Did your college admissions acceptance have you feeling like this, until you realized you needed to figure out a way to pay for it?
There are countless scholarship directories, giving you the option to spend days sifting through potential opportunities. Unfortunately, these directories often list useful information alongside awards that have very specific requirements, such as left-handed fishermen from Montana who want to study choreography.
To help you jump-start your scholarship search, we compiled some of the U.S. scholarships being awarded this year. See which scholarship opportunities made our list in 2019.
College Scholarships with Large Awards
Rather than going after several smaller awards, you could focus on high-dollar opportunities. These are some of the biggest grants and scholarships for 2019, but keep in mind that the competition can be intense.
- Burger King Scholars: Top award winners receive $50,000, with 3,400 students awarded various amounts each year.
- Cameron Impact Scholarship: About 10 to 15 winners receive full tuition and expenses for the four years of their degree.
- Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation: Each year, about 150 college students receive tuition assistance of $20,000.
- Dell Scholars: Recipients receive multi-faceted support for college, including a $20,000 financial award.
- Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student: Each year, 500 students receive awards up to $50,000.
- Microsoft Scholarship Program: Students in STEM majors can be awarded full tuition.
- National Eagle Scout Association STEM Scholarship: Each year, an Eagle Scout majoring in a STEM subject is awarded $50,000.
- Rose Scholars: The top award winner receives $25,000 per semester (up to $200,000) toward a college degree.
Some opportunities are focused specifically on students who need financial assistance to attend college. Here are the noteworthy need-based awards for 2019:
- Dream.us Scholarship: The national awards program provides full tuition assistance and is renewable each year.
- Gates Millennium Scholars Program: Each year, 1,000 students of color receive an average award of $12,785.
- Horatio Alger National Scholarship Program: One hundred students with “critical financial need” receive a $25,000 award.
- Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Scholarship: Recipients receive up to $40,000 per year for four years of college.
For students who have good grades, awards based on academic achievement can help you get free money for college tuition. There are typically requirements that you keep your GPA up during college, so be prepared to study hard, using online resources such as OneClass to help. Here are our top academic scholarships for 2019:
- Davidson Fellowship: Students who’ve completed a significant academic project can be awarded up to $50,000.
- GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship: Recipients receive $10,000 per year for four years.
- Google Scholarships: Several programs are available providing awards up to $10,000.
- National Merit Scholarship Program: Awards of $2,500 are given to students to achieve the top 3 percent of PSAT scores.
- Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Scholarships: Over 250 undergraduate students receive awards up to $30,000.
- SMART Scholarship Program: It’s short for Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation, and full tuition stipends of $25,000 to $38,000 per year are awarded with the expectation that students complete one year of employment at the Department of Defense after graduation.
There’s a growing pool of money available for esports competitors, with available funds increasing five-fold in the past four years. Award rates average $4,800 per year or up to 50 percent off tuition. Below are some of the major programs to consider. Check NACE’s complete list of colleges that offer esports to see which team you might want to join.
- Gamers Helping Gamers: College scholarships are funded directly by the gaming community, and the NYT reports that awards can be $5,000 per year.
- NYU Game Center Evo Scholarship: When the esports program kicked off in 2014, the first recipient received $20,000 toward an MFA in competitive game design.
- Riot Games: Nearly $500,000 in scholarship funding is distributed to the esports teams at the Big Ten schools.
- University of California – Irvine: The esports program at UC-Irvine is one of the best, and varsity players can receive $6,000.
The school that you’re attending may offer its own set of awards that have been funded by alumni, local businesses, or other partners. Your application for these awards will likely begin with a FAFSA application for federal student aid. The FAFSA results will initiate your school’s internal financial aid awards process to identify your eligibility.
Scholarships Specific to Your Major
Does your area of study have a leading professional organization? If so, it could be a great source for noteworthy funding opportunities in your area of study.
For example, the IEEE had funded several awards for students majoring in computational and technical degrees. In another case, marine biology students could benefit from the Marine Technology Society’s listings.
Additionally, these opportunities have a potential secondary benefit of providing access to postgraduate fellowships or networking events, helping you fuel your career before it’s even begun.
Billions of dollars are awarded each year to student athletes, but only 2 percent of high school athletes are recruited to play college sports, according to the NCAA.
Keep in mind that athletes who keep their grades up may have more academic security, making them eligible for merit-based opportunities if their team’s funding changes or they suffer an injury. There are many ways to get the perks of being a college athlete, even when you’re not on the team.
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