Need-Based Scholarships

Millions of Scholarships, personalized results

 and get matched to scholarships that are personalized for you.

What is a Need Based Scholarship?

Need based scholarships are given to students who show financial need. These awards determine eligibility based on family income. Financial need may come from filling out the FAFSA. About 58% of low income families used need based scholarships in 2019, according to a Sallie Mae study. A scholarship is a monetary gift. you typically do not to pay back the funds compared to a student loan. So receiving a scholarship may make college more affordable. 

10 Scholarships for Financial Need You Should Apply for

There are plenty of need based scholarships for college students. Start your scholarship search with these ten awards. Then look for more scholarship opportunities based on your goals, major and interests. 

  1. GE Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program
  2. Dell Scholarship Program 
  3. Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship 
  4. Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship
  5. UNCF Koch Scholarships
  6. Smith College Need Based Financial Aid
  7. Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy Memorial Scholarship Award
  8. AKA Educational Advancement Foundation Graduate Financial Need 
  9. National Association of Hispanic Nurses Scholarships
  10. Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) – Graduate Student Grant (NJ)

How Do You Qualify for Need Based Scholarships?

To qualify for need based scholarships, the first step is to fill out the FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a standard form to determine financial aid. The federal government, states and colleges use it. FAFSA forms are available on October 1st so make sure to apply by the deadline.

The FAFSA asks questions about family income, taxes, and other assets. This helps find what you are able to pay or your expected family contribution (EFC). You also list the colleges you applied to and the cost of attendance. Based on the math: COA minus EFC equals your unmet financial need. Keep in mind that tuition may vary over time but your EFC could stay the same. 

Here are some general eligibility requirements for need based scholarships: 

  • Full time enrollment status
  • U.S. citizen or legal resident 
  • Plans to attend an accredited two or four year college in the United States
  • Have a high school diploma or GED

With all these factors, there are need based scholarships for students majoring in certain subjects. UNCF STEM Scholars Program is one example. This award is for Black high school students. You must have at least 3.0 GPA and plans to pursue a STEM career.

What is the difference between need based and merit scholarships?

Need based scholarship is given to family assets and income while merit scholarships are based on academic success. The main goal of need based aid is to make college more affordable for low income families. Your GPA and test scores may not be a factor in receiving financial need awards. Assuming need is not a criteria, undergraduate students of all income levels may also qualify for merit scholarships.

Merit scholarships are for high achieving students. They look at academic achievements. You typically need a strong GPA and test scores in order to qualify. Other criteria such as community service, leadership, and other talents could help you earn a merit award. 

Where Do You Find Scholarships Based on Financial Need?

Many high schools, colleges, companies and nonprofits provide need based college scholarships. Federal and state governments also offer financial aid based on need. You should also look for local awards within your community. Your scholarship search should include awards based on your academic achievements, major, and personal interests.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program is for high school seniors with financial need. Eligible students may receive up to $40,000. You must be attending a four year undergraduate school. Many Cooke scholars exhibit a 3.5 GPA or higher and participate in community service projects. If you are selected, you may work with an education adviser. You also may attend a Scholars Weekend event in Washington D.C. 

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund is for women over 35 years old who show unmet financial need. JRF Scholars may receive up to $8,000. The award empowers non traditional students to pursue undergraduate program or trade skills certification.

Federal and State Government 

The U.S. Department of Education offers need based aid as grants and work study. Once your school’s financial aid office has your FAFSA, it uses your EFC to make you an offer. It’s also called an award letter. It states the types of aid available, total amounts and outstanding cost. The letter may state a college scholarship especially if you’re a first year student.

Federal Pell Grants

This is the largest need based federal grant program. Amounts change but the maximum amount is $6,345 for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. According to Sallie Mae’s How America Pays for College 2020 report, 48% of families relied on grants to pay for college. Although grants are renewable, you may have to keep up with the terms and reapply each year. 

Federal Work Study

This program allows eligible students to earn money to pay for school through a part time job. As a rule, you must apply and interview for these jobs. You may find on campus or off campus work. Some typical work study jobs include office assistant, lab research, cafe worker, and others. 

TEACH Grant

Some colleges offer TEACH Grant eligible programs. If you’re enrolled as an undergraduate, post bachelor’s or grad student at one of these schools you may qualify. Eligible applicants need a 3.25 GPA and must sign a service contract. This states that upon graduation, you agree to teach in a high need field, full time and at a school that serves low income students. In return, this federal grant provides up to $4,000 per year.

State Grants

Many states have a certain amount of need based grants. You may have to fill out a FAFSA as well as state form and be accepted to a public four year college in your state. Just make sure to meet all application deadlines since they may differ.

List of Scholarships for Financial Need

Check out our list of 2,212,018 scholarships worth $9B.

P. O. Pistilli Scholarship

This award is available to current high school seniors planning to major in electrical engineering or computer science from underrepresented groups (women, African American, Hispanic, American Indian, and disabled students). Eligible applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, be U.S. residents, and demonstrate financial need.

Total: $20000

Awards: 5

Deadline: April 23, 2021

Antonio Cirino Memorial Fellowship

This fellowship program is open to Rhode Island residents who need financial assistance to acquire education toward a master’s or doctorate in order to pursue a teaching career in the arts. Applicants may not be a Rhode Island School of Design graduate or seeking a graduate degree from RISD.

Total: $24000

Awards: 2

Deadline: April 26, 2021

2021 Steps for Change Scholarship

The Steps For Change Scholarship is an income and merit-based scholarship awarded to high school seniors applying to a college or university to further their career goals.

Total: $6000

Awards: 3

Deadline: April 26, 2021

Claude Collins Hospitality Scholarship

This scholarship is available for north Florida students who are majoring in hospitality or a related field. Applicants must reside in Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, or St. John’s county and have a grade point average of 2.75 or higher.

Total: $2000

Awards: 2

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Robert T. Chapa Sr. Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is available for Hispanic undergraduate students who are residing in or attending a college/university in Texas. Preference will be given to students who are working while attending school.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund

The Shawn Carter Foundation (SCF) was founded on the belief that any motivated individual in need should have the opportunity to further his or her education. This scholarship is for U.S. students who are 25 years old or younger. Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Financial need is considered.

Total: $2500

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 30, 2021

State Representative Irma Rangel Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is available for Hispanic law and pre-law students who are residents of, or attending a college, university, or law school in one of the following Texas counties: Travis, Hays, or Williamson.

Total: $4000

Awards: 2

Deadline: April 30, 2021

The Kay-Grant Group Scholarship

The Kay-Grant Group Scholarship is available for current undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in real estate, technology, marketing, and/or entrepreneurship.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Crofton Cares $25,000 Scholarship

If you live in Tampa, FL or Cleveland, OH, click to learn more about this $25,000 scholarship and apply today!

Total: $25000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 30, 2021

NAJA Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is available for Native American high school seniors and college students who are pursuing a career in radio, television, or print journalism. Students must be members of NAJA to apply.

Total: $50000

Awards: 10

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH