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For many students, the worries for college planning surround paying for school. A college’s “sticker price” is the price before financial aid. This price may make you want to cross a school off your list immediately. However, scholarships can grants may come to your rescue! For that reason, you shouldn’t allow costs to restrict your search or discourage you from applying to more expensive institutions. 

Scholarships and grants are gift aid. Gift aid is the best kind of aid because it’s free money that you do not have to pay back. Take note that some gift aid is just a one-time thing, whereas some is renewable. Grants are typically based on your financial-need determined by your FAFSA application. Before beginning your scholarship search, here’s a quick breakdown of common categories and types of scholarships.

Athletic Scholarships

Division I and Division II schools offer athletic scholarships. If you are interested in becoming a student-athlete, here is more information about athletic recruiting.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit scholarships are awarded to the strongest candidates in the applicant pool and typically consider a wide range of criteria/requirements like your grades, rigor of high school coursework, ACT/SAT scores, class rank, personal statements, leadership, community service, and recommendations. Usually, you are considered just by submitting your application for admission.

Corporate Scholarships

Corporate scholarships support the pursuit of higher education for employees and their families. These are more common in larger companies. It’s always a good idea to ask your guardian(s) if their employer offers scholarships to children of employees. If you work as well and want to continue with the same company while you are in college, check with your employer to see if they offer this program.

Searching for scholarships takes time, patience, and effort on your part. You will thank yourself later for all your effort when those scholarships come your way. We’d recommend setting aside a little time each week to do scholarship research and applications. Be sure to use your school counselors as a resource as well! Don’t be afraid to use those googling skills; you never know what you may find. With that being said, unfortunately, there are scholarship scams. Please keep in mind that you should never have to provide your social security number or pay for a scholarship application.