Don't let money be an obstacle in your endeavor to get a good education, a scholarship can definitely support you. Many people are unaware that there are several federal grants and nonprofit organizations who give grants to deserving students. Students sometimes get discouraged by the application process and don't even apply, this is a mistake. Another important thing to remember is to apply under the right category. For example, if you are Caucasian and you apply for a scholarship for students of ethnic minorities you are not going to get it.
Before you start looking for scholarships, you need to decide what type of education you would like to pursue. The main reason behind this being, there are grants for specific courses that you could apply for. To help you understand, if you would like to pursue an education that enables you to become a teacher, there are specific scholarships that will help fund your education that allows you to teach. For example, TEACH grant.
There are several federal grants that enable students to get quality higher education. Recently, the government has pledged more than 200 billion dollars in grant money for education and other societal projects. One of the basic criteria for getting financial aid for college, is filling the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Some of the federal grants are:
The federal Pell grants are one of the easy scholarships to apply for, you need to fill the FAFSA form and need to be from a low income family. US citizens or eligible aliens can apply and will need to produce relevant documents like social security number, etc. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will also be taken into consideration when the grants are given. The Pell Grants give financial assistance of up to USD 5,000.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
This grant is given in addition to the Pell grants, it became available for the first time for students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2006. An applicant for the first year can receive financial aid up to USD 750 and for the second year it can be USD 1,300. The eligibility criteria include being a US citizen, recipient of the Pell grant for the same academic year, and enrollment in a degree program.
Other than government grants, there are several other avenues for getting a scholarship. Nonprofit organizations and big corporates like Microsoft, Coca Cola, etc., offer easy scholarships for high school students and for college courses. Most of these are offered to a target group or for a specific course. For example, organizations working towards women's empowerment, offer college grants to single moms, and these are fairly easy to get.
Standout Student Scholarship
Considered as one of the avenues for a scholarship for students who are planning to enroll in a 4 year full-time college degree program. Eligibility criteria includes writing a maximum 300 word essay and having at least a 2.0 GPA. The reward is USD 500 and a free college admissions consultation.
The Women's Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) assists women who have been victims of domestic abuse. To apply for this scholarship, you need to be a US citizen and should be accepted by or applied to an accredited college course. The program has been assisting women with continuing education for gainful employment, so they may be able to support themselves.
Scholarships are also available for deserving athletes who have a good SAT score and GPA. Financial aid for people from ethnic minorities and marginalized groups are also offered by many organizations.