for a living since you were 10? Do you know what you want to major in, where you want to intern and what company you want to work for? If so, our hats are off to you you’re quite the planner!

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Career-specific scholarships are made for people like you or at least for students who know what they want to major in. They’re awarded by industry-specific and career-oriented organizations looking to help the next generation of professionals succeed!

College-specific scholarships

Once you know where you want to go to college (and get accepted), you could be eligible for a scholarship awarded by that college. These types of local scholarships are sometimes given to help students who have a financial need, but can also be awarded on the basis of personal or academic achievement.

And now you know what the five major types of scholarships are! Although there are many kinds of specific scholarships available, for the most part they fit into one of these buckets. Hopefully, this knowledge will help you as you begin (or continue) your scholarship search.

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.