Finding some money to pay for college takes some work, but a little effort in applying for college scholarships surely goes a long way

…GPA, Athletics, extracurricular aren’t the only things scholarship committees look for. There are hundreds of scholarships for regular old you and me!
There are scholarships out there for every type of student seeking a college education. Here’s a look at different types of scholarships available. By TYPES, I mean categories, not necessarily the kinds.
However, when searching for scholarships, either take a look at my most recent post on Steps to Take When Applying for Scholarships for the steps necessary to successfully apply and different scholarship websites that I recommend. Another way is to Google the type of scholarship like: Academic Scholarships.”
There are so many scholarships for everyone one of you with special talents in all areas of life. It’s not just about grades.

1. Athletic Scholarships

Most athletic scholarships are reserved for the elite athletes and schools with large athletic departments. But there are so many more available for any sport, any athlete, anytime. There are scholarships for almost any sport from cheer leading to football to golf. Most of them have specific requirements, so it would be easier to determine if you would qualify. There are 3 major athletic associations that allow scholarships. They are: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Performing a Google search would be beneficial. Just use these titles and add “scholarships” or “available scholarships.”

2. Academic scholarships

Grades do help certainly for academic scholarships which are also considered as merit or performance scholarships. These are by far some of the most difficult to attain, because they all require a very high GPA (4.0 or higher) in academic performance. Many of these academic scholarships also require certain number of years in extracurricular activities/committees or community service.

Money, money, money!

…the money and payout for these types of scholarships is pretty unbelievable. Most of these academic scholarships pay out almost or all of the tuition required to attend college. Many of these awarded scholarships provide a full-ride tuition, so paying for college when you win a  scholarship like this is usually not a problem.

If you qualify, you need to apply

…you know you qualify for these types of scholarships because teachers, guidance counselors or other mentors should be informing you of these. If you feel that you are pretty successful in these areas, please consult your counselor, or a close teacher.  These awarded scholarships provide a great financial outcome, but this can also be a very prestigious experience for you. Most of these scholarships are highly regarded and many employers consider these types of awards when hiring.

3. Average Academic Performance Scholarships

Academic scholarships are typically considered as the only ones. That is why there is so much money that is never awarded every year because people just don’t apply. Apply, apply, apply is what I say! Don’t apply, just to apply. Make sure you are qualified, but the general perception is that grades always seem to matter, but they don’t in many cases.

There are average academic scholarships for other areas of performance like leadership/extracurricular, community service and even what they require in an application such as a portfolio or an essay. These scholarships do not necessarily focus on grades, even though some might have a minimum GPA requirement. A lot of these scholarships can be offered through your school’s guidance department, athletic departments and even business/nursing departments, as an example.

These types of scholarships focus on you submitting information to prove your leadership or involvement. They usually require an essay or some form of portfolio to show work that you’ve done. Usually these scholarships are not as much money in awards, but some could be full-ride tuition scholarships.

4. Scholarships for Women

As with the scholarships for minorities below, there are also scholarships specifically for women. For so many years colleges were primarily men and scholarships followed suit. But nowadays there are scholarships specifically for career-minded women attending college. Do a Google search here as well to check out any “Scholarships for Women.”

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5. Creative Scholarships

For those artistic at heart, there are creative scholarships available to help you pursue your passion. Art scholarships, music scholarships and even dance scholarships usually involve an audition of some sort, and can help you get through art school or an art program at a university. Regardless of your creative field, you can rest assured that there is a scholarship out there just for you. However, it is your job to find it and to apply!

6. Unusual Scholarships

Wacky, crazy and weird scholarships are a lot of fun and a great way to be creative and get some cash while you’re at it. Check out my post on this subject. It will provide you with more detail. Some of these are very easy and some of them take some work. 🙂 Unusual is always fun!

7. Scholarships for Minorities

This one is pretty simple to understand as it focuses specifically targeting minority groups. Many colleges and universities are really looking to build their international diversity on campus, so this is a great way for you to take advantage of the financial assistance available based on minority status.  Some of these are general and for all minorities as a collective whole, while others are catered to individual ethnic groups. It is a good idea to search for “minority scholarships” AND specific scholarships based on your ethnicity. Furthermore, applying through (there are others) is a great resource to create your own profile, so they can search for you! It is also a good idea to apply for a minority scholarship if you are part of fully of a certain ethnicity.

Check out MOLIS which is the Minority On-Line Information Service which also has minority scholarship opportunities listed. It’s a general minority online service, but it has scholarship opportunities that you can apply for from that site.

8. Community Service Scholarships

Are you a giver?

Do you volunteer a lot?

Well, brag about it! Community service scholarships are fantastic for those that love to give to others and give back to their communities. If you are involved in any sort of program, community service and in any volunteer/giving capacity, check with those in charge about ANY scholarships, grants or work-study programs available that can help you to pay for college.

9. Miscellaneous Scholarships

Regardless of the type of scholarships you pursue, know that there is something out there for everyone. No matter your grades, your interests or your background, you can and will be able to pay for college with a bit of effort.

Are you working at Burger King, McDonald’s or some other large company, but at the retail level? Check with your boss about any scholarship that corporate headquarters is offering. How about Athletics? Theatre? Business? Nursing? Criminal Justice? Engineering? Archaeology? etc, etc. My point with this is that there are scholarships for all the everything elses.

You have to do some searching and questioning about these on your own. They don’t just fall into your lap. Check with Guidance, teachers, your boss, Pastor, your mom and dad’s boss to find out what is offered. Check with your colleges admissions or specific departments to see what they know about with regard to these kinds of various scholarships.

Your Success is My Success

Keith Lipke

Keith Lipke is a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at    The Career Closet. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people along their journey who need it upon their search for the right career.

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