18 Types of Scholarships to Explore for Your College Needs - Goodwall Blog (2023)

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Scholarships aren’t just for the best and brightest students across the land. The truth is there are many types of scholarships available for all kinds of students.

So don’t just assume you can’t get a scholarship because you didn’t make it to your school’s honor roll.

In fact, some websites have more than 3,000 scholarship opportunities and over millions in available funding. There are plenty of opportunities for everyone.

Go through the list below to see what types of scholarships are out there, and see if you’re eligible for any of them.

18 Types of Scholarships to Explore for Your College Needs - Goodwall Blog (1)

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12 Common Types of Scholarships Every College Applicant Should Know

These are the common types of scholarships you’ll see on your school website.

1. Athletic

Athletic scholarships are awarded to students who join a school’s athletic team, be it in baseball, swimming, football, or basketball.

(Video) How to find SCHOLARSHIPS in high school FAST! (Goodwall App Review)

While the majority of athletic scholarships are for popular sports like the ones in the NCAA, there are also athletic scholarships for other pursuits like cheerleading.

Don’t limit your search online when it comes to searching athletic scholarships. Ask your school coach and even the sporting goods stores in your community.

Related Read: When to Apply for Scholarships? How to Find the Best Time

2. Academic

There are many types of scholarships given for academic excellence. Some are based on overall GPA, others are based on SAT, and some are based on your admissions exam score.

Almost every school offers an academic scholarship of some sort, especially to seniors who graduate as valedictorian or salutatorian of their class.

If your grades and admission test scores aren’t qualified for your chosen school’s academic scholarship, you can apply to a national academic scholarship such as the National Merit Scholarship Program.

3. Full-Ride Scholarships

A full-ride scholarship is an all-expense ride to college, and it’s the most coveted among all the different types of scholarships.

Most full-ride scholarships are specific to a school, but there are a few organizations that don’t restrict the use of funds to any specific school.

These scholarships are usually based on academic performance, though some may factor in the student’s financial needs as well. Some private full-ride scholarships have a caveat, like a commitment to work for the company for two years.

Examples of full-ride scholarships from schools:

Full-ride scholarships are tough to get, so you need a good profile to back up your application.

Related Read:

4. Scholarships by Major or Course

Some students enter college undecided on their major. That’s totally okay.

But those who are positive on what they want to major in could qualify for a scholarship for their specific degree or major.

Different schools will offer different scholarships. In general though, the schools popular for a certain major or degree will usually have scholarships for said majors.

If they have a distinguished alumni with that degree, or have partnered with a big company to fund their curriculum, there’s a big chance they also have a scholarship for students of that course.


Private companies, professional associations, and charitable organizations also offer scholarships for students based on their chosen major or course.

Different types of scholarships by major:

5. STEM Scholarships

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) scholarships can be considered a sub-type of scholarships by major, but I chose to highlight it because of the rising demand for STEM professionals worldwide.

STEM scholarships are also available for graduate students pursuing their master’s or doctorate degree.

You can also find STEM scholarships mixed in with other qualifying factors in other types of scholarships, such as the Atkins Minorities and Women STEM scholarship.

6. Military Scholarships

Various scholarships are available to military veterans and officers who enroll in college after they’re discharged.

Scholarships are also available for students admitted to West Point and those who join the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

7. Scholarships for Minorities or Scholarships based on Ethnicity

Some schools provide scholarships for minorities in an effort to improve their student diversity. For these types of scholarships, there’s no specific nationality required as long as you belong to the defined minority groups in your school’s country.

In the US, the minorities are Asians, African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders. One example of this type of scholarship is the Stormzy Scholarship for Black Students at Cambridge University.

Scholarships from minority organizations are usually given based on your nationality. Organizations like these formed to provide support and community to their fellow countrymen so it’s natural that they want to help their own.

Examples of this include the PALCUS National Scholarships for students with Portuguese ancestry and the CSUB Filipino Excellence Scholarship.

Scholarships for immigrants are one of the lesser known types of scholarships awarded for minorities and students from other cultures. In this scenario, the eligibility isn’t based on your race but on whether you were born outside the country. Lavent Law P.A. Scholarship, for example, is a scholarship for immigrants who want to study law because its owner, Boris Lavent, is also an immigrant.

8. Religious Scholarships

Religious organizations also offer scholarships and financial aid to their followers. Religious schools also award scholarships to qualifying students, and in some cases they are automatically given to the children of priests and the children of pastors.

9. Scholarships for Women

More women are attending college now. But since higher-education has been a male dominated arena for years, more colleges and organizations are stepping up now to balance the scales.

Different types of scholarships for women exist. Aside from the typical scholarships based on the applicant’s location and academic interests, there are also scholarships for single mothers, and scholarships for women who were victims of abuse.

Because their scholars may have different needs compared to other students, these funds are often customized to reflect their needs. The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, for example, also includes a charitable adjunct assistance award that can be used towards rent or childcare, which are considered barriers to education.

(Video) Applying For Scholarships 101

10. Government Scholarships

If you’re the child or spouse of a government employee, chances are you are already qualified for a federal, local, or state sponsored scholarship.

11. Community Service Scholarships

Volunteering isn’t just good for the community. It can help you pay for college, too. Of course, you won’t automatically be eligible for these scholarships because you man the soup kitchen on weekends. Organizations that offer community service types of scholarships are looking for students who have made an impact on their neighborhood.

AXA’s Equitable Excellence scholarship and Prudential’s Spirit of Community awards are two examples of scholarships awarded based on community impact.

12. Needs-based Scholarship

Needs-based scholarships are perhaps the counterpart of the merit-based types of scholarships.

Students who want to apply for these types of scholarships must be able to show evidence of their financial need. Some organizations will accept supporting documents like your parent’s income tax return, while others may go further by conducting a background check or house visit.

6 Little Known Types of Scholarships Worth Exploring

Now that we’ve gone over the common types of scholarships you can find in schools and scholarship websites, let’s go over the not-so-common types of scholarships.

These scholarships may have very specific requirements or are given only by very few institutions, that’s why they’re not so popular.

The combination of a smaller pool of applicants and its obscurity make it easier to win these types of scholarships.

1. First Generation Scholarships

College is expensive. So it’s not a secret that there are many students whose parents and probably entire extended family have no college education.

That’s why some schools offer scholarships to students who are the first in their family to attend college. If you’re determined to break the mold and finish higher education, there’s no reason you can’t. You can bring pride to your parents and create a better future for your family with the help of a first-generation scholarship.

2. Legacy Scholarships

The opposite of first-generation types of scholarships are the legacy scholarships. First-generation scholarships are awarded to the first student in a family to attend college. On the other hand, legacy types of scholarships are given to students whose family has attended the same school for generations.

It’s a scholarship to encourage a family to keep attending the same school. In most cases, these types of scholarships are open only to close family members, but there are schools whose generosity also extends to step-children and nieces/nephews.

These types of scholarships aren’t limited to schools though. The Army Women’s Foundation Legacy scholarship, for instance, provides scholarships for the lineal descendants of women soldiers, past and present.

3. No Essay Scholarships

Most types of scholarships are categorized according to who is eligible or the criteria you need to pass to apply.

No essay scholarships aren’t like that though, as these types of scholarships vary by amount, funding source, eligibility, and requirements. The only thing they have in common is that they don’t require essays.

Most essay scholarships are easy, you just have to enter your details and you’ll be qualified for the raffle. These types of scholarships are also called raffle or sweepstakes scholarships.

(Video) How to Find a College Scholarship

Some essay scholarships have replaced the traditional essay requirement with a video, artwork, portfolio, or another display of creativity. Whether these requirements make the application easier or harder really depends on the scholarship’s organizer, and the applicant’s natural talent.

The Zebra’s Minnesota Tour Guide Scholarship, for example, requires applicants to submit a representation of their favorite road trip destination. There’s no specific medium required, so applicants can submit a narration, slideshow, illustrated map, or video.

4. Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities

Going to school with dyslexia is hard enough, so it’s a good thing that there are also many scholarships available for students with diagnosed learning disabilities.

These types of scholarships are often given by organizations with a focus on learning disabilities, so their criteria are also influenced by what they support. Some organizations award scholarships to anyone with a learning disability, while others focus exclusively on dyslexia, or brain tumor.

5. Scholarships for Non-traditional Students

Good news, you can go back to school and get a scholarship even if you’ve already stopped attending years ago.

More and more schools and organizations understand that students stop their college education for a variety of reasons. Some don’t even attend college and go straight to work after high-school.

Because of this, there are now many scholarships open for non-traditional students, such as those returning to school after years in the workforce, single moms, and those who want to switch careers.

Non-traditional types of scholarships vary with their requirements. But in general, you need to be at least 25 years of age and have a high-school education to be considered a non-traditional student. Some institutions also consider non-traditional students as those with financial and familial responsibilities.

6. Workplace Scholarships

Workplace scholarships are given to the children of employees working in private companies, or a member of a professional organization.

The American Bus Association (ABA) Member scholarships, for instance, is an association and their scholarship is open for ABA members in good standing for at least one year. Burger King’s scholarship, on the other hand, is open for employees, spouses, domestic partners, and children of the company.

Looking for more scholarships? Check out our list of scholarship websites here: Top 18 Best Scholarship Websites Perfect for College Students and High School Seniors

Narrow Down Your List and Apply with a Strategy

Your school counselor and parents will probably tell you to apply to as many scholarships as you can.

But you’re a busy student with limited time.

The document and application requirements vary too depending on the types of scholarships you’re targeting.

You’ll have a better chance of winning more scholarships if you target a specific type of scholarship, and apply for multiple opportunities within that category.

Need help applying for a scholarship? Read this guide: Scholarships 101: Everything Students Need to Know About Getting a Scholarship

(Video) The 3 Best Tips to Find College Scholarships


What is the easiest scholarship to get for college? ›

Top easy scholarships in 2022
  • $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship.
  • $2,000 Nitro College Scholarship – No Essay.
  • $40,000 BigFuture Scholarships.
  • $2,500 Christian Connector Scholarship.
  • $5,000 Graduate School Scholarship.
  • $2,000 College Repayment Grant.
  • Annual Protestant Faith Based College Scholarship.

Why do you deserve this scholarship sample essay 100 words? ›

I believe I deserve to be selected for one of your program's scholarships because I am a hard-working student and I will commit myself to effectively take advantage of the opportunity that the scholarships will provide me. Besides this, I constantly try to improve my community by doing volunteer work.

Which scholarship is best for college students? ›

We've included a few badges to help you identify some features of the scholarships.
  • Fulbright Scholarship Program. ...
  • Excelsior Scholarship. ...
  • The Coca-Cola Scholarship. ...
  • National Merit Scholarship. ...
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund. ...
  • Hope Scholarship. ...
  • The Gates Scholarship. ...
  • The Gates Millennium Scholars Program.
4 Jan 2022

What is the #1 way to increase your chances for a scholarship? ›

You will increase your chances of winning a scholarship by taking your time to fill out each application thoroughly. Forgo the urge to copy and paste, even if two scholarship essay questions seem identical. Don't skip optional questions either, since they are a wonderful way to share more about yourself and your goals.

What is the best website to apply for scholarships? ›

Here are the best websites for scholarships you can use to find awards you're eligible for:
  1. Scholarships.com. ...
  2. Fastweb. ...
  3. College Board. ...
  4. Going Merry. ...
  5. ScholarshipOwl. ...
  6. Bold.org. ...
  7. Cappex. ...
  8. Scholly.

How will this scholarship impact your life and career? ›

This scholarship will help by lowering the costs of college and the amount of hours I'll need to work throughout my studies. This way, I'll be able to continue with my academic achievements. It will also give me time to find an internship.

What are good reasons to receive a scholarship? ›

Having a scholarship allows the student to consider a more selective program, reduces the risk of dropping out, and often offers opportunities to expand their academic experience through internships or study abroad programs. Many universities offer their awarded students extensive financial support.

What is a 5 Strong scholar? ›

The 5 Strong Scholarship Foundation partners with HBCUs to provide full tuition scholarships and ongoing mentoring and support to promising student leaders. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA as well as a minimum ACT 19/ SAT 990 (verbal and math only). See website for participating HBCUs.

What is the most popular scholarship? ›

Most Popular Scholarships for College Students in 2022
Name of ScholarshipMaximum AwardDeadline Month
Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship Program$20,000October
Burger King Scholars Program$25,000January
AXA Achievement Scholarships$25,000December
Gates Millennium Scholars ProgramCOA - Other AidJanuary
6 more rows

What is the highest scholarship? ›

The National Merit Scholarship is one of the most coveted awards a high school student can earn. Students may take the PSAT during their freshman, sophomore or junior year of high school. The top 50,000 highest scorers are recognized as National Merit Scholars.

How do I find scholarships that fit me? ›

The best way to find scholarships or internships is to use a personalized search, like Fastweb, that compares your student profile with a database of awards. Only those awards that fit your profile are identified as matches. Fastweb has the largest, most accurate and most frequently updated scholarship database.

How do you get 100 percent scholarships? ›

How to Get a Full Scholarship
  1. Know where to look. ...
  2. Prepare in advance. ...
  3. Work hard and keep motivated. ...
  4. Make yourself stand out from other applicants. ...
  5. Read the application instructions carefully. ...
  6. Submit an exceptional scholarship essay or cover letter. ...
  7. Be realistic.

What is the highest GPA to get a scholarship? ›

One of the most common grade point average requirements is a 3.0 average. (Again, every scholarship provider is different and it's up to them to set their eligibility criteria, not us.) While some scholarships are based on a student's GPA, most scholarship aren't only about a student's GPA.

What is the lowest GPA to get a scholarship? ›

Some scholarship committees only consider applicants whose GPA meets a certain threshold. Minimum requirements range from around 2.0 on the lower end to 3.75 or higher for competitive academic scholarships. Generally speaking, a 3.0 GPA or higher will give you a decent shot at qualifying for a variety of scholarships.

What sport is the easiest to get a scholarship? ›

Lacrosse. This is the easiest sport to get an athletic scholarship. Lacrosse is popular mostly in America, so it has almost no international competition. Based on data, about 110,000 players were involved in lacrosse in high school and more than 14,000 in college.

What is the best month to apply for scholarships? ›

While the entire period can be filled with critical application dates, October is one of the most popular months for scholarship deadlines, so it's worth taking some time to keep an eye count this time of year, especially.

When should I start applying for scholarships? ›

Apply for scholarships early and often. Some scholarship deadlines are as early as a year before you start college. You don't need to wait until you've made your final decision about your school to apply. But don't worry if you missed out on some of the earliest scholarship applications.

How will a scholarship benefit me in the future? ›

A scholarship can make a big difference in your education. The money from a scholarship helps by allowing you to be more selective in how you spend your free time. You'll be able to maximize the college experience through service-learning, volunteer opportunities and internships.

How will a scholarship impact your life and financial well being? ›

Many students use financial assistance to help them pursue higher-level education. School can be costly, and earning a scholarship can help offset the payments of both in-class requirements and living expenses. Overall, getting a scholarship can make education more accessible to more people.

What is the importance of scholarship essay? ›

The essay is often the most important part of your application; it gives the scholarship committee a sense of who you are and your dedication to your goals. You'll want to make sure that your scholarship essay is the best it can possibly be.

Why do you need scholarship essay? ›

A great scholarship essay can help you showcase your abilities. It can also help the scholarship committee members to understand the real person behind the application. Scholarship essays are a great chance for you to convince the scholarship committee members that you indeed deserve financial aid.

How do you write a 500 word scholarship essay? ›

The format of a 500-word scholarship essay is similar to a shorter essay. Each paragraph is about 75-125 words, and it consists of 3-5 well-written sentences. If you are writing a story or personal anecdote, the formatting can be more like a novel than a news article.

How do I write a motivational letter for a scholarship? ›

If your motivation letter is for a scholarship, then here, emphasise why you're interested and indicate why you've chosen this specific course or programme. If it's for a job, underscore your hopes for a job interview. Lastly, say thanks and add a formal closing, such as "Yours sincerely," and your full name.

How do you write a scholarship essay? ›

  1. Plan ahead. Don't procrastinate! ...
  2. Talk about your accomplishments. Be clear and to the point. ...
  3. State your need. What is your financial situation? ...
  4. Keep it simple. Don't use unnecessary words (i.e., don't use three words when one will do) ...
  5. Make it easy on your reader.

What GPA is a scholar? ›

Students who hold a GPA between 3.5 to 4.0 may distinguish themselves to institutions awarding academic scholarships. Since many students may receive high GPAs, colleges often grant scholarships to those who meet other criteria in addition to having a high GPA.

What makes a student a scholar? ›

A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly academics who apply their intellectualism into expertise in an area of study. A scholar can also be an academic, who works as a professor, teacher, or researcher at a university.

How much money is the Coca Cola scholarship? ›

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship – High school seniors with a minimum 3.0 unweighted GPA may apply on our website in August of their senior year until the October 31 deadline. 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship.

How do I get a free scholarship? ›

  1. Use a free scholarship search site.
  2. Check out local organizations and nonprofits.
  3. Contact colleges about institutional scholarships.
  4. Earn a merit scholarship.
  5. Apply to scholarships based on majors.
  6. Take advantage of employer scholarships.
  7. Try for an athletic scholarship.

What is niche scholarships? ›

Description. Cover the cost of college without writing a single essay! Niche is giving one student $50,000 to help pay for tuition, housing, books, and other educational expenses. Apply below for your chance to win so you can focus on what really matters instead of worrying about finances.

How do you ask for a full ride scholarship? ›

7 Tips for Winning Full-Ride Scholarships
  1. #1 Start preparing early.
  2. #2 Take challenging courses.
  3. #3 Develop leadership skills.
  4. #4 Commit to community service.
  5. #5 Build relationships with your teachers and guidance counselor.
  6. #6 Hone in on what makes you unique.
  7. #7 Submit a spectacular scholarship application.
14 Oct 2020

Does 100% scholarship mean free? ›

A full-tuition scholarship covers the full cost of your tuition, but generally, it doesn't cover any of a student's other expenses. These fees could amount to thousands of dollars: housing costs, book costs, study abroad fees, and lab class fees.

Which country is easy to get scholarship? ›

Germany. A particularly popular country for admission among students from all over the world. No wonder: In Germany almost all universities are free of charge and the country's largest scholarship fund — DAAD — provides a scholarship to cover living expenses.

How can I study in USA without money? ›

As there are many schools for you to choose from, you can choose to apply to universities with affordable tuition costs. Better, scholarships can help you study in the United States for free.
How to Study in USA for Free
  1. Put Together an Awesome Application. ...
  2. Research Affordable Universities in USA. ...
  3. Get Scholarships in USA.

What is the lowest GPA to get a scholarship? ›

Some scholarship committees only consider applicants whose GPA meets a certain threshold. Minimum requirements range from around 2.0 on the lower end to 3.75 or higher for competitive academic scholarships. Generally speaking, a 3.0 GPA or higher will give you a decent shot at qualifying for a variety of scholarships.

What's the lowest GPA you can get a scholarship with? ›

It's up to a scholarship provider what the qualification criteria is for each scholarship. One of the most common grade point average requirements is a 3.0 average. (Again, every scholarship provider is different and it's up to them to set their eligibility criteria, not us.)

What is the easiest to go to college for? ›

The 16 Easiest College Majors – 2022 Rankings
  • Psychology.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • English.
  • Education.
  • Religious Studies.
  • Social Work.
  • Sociology.
  • Communications.
11 Sept 2022

What's the easiest college to get in? ›

Easiest Colleges to Get Into 2022
  1. Adams State University. Location: Alamosa, Colorado.
  2. University of Texas at El Paso. Location: El Paso, Texas. ...
  3. Eastern Washington University. ...
  4. Dickinson State University. ...
  5. Presentation College. ...
  6. Eastern Oregon University. ...
  7. Wright State University. ...
  8. Western Kentucky University. ...

What GPA can get you into Harvard? ›

Harvard applicants must be at the top of their class and meet the minimum GPA requirements for acceptance into the college. While there are a small number of exceptions, students with GPAs of 4.0 - 4.18 have the best chance of getting accepted.

When should you start looking for scholarships? ›

Some deadlines are as early as a year before college starts, so if you're in high school now, you should be researching and applying for scholarships during the summer between your junior and senior years.

What is the youngest age to get a scholarship? ›

If your child is in 10th grade or younger, you may be surprised to they should be looking for scholarships. As I mentioned earlier, scholarships are available to children as young as 4 years old.

How do you ask for a full ride scholarship? ›

How to apply for full-ride scholarships
  1. Official grade transcript.
  2. One or more essays.
  3. Lists of your extracurricular activities.
  4. Letters of recommendation.
  5. Demonstrated financial need (if that's part of the specific scholarship)
29 Mar 2022

What marks do you need to get a scholarship? ›

Academic Achievement

Applicants may be required to achieve a minimum percentage in a subject in order to be considered for funding. This mark can be anything from 50 to 80 percent depending on the subject or field of study.

How can I get a scholarship without good grades? ›

How to get a scholarship when your grades 'suck'
  1. Play the scholarship “lotto” ...
  2. Go for “no” or “low” GPA scholarships. ...
  3. Tap your parents' network. ...
  4. Pre-package your application materials. ...
  5. Use social media. ...
  6. Embrace failure.
12 Jan 2019

What's the hardest degree? ›

The hardest degree subjects are Chemistry, Medicine, Architecture, Physics, Biomedical Science, Law, Neuroscience, Fine Arts, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Economics, Education, Computer Science and Philosophy. Let's dive right in, and look at why these subjects are the hardest degree subjects.

Which is the hardest degree in the world? ›

It is believed that a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN is the toughest course in the world as per the Guinness Book of World Records along with courses like MBBS, BCom, IAS, IPS and Engineering, etc.

What is the toughest college degree? ›

What is this? Architecture major is currently the hardest college major in the US. A study conducted by Indiana University (National Study of Student Engagement) has shown some of the reasons why major in architecture is so difficult.

What is the most useful degree? ›

25 of the most valuable majors for college students
  • Biomedical engineering. ...
  • Computer science. ...
  • Marine engineering. ...
  • Pharmaceutical sciences. ...
  • Computer engineering. ...
  • Electrical engineering. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Software engineering.

What college has a 100% acceptance rate? ›

Colleges with the Highest Acceptance Rates - Top 100
SchoolLocationFall 2021 Acceptance Rate
Academy of Art UniversitySan Francisco, CA100%
Adams State UniversityAlamosa, CO100%
Alliance UniversityNew York, NY100%
Baptist College of FloridaGraceville, FL100%
17 more rows

What is the #1 college in the world? ›

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

United States|Cambridge (U.S.)


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