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Many nonprofits, civic groups and companies provide scholarship programs to help pay for college. They do it to give back, support members and prepare the future workforce. Scholarship organizations such as 4H, American Legion and Red Cross may help students avoid or keep down their student loan debt!
These awards may be need based or merit based. Need based awards take your family finances and FAFSA into account.
A merit scholarship looks at your overall academic achievements in high school and college including:
Some scholarships are for members or family members of the organization offering it as long as the member is in good standing. High school, undergraduates, or graduate student) may qualify for some scholarship organizations’ awards. First you should check each scholarships eligibility requirements and instructions to see if you qualify.
Either way, as college costs increase, more students than ever are seeking financial aid. According to NCES, tuition, fees, room and board cost about $17,797 per year at a public college.
When starting your scholarship search, begin close to home. You may be a member of a scholarship organization that sets up funds through private donations. A few places to check are religious organizations, campus school groups, civic and professional associations.
You might also source any youth group you are a member of outside class. The place you volunteer or charities that support your ethnic group. If a service member or veteran, check with your branch as well any groups that do charitable acts.
Once you find a scholarship organization that interests you, there is likely an application form to fill out. Here are three quick tips when applying for scholarship money.
Many scholarship organizations and nonprofits offer numerous awards to high school students, undergraduates and graduate students. In fact, some awards may require you to be a paid member. Check out these scholarships that may help you achieve your college dreams and career goals!
There are about 1.3 million non profits and organizations in the U.S. that offer scholarships. Section 501(c)(3) in the tax code refers to “public charities”. These also go by the name charitable non profits or “private foundations.” 4-H, American Legion, Red Cross, Elks, and Daughters of the American Revolution provide college scholarships. Here are a few scholarship organizations that may help fund your college education.
The 4-H is America’s largest youth organization Their reach and depth spans about 6 million members and 500,000 volunteers. They have programs for all ages that help grow leadership skills in addition to a range of scholarships for all members.
Wisconsin 4-H Foundation offers two $750 community service scholarships. The awards are available to WI undergraduates who’ve been a 4-H member for at least one year. Applicants also need at least a 2.5 GPA and proven community service work. To apply, you must send in your resume, cover letter, digital photo and list of service projects you have done.
The Red Cross helps people severely affected by disasters big and small. You may know about their efforts around disaster relief, blood drive and donations, and HIV/AIDs prevention.
Red Cross Leaders Save Lives Scholarship Program involves you to host blood drives based on the number of pints collected at your blood drive. This enters you for a chance to win up to $2,500 college scholarship and $50 to $200 gift cards. You are also are earning volunteer hours and growing leadership skills.
Charity is central to the Knights of Columbus. They are a Catholic organization of men who invest time in giving back to their community and unity. Over 1.9 million members are known to lend a hand. One way they do this is through scholarships.
Fourth Degree Pro Deo and Pro Patria Scholarships are for new freshmen of an undergraduate program that leads to a bachelor’s degree. Recipients may use the funds only at a Catholic college or the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Each year, the number of awards depends on funds. If you are selected, you may receive $1,500.
To qualify, you must also be a member in good standing of the Knights of Columbus. You could also be the son or daughter of a member who is alive or deceased or a member in good standing of the Columbian Squires.
The Boy Scouts of America is a youth development organization. They are known for its badges and programs that build moral character. Many schools, local councils and religious/civic/military organizations also offer Boy Scouts scholarships. You may find a wide range of these awards for Eagle Scouts from the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA).
Lawrence Strader Boy Scouts of America Scholarship is worth up to $16,000. It goes to one low income high school senior. To qualify, you must be a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Great Smoky Mountain Council. Eligible applicants need a 2.5 GPA or higher. You must plan to enroll in an accredited undergraduate program. You must also be a Boy Scout or Eagle Scout member for at least three years.
Many scholarship organizations have chapters on college campuses that support members in different ways. Being an active member may help you access a job, partner discounts, scholarships and other awards. FCCLA, FBLA, Circle K and others provide scholarships to help students pay for school.
You may need to apply to the organization directly, or submit a form through your school’s financial aid office. The scholarships also often have various due dates throughout the school year.
FBLA PBL is the largest career student business org in the world. Each year the org helps over 230,000 members prepare for careers in business. As an FBLA member, one has access to scholarships from college programs and honors.
FBLA Distinguished Business Leader Scholarship
This award aims to recognize FBLA members for their activity and involvement in the association. It is open to graduating FBLA members who plan to pursue a post secondary education. To qualify you must be a recipient of the Leader or America level of the Business Achievement Awards (BAA). If selected, the award provides at least $500.
NTHS currently serves over 100,000 active members and nearly 2 million alumni since its start in 1984. They’ve also given out over $2 million in scholarships since 2005. Above all, NTHS honors the hard work of CTE students (career and technical education). They also partner with HOSA, SkillsUSA, BPA, DECA, FCCLA, and FBLA/PBL.
Jon H. Poteat Scholarship
Named in honor and memory of NTHS Cofounder, this award is for current secondary and postsecondary NTHS members in an active chapter. On June 1, NTHS will award 250 $1,000 JHP Scholarships to eligible members. The online application is available from September 1 to May 1.
NSLS is a Leadership Honor Society. They have over 1.2 million members at 717 colleges nation wide. As a student member, you may have access to over a $250,00 in scholarship funds.
Academic Excellence Scholarship is a $3000 award goes to 12 undergraduate and graduate student members. To qualify, you need a 3.7 GPA. And, must be an enrolled student in the following semester after Scholarship Term.
The AMSA is a global medical association. It supports, informs and inspires next generation physicians. There are member events, like Premed Fest, clinical experiences, and leadership programs for members.
Medical students who want to attend conferences may apply for AMSA scholarships. These tend to be one time awards. They may make it possible to meet with other medical professionals and take part in discussions.
Horatio Alger was an author whose journey from poverty to Harvard inspired many people. The Foundation continues to honor his legacy. To date, they’ve awarded more than $159 million to about 20,000 students. This scholarship organization are one of the nation’s main providers of need based scholarships for college in the country. The awards assist high school students who’ve faced and overcome great obstacles in their young lives.
Horatio Alger National Scholarship Program is for high school seniors with a GPA of 2.0 or higher and critical financial need. It’s a national award that gives out awards in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The total value of this award is $25,000 paid out in equal installments each year. If you are selected, the funding is for the full 4 years of an undergraduate program. You must also maintain a 2.0 GPA. To apply, you need to send a complete application, recommendation letter, tax return, essay, and official transcript.
IEEE is a professional association for electronic / electric engineering and related fields with a technical focus. Members’ benefits include networking, may attend conferences, and participate in technical discussions.
Richard E. Merwin Scholarship is for international and U.S. college juniors, seniors and / or graduate students. As long as your major is in computer science / computer or electrical engineering. To qualify, you must have a GPA of 2.5 or more. And, be an active member of an IEEE Computer Society Student Branch chapter. The application requires you to write an essay. Up to 25 winners each receive $2,000.
Many scholarship organizations provide college funds for minority students. These organizations often want to make the future workforce more diverse. Hispanic Scholarship Fund, NAACP, and APIA are some examples of organizations that support minority college students. They also may a college degree more affordable.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund empowers Hispanic and Latino students to reach higher education goals. Each year, they offer awards ranging from $500 to $5,000. They are open to:
To qualify, you also need to be a U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident or DACA with Hispanic heritage. Preferred applicants are STEM majors.
NAACP is a civil rights organization. Their work and service aims to bring equality for African Americans. The POISE Foundation receives donations and helps run NAACP scholarships. In order to qualify, you must be a current member and U.S. citizen.
Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship honors the late Agnes Jones Jackson who was a long time NAACP member from the San Francisco branch.
You must also be less than 25 years old to apply. You are currently enrolled and accepted to an accredited college in the U.S. as full time students. Eligible applicants also need a 2.5 GPA for undergraduates or 3.0 GPA for graduate student. One must also show financial need based on federal poverty guides. Last year, there were 20 to 40 awards available with a max amount of $2,000.
APIA Scholars was the APIASF. It is the nation’s largest non profit provider of college scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Each year, they provide nearly $450,000 to about 225 students. Preferred applicants may live below the poverty level. or are first generation college students.
APIA Scholarships are for APIA students who show financial need. Scholarships range from one time $2,000 to multi year $20,000 awards. You must also complete an application form and send recommendation letter, FAFSA, transcript and community service and leadership projects.
The AIEF is a program of Partnership With Native Americans. The fund also offers scholarships, literacy programs, and school supplies. Their goal is to help end the cycle of poverty. AIEF scholarships are for students who are Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian.
AIEF Undergraduate Scholarship provides $2,000 for students attending two or four year colleges or technical vocational schools. Applicants must be full time students with a GPA between 2.5 and 3.5 and ACT score of 14 or higher.
Some scholarship organizations support female students pursuing a college degree. This includes community nonprofits as well as professional organization.
They are known as DUSA or Army Daughters. DUSA is a nonprofit that promotes friendship and support among daughters and granddaughters of Army officers.
They also fund a scholarship program to help Army Daughters with a college education. The number of scholarships awarded each year may vary. It depends on the pool of eligible applicants and the amount of scholarship funds available.
The DUSA Scholarship $1,500 renewable merit awards are open to high school seniors and college students. To qualify you must be or plan to be a full time student attending an accredited school in the U.S.
You also need a 3.0 GPA or above and must be the daughter or granddaughter of a career commissioned or warrant officer in the U.S. Army. This also includes stepdaughter or adopted daughter as long as the officer is on active duty. You may have a retired family member after at least 20 years of active duty service. Your family member may be medically retired from active duty or died while on active duty.
The Girl Scouts of America is a leadership and life skills organization for girls. Many of the Girl Scouts scholarships they offer run through partner colleges.
This $2,000 Matt and JoAnn Butler Youth Development Scholarship is for current Girl Scouts. But you must be a member only in Dakota Horizons area (NW and NE Districts and NW Minnesota). To qualify, you must be a graduating high school senior. You need to provide a high school transcript and SAT and or ACT scores with a complete application form.
Society of Women Engineers advocates for women in engineering and technology. Each year, this scholarship organizations offer a range of engineering awards for female students. In 2019, SWE gave out almost $810,000 in new and renewed scholarships.
Eligible applicants could pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at an ABET accredited program. You must be also majoring in computer science, engineering or technology.
The Barbara W. and Thomas W. Engineering award is for five females from underrepresented groups. To qualify for a $25,000 sum, you must be a college sophomore or junior majoring in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering or Energy Engineering. You also must have at least a 3.0 GPA. This award is for students attending University of Illinois Chicago.
Yes, there are scholarship organizations that support the LGBTQ community. These aim to provide funding especially for members active in advocacy and service.
The Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship granting organization for LGTBQ students. Point promotes change through scholarship funding and mentorship as well as leadership development and community service training.
Point Foundation Scholarship is for U.S. high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students. Applicants must be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. You must also have a history of leadership and dedication in the LGTBQ community. Point grants scholarships of up to $10,000 on a “last provider” basis. That means the funds aim to fill the gap between all aid received and the cost of college. As a result, the committee looks at may factors. Including community work, goals, merit, leadership and need.
The Acorn Equality Fund is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization. The fund supports LGBT members, organizations and allies through grants and scholarships.
Acorn Equality Fund Acorn Scholarships range from $1,000 to $4,000, and up to $35,000 awarded each year. They are open to LGBT students, allies, and children of LGBT parents. As long as you are a resident in the Acorn Equality service are. So, all counties in Illinois except Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will). To qualify you must show service and advocacy for the LGBT community.
DAR Scholarships are from the Daughters of the American Revolution. They offer various awards for members studying education, medicine, government, and other studies. Find out if you qualify and apply today!
The Elks Scholarship contest comes from the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. It is a kind of financial aid that you don't repay. And, offsets the costs of any undergraduate studies.
A fraternal order, the Elks organization has hundreds of thousands of members in the United States. They've been around for 150 years and award millions in scholarships. Each program comes with a set of criteria to meet.
For this one, any high school senior who is a citizen of the United States may apply. These four year scholarships renew each year if the selectee keeps up good standing.
Each year, the National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Foundation helps offset college costs by offering a wide variety of college scholarships. The letters "FFA" stand for Future Farmers of America. The scholarships they offer range from $500 to full tuition for four years.
In 2020, 398 sponsors and donors partnered with the National FFA Organization. The Foundation was able to award 1,325 students $2,028,288. If planning to go to college after high school, you might consider applying.
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
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