Scholarships for High School Students

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What Scholarships for High School Students Are Available?

Many types of scholarship programs are available for high school students. Some are high school scholarships for high school seniors. Current colleges may offer scholarships for high schoolers based on academic achievement and your financial aid info from the FAFSA.

But let’s say you aren’t in 12th grade. You could still enter scholarship competitions to get a head start. There are a range of fun, no essay and weird scholarships. Here’s a great example for Zombie fans. One student could win Unigo’s $2,000 Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship. As an applicant, you must be be 14 years of age or older at time of the scholarship application. All that entails is a 250 word (or less) essay. Check it out!

You could also use interests and goals to find ones for minority students, your sport, by state or college major. Don’t overlook ones like Navy Seal Foundation Scholarships if you are the child of a military service member.

10 Scholarships for High School Students You Should Apply for in 2021  

So, whether you’re a high school freshman or a senior, begin your scholarship search with this list of scholarships for high school students.

  1. 5 Strong Scholarship  
  2. Life Lessons Scholarship Program
  3. Coca Cola Scholars Program Scholarship 
  4. UNCF/Koch Undergraduate Scholars Program
  5. World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest 
  6. Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards
  7. Flavor of the Month Scholarship
  8. Bryce Thomson Scholarship Fund
  9. Bird Dog Foundation Annual High School Senior Essay Contest
  10. $1,000 Essay Scholarship Program 

When Should High School Students Start Applying for Scholarships?

Some scholarships for high school students have deadlines as early as a year before the start of college. So, many high school juniors spend the summer before senior year researching and applying for scholarship money. That said, don’t hit the panic button if you missed a deadline. There are plenty of scholarship awards with rolling deadlines or due dates at different points in the year. Try to apply before the application deadline.

What’s the Perfect Way to Get Scholarships for High School?

As a high schooler, a great way to boost your odds of getting a college scholarship is to start the scholarship research process early. Read the rules about eligibility to see if you qualify. If so, apply to many different scholarships at once. Make sure when you do, to follow directions and get your application in on time.  

Also keep in mind, it may be easier to get a scholarship opportunities for high school students at some schools, and harder at others. So, when you look into a community college or 4 year school, check what academic scholarships they offer. In many cases, when you go through college admissions, the school automatically pairs you with potential merit scholarships based on your GPA. 

While there may be competitive scholarships, also apply to easy ones, even if the award amounts seem small. Applying to these contests and sweepstakes doesn’t take too much thought or time and any scholarship money could help lower your need to borrow a student loan. 

Don’t forget to fill out and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA could help you qualify for federal and state aid based on financial need. Some grantors also use it to narrow the applicant pool to those who can’t afford higher education. 

What Information Do You Provide to Get College Scholarships for High School?

A scholarship provider is likely to ask for various documents along with a complete scholarship application. For easy scholarships, this could be as simple as a name and email. Many high school scholarship applications, tend to ask for the following supporting documents: 

  • Official high school transcripts. Ones that show your cumulative GPA and classes you’ve taken. 
  • Standardized test scores. If you have them but many colleges are now test optional. 
  • Recommendation letters. Usually from a coach, teacher, boss or someone other than family are often among these requirements. These references help a scholarship committee get to know you more as a person.
  • Resume. A list of work experience, awards, honors and extracurricular activities. This could be a place to discuss what clubs you belong to, sports teams and or community service you do.
  • An essay. Some applications ask for a personal essay. Expressing your goals, for e.g., and why you deserve to win. 
  • Identification. Some providers may also want a color photo of you. You might also need to prove residency, US citizenship, and / or ethnicity.
  • College plans. What kind of bachelor’s degree program you plan to enroll in as a full time undergraduate student. 

What Mistakes Should High School Students Avoid When Applying for Scholarships?

There are some common mistakes many high school students make when they apply for scholarships. Here is a list of mistakes you should avoid when you’re applying for scholarships for high school students. 

  • Only applying to a few scholarships when you qualify for others too (e.g. from nonprofits, local businesses, major corporations like Coca Cola, Walmart, Microsoft. 
  • Not answering the essay question 
  • Missing required documents (e.g. transcripts or recommendations)
  • Applying to scholarships when you don’t meet the eligibility requirements
  • Submitting an application past the deadline 
  • Not proofreading and editing your essay
  • Submitting a standard essay for every scholarship you apply for (it should be unique)
  • Giving up or thinking you won’t ever win a scholarship for high school 
  • Falling for scams that ask you for money, your social security and bank account info

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting High School Scholarships?

To increase your chances of landing a college scholarship for high school, there are a few things you could do in and out of the high school classroom.

Grades matter. Many colleges use your high school GPA and test scores when giving out academic merit scholarships. Maintain good grades throughout all of your classes. You could also show initiative and take Advanced Placement courses.

Help out to stand out. Some scholarships go to students who volunteer or do community service work. These efforts show leadership and that you care about your environment. All great qualities to have when applying for scholarships. 

Get involved. Being active on campus through sports, honor society, the yearbook, school band, chess club or something else shows you are a well rounded student. 

Build professional relationships. At some point, you may need a recommendation letter and it typically must come from either your school counselor, teacher, or employer who knows you for a period of time. 

Look for jobs that relate to what you’ll be majoring in. It could be as simple as starting an online business which shows an entrepreneurial spirit. You could also be a tutor, cashier, or lifeguard. These part time jobs may help you save for college and build up your resume at the same time.

Fill in the financial gaps with state and federal grants. Let’s say worst case and you don’t get big scholarship bucks. Many American students file the FAFSA (and state paperwork) to access government aid. Find out if you qualify! 

Scholarships for High School Freshmen

Now that you’re in high school, hundreds of scholarships have instantly become open to you! But, you have to apply in order to win. Get an early start with these scholarships for high school freshmen, and help build your college savings fund before you graduate.

AWARDS: 23,933
TOTAL: $99M

Scholarships for High School Juniors

High school juniors who get a head start on applying for scholarships can have fewer things to worry about during their senior year. Plus, there are hundreds of scholarships available for high school juniors! So, discover the opportunities waiting for you.

AWARDS: 24,252
TOTAL: $78M

Scholarships for High School Seniors

You’ve finally made it to your senior year and are ready to rule the school! Just make sure your savings for school ready to take on college, too. Scholarships for high school seniors can help! Check out this list of scholarships for 12th graders and apply online.

AWARDS: 725,717
TOTAL: $2B

Scholarships for High School Sophomores

Don’t let the sophomore slump set in. Continue your search for free college dollars with this list of scholarships for high school sophomores. There could be hundreds, even thousands, of scholarship dollars that you may be qualified for. Browse our directory here, and apply online today.

AWARDS: 24,450
TOTAL: $103M

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