Types of Scholarships

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Scholarships by Type! Every year, scholarships are awarded to students who excelled in academics, athletics, or the arts. These scholarships can come from a variety of sources, including corporations, nonprofit organizations, and the government. There are also a variety of types of scholarships available, depending on the criteria used to select winners. Some scholarships are based solely on academic achievement, while others award money based on financial need or other factors. It is important to understand the different types of scholarships available so that you can find the best one for you.

What Types of Scholarships Are There?

There are many different types of scholarships that can help students pay for college. Scholarships are given out based on a student’s characteristics. Some scholarships only go to students with special needs, like disabilities or diseases that make them unique from other people their age who don’t have these characteristics.

Other types of scholarships recognize dedication by looking at things such as hard work and school performance, but some organizations offer more than just financial assistance-they also provide leadership opportunities for those seeking independence away from parents’ looming shadows.

Some scholarships are based on financial need, while others focus on things like achievement or how good the student is. There are also scholarships available for people in specific groups, such as minority students or students who have disabilities. Some of the most common types of scholarships include:

Athletic Scholarship

Athletic scholarships are one way to help students who participate in sports ranging from football, basketball, and hockey. These types of scholarships sometimes offer full rides covering tuition costs, which can include room & board as well as book expenses, at colleges/universities around America! In addition, you will need good grades if you’re looking for this type of scholarship because they usually require that applicants maintain an above-average GPA (grade point average). So it’s important not only to be talented but also academically skilled too.

Academic Scholarship

Academic scholarships are given to students who excel academically. These scholarships look at students’ GPAs, test scores, abilities, and other indicators of success.

Generally, Academic scholarships are a type of financial aid that is given to college students based on their merits instead of how much money they need. They are usually given out by a school’s admissions office and only a tiny amount of students get them.

Many academic scholarships – also known as merit scholarships, focus on rewarding students who are just leaving high school. Each scholarship program varies, giving opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to earn financial aid through college scholarships.

Full-Ride Scholarships

A full-ride scholarship is an award that pays the complete amount of expenses for attending college. This cost comprises of tuition, boarding, textbooks, fees, food items and other necessary things. For example, some full-ride scholarships also include a laptop computer. Moreover, these scholarships provide funds for personal expenditures and allowances for improvement opportunities as well.

STEM Scholarships

A STEM scholarship is a financial aid that pays for part or all of a student’s tuition in any field related to science, technology, engineering, or math. This type of scholarship may be available to students majoring in any of the sciences, mathematics, or Engineering fields. It can also be given as an award to support specific research projects within these disciplines. Providers award this money either on the grounds of financial need or merit. Need-based awards take into account family income and the FAFSA application. Merit awards, however, are for academic achievement.

When looking for a STEM scholarship, expect some competition. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, The percentage of associate’s degrees conferred in a STEM field varied based on race/ethnicity in 2019-2020. The following is the order from highest to lowest percentages: Asian students (13%), White students (9%), American Indian/Alaska Native Students and Two or more races tied(8%), Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic all tied at 7%.

Active Duty Military Scholarships

Scholarships for active duty members of the U.S. armed forces are bountiful and much appreciated by those who serve. There are scholarships available for servicemen and women in all five branches of the military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.

These awards not only honor our heroes but also help them achieve their educational goals.

Many former United States military veterans opt to earn a higher education degree after completing their service. It is often seen as a way to adapt to civilian life and begin a successful career.

Although 50% of military undergraduates rely on financial aid to help pay for their studies, the average amount awarded was $8,000 (excluding room and board). In addition, these students also received an average of $7,200 in other federal aid.

Religious Scholarships

Organizations such as religious institutions offer scholarships to help students with expenses related to attending schools, like tuition, room, and board, or books. Oftentimes, these organizations have a great reputation for giving back to the community. Religion plays an important role in many people’s lives — Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism Islam, and Buddhism are some examples.

Need-based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships are given to students who demonstrate financial need. These awards are determined based on family income. Financial needs may come from filling out the FAFSA. About 70% of families completed the FAFSA® for the academic year 2021-2022, according to a Sallie Mae study. A scholarship is a monetary gift that you typically do not have to pay back the funds, compared to a student loan. So receiving a scholarship may make college more affordable.

eSports Scholarships

More and more schools are offering esports scholarships, which are awarded based on merit. These scholarships provide opportunities for students to compete in electronic sports at a collegiate level. Just like traditional sports, esports players train hard and have dedicated coaches. However, instead of playing in physical arenas, they compete in virtual ones with teammates and spectators from all over the world.

Scholarships for Women

There are two types of scholarships that women might apply for: need-based and merit-based. No matter your age or where you are in your educational journey, there is a scholarship for women that can suit your needs. Need-based scholarships look at your family’s financial situation. They often go to recipients who cannot afford college tuition fees. Merit-based scholarships, on the other hand, are awarded to students with good grades, a high GPA, and excellent test scores.

When you have a good understanding of the different types of scholarships, start thinking more about what makes you unique. You might be surprised at how many scholarships are available to students with similar backgrounds or characteristics. For example:

  • The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations offers scholarships to Hispanic and Latino students enrolled in college.
  • The American Indian College Fund provides scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students attending tribal colleges and universities as well as mainstream institutions.
  • The National Italian American Foundation offers scholarships to students of Italian descent enrolled in college.
  • The National Black Nurses Association offers scholarships to African American nursing students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • The Philippine International Aid U.S. Scholarship Fund offers scholarships only to Filipino students who come from low-income families and who are active in the Filipino community.
  • The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Law school scholarship is offered to Hispanic students who will be enrolled in a law program full-time during the upcoming school.

Scholarship Eligibility Checklist

1. Make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements

Many scholarships have various eligibility requirements, but most ask that you be a high school graduate or have completed your GED, are currently enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution, and exhibit academic achievement and/or display financial need. You might also be asked to write an essay or participate in an interview. So before beginning to apply for scholarships, verify that you satisfy the basic qualifications.

2. Check the scholarship deadline and make sure you can submit your application on time

Many scholarships have a very limited window of opportunity, and if you miss the deadline, you will likely miss out on the chance to receive the award. Make sure to check the date and mark it on your calendar so that you don’t forget!

3. Gather all the information and materials you need to complete your application

A frequent blunder students make is not collecting all the crucial data, which often leads to a dismissed application. Assemble everything you need to turn in so your application is comprehensive and has the optimum chance of being acknowledged!

4. Proofread your application for grammar mistakes and typos

This is often the difference between winning and losing a scholarship, so it’s crucial that you take the time to review your application carefully. Make sure to have someone else read it over as well, so they can help catch any errors you may have made.

5. Make a copy of your completed application for your records

It is important to keep a copy of your completed scholarship application for your records. This will ensure that you have all the information necessary in case you are selected as a recipient and need to provide additional documentation. It will also help you keep track of all the scholarships you have applied for, so you can better manage your time and resources.


When it comes to scholarships, there are a variety of different types available. Some scholarships are based on merit, while others are based on financial need. There are also scholarships offered specifically for students who belong to certain ethnic groups or have unique backgrounds. And finally, many colleges and organizations offer general scholarship funds that any student can apply for. So before you start your scholarship search, take some time to determine what type of scholarship you would most likely qualify for. In addition, make sure you familiarize yourself with the eligibility requirements and deadline so you don’t miss out on any opportunities! Finally, remember to keep track of all the scholarships you apply for by making a copy of your application for your records. This will help ensure that you have all the information necessary in case you are selected as a recipient.

Different Types of Scholarships

Check out our different types of lists below. We have 1,713,578 awards worth $10B.

$10,000 Scholarships

Most companies are willing to pay as much as $10,000 to help fund a student's education. Browse and apply today!

AWARDS:  6,937
TOTAL:  174M

Active Duty Military Scholarships

The brave men and women, and their families, who choose to join the United States Military give up so much for our country. One thing they shouldn’t have to sacrifice is an education. This list of scholarships for those in the military also includes awards that extend to spouses, children and family members. If you or your parent or spouse is a member of the U.S. military, be sure to check out this directory and apply online today.

AWARDS:  26,434

Autism Scholarships

Education can be an extra challenge for students who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, but luckily, there are also a variety of scholarships, grants, and financial aid opportunities for those students. Click here to browse our collection of scholarships for students with autism and start applying today!


COVID Scholarships

To demonstrate their empathy for students who are unable to pay for college, most colleges now offer COVID 19 relief scholarships.


Creativity Scholarships

Here are a wide ranging scholarship opportunities for students involved in the creative arts. Whether your passion is music, film, literature or the visual arts there are scholarship programs that target your educational and financial needs. Browse and apply today through these creative scholarships that will put your creativity to use!

AWARDS:  161

DACA Scholarships

Scholarships for DACA recipients may not have citizenship requirements. So, while harder to find, scholarships for DACA students are out there. There are a few reasons that scholarships make sense for DACA students. One is that federal financial aid for college is off the table. Unlike other undergrads, DACA students are not able to get a Pell Grant. But they may be able to apply for state or college financial aid and private scholarships.


Diabetes Scholarships

If you have diabetes, there are scholarships to help you pay for college. Diabetes scholarships are given to people with Type 1 or Type 2 and Juvenile Diabetes. Apply to see which diabetes scholarship you may qualify for.


Disability Scholarships

Having a disability is not always a disadvantage. Some of the advantages of having a disability include receiving a scholarship to help fund your education. Students with disabilities qualify for a number of unique scholarships. Search and apply today!

AWARDS:  1,073

Entrepreneurship Scholarships

Entrepreneurs are commonly seen as innovators, sources of new ideas, goods, services, business or procedures. Organizations are now offering financial assistance to help fund the education of entrepreneurs. Find hundreds of entrepreneurship scholarships for current and aspiring entrepreneurs!

AWARDS:  129

eSports Scholarships

One of the fastest-growing sports in the world is played on a computer. Short for electronic sports, esports are team-based video game competitions watched in person or online by spectators. Click here to learn more about Esports scholarships and how you can apply!

TOTAL:  398K

Full Ride Scholarships

It’s not a myth – full ride scholarships DO exist! With hard work and dedication, you can have your entire college education — and even your living expenses — completely paid for. If you feel like you may qualify for this elusive award, start your search in our full-ride scholarship directory.

AWARDS:  4,194

Full Tuition Scholarships

Full Tuition Scholarships are available for students who demonstrate exceptional academic progress, involvement in the community, and other positive attributes. Funds may be provided by universities or other charitable and community organizations. Click here to view our directory of full tuition scholarships and learn how you can apply today!

AWARDS:  10,405

Government Scholarships

If you, your parent, or your spouse is an employee in local, state, or federal government, there may be free college dollars waiting for you! There are numerous scholarships available — from those injured in the line of duty to employees of the US Postal Service. Check out this list of scholarships for government employees to find your free money for school.

AWARDS:  1,149

Homeschool Scholarships

Homeschooled students may find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to scholarships. Without the aid of a high school guidance counselor or financial aid department, what is a homeschool student to do? This directory of homeschool scholarships is a great place to start in the search for adding college dollars to your education funds.

AWARDS:  189

LGBT Scholarships

If you identify as a part of the lesbian, gay, transgendered, bisexual (LGBT) community, then you may be qualified for these college awards. The fight to protect the rights of LGBT students is continuing to grow, especially with these LGBT scholarships. If you need college financial aid assistance, be sure to check out this directory of awards for the LGBT community.

AWARDS:  14,742

Mental Health Scholarships

Are you a college student with a mental health disability? If so, browse this directory to see what scholarships are best suited for you!

TOTAL:  562K

Monthly Scholarships

Monthly Scholarships can increase your odds of winning by increasing the number of times you can apply! Click here to browse a selection of monthly scholarships by upcoming deadline date and learn more about what makes these programs unique.

AWARDS:  306
TOTAL:  662K

Need-Based Scholarships

With the rising cost of tuition, it does not seem like a difficult task to demonstrate financial need, but it varies for each student. Most students have a gap between their Cost of Attendance (COA) amount and the funds they actually have available to spend on college expenses. This gap is a student's financial need. Luckily, many scholarships exist for students who can demonstrate financial need, Find need based scholarships to make college more affordable!

AWARDS:  1,560,532

Online College Scholarships

Unlike a loan, you do not have to pay scholarship money back. The money is yours to use towards tuition and fees. Amounts for online college scholarships vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Some pay only one time, while others renew if you keep good grades. Many accredited online colleges offer scholarships. As long as you meet the criteria set for each one, you can apply!

TOTAL:  142K

Scholarships for adopted children

Yes scholarships for adopted children exist. Take Unigo's Scholarship Match Quiz to find ones that line up with your goals, interests or college major.

AWARDS:  521

Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

There are cancer scholarships for those who've met this life threatening disease and survived. Cancer takes many forms so there are various kinds of scholarships as well.

AWARDS:  106

Scholarships for Children of Single Parents

Scholarships for Children of Single Parents


Scholarships for Immigrants

If you are an immigrant or first generation American, there are scholarships for you. Scholarships for immigrants help remove barriers to higher education and may fund all or part of a college degree. Browse and apply today!


Scholarships for International Students

There are graduate and undergraduate scholarships for international students. If you are globally minded, an international student scholarship may fund your studies. Apart from this, there are ways for U.S. students to receive financial aid to study abroad. We'll unpack these different resources to help you look for the perfect scholarship. Browse and apply today!

AWARDS:  55,795

Scholarships for Men

These scholarships are only available to men.

AWARDS:  10,394
TOTAL:  103M

Scholarships for Non Traditional Students

These scholarships are provided for non-traditional students who are returning to college after a period of absence from school. Click here to learn more about these non traditional scholarship opportunities!

AWARDS:  25,097
TOTAL:  132M

Scholarships for Single Moms

A variety of scholarships are provided specifically for single mothers. These programs are designed to help assist with the financial struggles of trying to support young children while also studying in college. Click here to browse our collection of scholarships for single moms and find out how to apply!

AWARDS:  153

Scholarships for Women

These scholarships are available to women only. Browse and apply today!

AWARDS:  17,434
TOTAL:  136M

Student Loan Scholarships

Even if you've already borrwed money and graduated college, it's not too late to look for financial aid! Many organizations and governmental departments offer student loan scholarship and forgiveness programs that can help knock out your debt. Read on to learn more about these aid programs designed specifically for students already who have student loan debt and learn more about how you can apply, today!

TOTAL:  818K

Study Abroad Scholarships

Scholarships for study abroad can help finance your education in new and exciting places beyond the typical classroom. Find the perfect study abroad scholarship for high school, undergrad and graduate students.

AWARDS:  3,150

Vocational and Trade School Scholarships

Not all professions require you to obtain a four-year degree. Vocational and career colleges are great options if you plan to become a medical assistant, esthetician, HVAC technician, chef, and more! This training isn’t cheap, though. Browse our scholarships for vocational and career colleges to see your options for free college dollars.

AWARDS:  579
TOTAL:  989K

Women in Science Scholarships

Women in Science Scholarships are available to female students with a passion for science and other STEM related fields. Browse and apply today!

TOTAL:  758K