Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are the types of financial aid which do not come with the obligation to return anything back to the awarding body. Therefore, they are good option for anyone in search of funds to pay for their education.


Scholarships are offered by the federal government, organizations, and companies. Winners of these awards are required to maintain a certain level of performance. The criteria for both government and non-government scholarships vary from program to program; so does the amount awarded to students. Some scholarships cover the student’s tuition fees and other expenses, while others may not provide full coverage.

Types of Scholarships

Here are some of the scholarships that are available.

Merit-based Scholarships: There are three types of merit-based scholarships that students can win depending on eligibility. These include scholarships awarded on academic merit, athletic merit, and artistic merit.

Minority Scholarships: Minority scholarships are awarded to different minority groups, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and Filipino. Some of the awarding bodies include the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Helen and L.S. Wong Memorial Scholarship, and Human Capital Scholarship.

Mom and Dad Scholarships

Single moms can find scholarships that are specially designed for them. There a scholarships available for men as well (especially for dads).

Unusual Scholarships

There are a many unusual scholarships on offer as well. These include left-handed scholarship (offered by the Juniata College to its students); last name scholarship (such as last name ‘Zolp’ scholarship), height scholarship (for both tall and short students), etc.


The government offers the Pell Grant, which, unlike student loans, doesn’t have to be repaid; and, unlike scholarships, doesn’t require you to maintain a certain level of performance. Pell Grants are usually available to undergraduate students who don’t have a bachelor’s or a professional degree (which is generally obtained after a bachelor’s degree in a specifc field, such as law or medicine). In some cases, a Pell Grant may be available to people interested in attending a post-baccalaureate teacher certificate program.

Pell Grants normally serve as foundation of financial assistance, and often determine your eligibility for other grant programs run by the federal authorities such as the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).


If your family has a total income of up to $50,000, you may be eligible for the need-based funding, though most of the Pell Grant money is awarded to students who have a total family income of less than $20,000.

Scholarships and grants provide students the opportunity to study further without the condition of returning back the awarded money.

How to Get a Federal Scholarship

Along with the universities, corporations, and philanthropic organizations, the federal government also provides scholarships to deserving students.

Types of Federal Scholarships

Like other scholarships, the criteria for a federal scholarship vary and can include anything from financial need to a student’s chosen subject. The amount you will get with this scholarship varies as well, and can range up to the full amount of your tuition and other fees. You may or may not be able to renew a federal scholarship, depending on the award. Some of these scholarships are awarded by your academic institution, while others are awarded by a federal agency or a partner organization of the federal government.

Federal scholarships are usually provided by federal agencies, such as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institutes of Health. A lot of these scholarships are provided specifically to students in high-need fields or to students doing coursework that has particular relevance to a particular federal agency. A lot of major-specific awards feature either a fellowship/internship or an employment agreement with the awarding agency.

Applying for a Federal Scholarship

You can apply for federal aid by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This can be done in two ways: You can do it online by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov or on paper. In some cases, you might be able to submit an application through your school. You should check with the financial aid administrator at the school you are looking to enter to see if it will assist you with the application process.

Federal Scholarship Pointers

Here are some pointers for applying to get a FAFSA scholarship.

1. 1st January is the first day of eligibility to submit your application for FAFSA Scholarship. Make sure that you send your application as close to this date as possible to enhance your chances.

2. Visit the FAFSA website to get detailed information on the application process. The site contains information on all the steps that you need to take to file the FAFSA. This will minimize any issues that could hold up your scholarship application.

3. Schools may require you to provide additional forms, past documentation regarding your financial history, tax returns, or institutional financial assistance forms. Try to get as much of this information ready for submission as possible.

A federal scholarship can help you pay the tuition fees and other expenses related to your education. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider it along with other scholarships that you may be eligible for.

Scholarships for Left-handed Students

The fact that you are left-handed can help you win a scholarship. Scholarships for left-handed students are offered by Pennsylvania’s Juniata College to studious southpaws through The Frederick and Mary F Buckley Scholarship program which was established in 1979. More than 40 students have been awarded this scholarship since then.

Selection Criteria

This grant is exclusively available to left-handed students who have been studying in Juniata College for at least an year and demonstrate financial need. You can request the college to provide you an application form for the scholarship, and upon its submission, you will be asked if you are left-handed. It is available to juniors, seniors and sophomores. Although the committee responsible for screening you will not strictly check if your claim is right or not, it will be best to provide references who can testify that you are indeed left-handed.  Good academic record and excellent leadership skills are other requirements. Generally, you will be required to have a grade point average of at least 3.39 – better if you are on the top of your class.

Grant Amount

The money provided through this program ranges from $1,000 to $1,500. It covers tution fees, and allowances (transpiration, dormitory, book, and food).

Tips To Get the Scholarship

The scholarship program gives a lot of importance to your leadership skills. Therefore, you should develop and improve this aspect of your personality before applying. Leadership is not learnt overnight. You should learn from experiences and train to become a leader.

It is said that a good leader is a good follower. Thus, to become a leader you should first become a follower. As a follower, think of ways to contribute to the group(s) that you join and how you can motivate others.

Eventually, you will feel that you are raising yourself to a level worthy of becoming a leader. As a leader, you will have to be sensitive to the feelings of other members. You should always consider their opinion and provide them opportunities to express their feelings.

Juniata Scholarship—A Love Story

The story behind Juniata’s scholarship for left-handed students is at its center a love story. In 1919, Mary Francis, a student taking a tennis class, was paired with Frederick Beckley, another student. The Beckleys were married in 1924.

Scholarships for left-handed students are an opportunity for junior, seniors and sophomores attending the Juniata College to pay for their tuition fees and other expenses. For more information about this program, visit the college website.

Scholarships for Adults

When we talk of scholarships for adults, we want to know about the scholarship opportunities that are available for the people who have been away from studies for a long time and want to make a comeback. There are a number of things that make the acquisition of an adult scholarship quite an ordeal. Firstly, most adults have jobs with decent salaries. As a result most adults are disqualified from need based scholarships. Secondly, most adults are also disqualified for scholarships for full time students because they cannot afford to get enrolled as full time students. Lastly, many scholarship opportunities are simply not adult student friendly by giving preference to younger students.

So is it all futile to look for scholarships for adults? The answer is that it is harder but not impossible. Adult students should search for scholarships offered by employers, associations, organizations, universities, etc that are meant to encourage or support the adult students.

Employers often financially support the study effort of their employees. This is in the direct interest of the company and the employee. Adult students should first find out whether their employer has anything to offer. Some employers will be offering money outright to the employees and others offer reimbursements to the employees. The amount of financial assistance can also vary depending upon the experience, job position, value, etc of the employee.

Adults who are members of professional organizations can be offered financial assistance from the organization. This is usually the case when organizations want to further their specific goals and objectives through educating their members. This also applies to national level scholarships. The government also supports the education of the adult members of the society because it could have numerous beneficial effects. An example of a government supported scholarship for adults is the Talbots Women scholarship fund which offers 5 scholarships worth $10,000 and 50 scholarships worth $1,000 to adult women returning to college.

The last option could be visiting one’s college or university to find out if it offers financial assistance to adult students. It is true that most of the opportunities that the educational institutions have to offer are for younger students but it is still worth giving a try. In fact many institutions do offer financial assistance to adult students. Examples include the University of Wisconsin and the Winston-Salem State University.

Education is the right of all without and with a little help from scholarships for adults; the elderly can easily exercise this right.

Filipino Scholarships

Education is considered valuable in the Filipino community. Most Filipinos work in the healthcare industry with nursing being one of the top professions they choose. Several organizations offer Filipino scholarships to support bright students who need the financial assistance. Here are few of these scholarships.

Banatao Family Filipino American Education Fund

The fund has five scholarships, each worth $5,000 for Filipino American California residents pursuing a career in engineering to attend four-year colleges or universities. They provide scholarships for SAT preparation courses and college admissions counseling as well.

Filipino American Human Services, Inc Scholarship

The FAHSI College Scholarship Program, also called the Frederick and Demi Seguritan Scholarship, provides each winner a renewable award of $5,000 per year for four years. The winner (one person) of this scholarship is a Filipino/Filipino American graduating high school senior who shows a passion for business and serving the Filipino community.

Filipino Bar Association of Northern California Legal Scholarship

This scholarship is for law students who want to serve the Filipino American community. 1 to 3 scholarships of $1,000 to $2,500 are offered every year.

Lapiz Family Scholarship

This scholarship is for University of California students who are farm workers or children of farm or migrant workers.

Maria Elena Yuchengco Memorial Journalism Scholarship

Filipino American students who are interested in studying journalism at any U.S. college or university can apply for this scholarship.

Helen and L.S. Wong Memorial Scholarship

High school students of Asian heritage belonging to the Fairfield and Suisun high school can apply for this award.

Human Capital Scholarship

This scholarship is offered to first-generation University of California students who belong to underrepresented groups.

Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Scholarship

This scholarship is designed for you If you are a current full-time undergraduate or graduate student who is working or has worked at a restaurant that is owned by an Asian or serves Asian cuisine, or if at least one of your parents has worked or is working in such a restaurant.

This fund is for summer internships for supporting an undergraduate student studying at Yale and working at a non-profit organization that serves an Asian community in the US.

Hawaii Filipino Community Foundation Scholarships

Here are some these foundation scholarships:

  • Ambassador Minerva Jean Falcon Hawaii Scholarship.
  • Filipino Nurses’ Organization of Hawai‘i Scholarship.
  • Philippine Cultural Foundation of Hawai‘i Scholarship Fund.

There are many sources for finding Filipino scholarships. Search online to find more information about the opportunities.

Scholarships for Private Schools-A Better Chance Scholarship for People of Color

There are several scholarships for private schools that students can avail. A Better Chance has been awarding such scholarships to people of color since 1963. They place about 500 new students each year, and provide assistance to more than 1,900 students who are currently enrolled in their Member Schools across the US.

A Better Chance provides students in grades 6 to 12 access to rigorous and prestigious educational opportunities. Their aim is to considerably increase the number of well-educated young people of color who have the ability to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.

Over the years, the organization has claimed over 12,000 A Better Chance Alumni who took advantage of the opportunity provided to them and made it to leadership positions in all sectors of industry, arts, and science.

Last year in fall, the organization was able to place 517 scholars and leverage more than $6.5 million in financial aid from their Member Schools for supporting these new students. As a current scholars, you can also go to a series of Career and Workforce Development Workshops, travel to other countries to take part in 3 to 5 week study abroad trips, and be involved in many other activities  designed for enriching your overall experience with the program.

Selection Criteria

Usually those students are selected who:

1) Show their performance at or above grade level in English and Mathematics on a consistent basis.

2) Have an overall B+ or better.

3) Mentioned in the top 10% of the class.

You should be a citizen or permanent resident of US to be eligible for the scholarship.

It is mandatory for students to take standardized tests. No score cut-offs are in effect, however, your performance in the tests is used to assess how academically strong you are along with the school transcripts, extracurricular activities and personal qualities. Upon selection, you will be sent to one of the member schools. The admission committees of each member school are responsible for making the final decisions on admissions.

In order to maximize your chances of winning the scholarship, you should get started early; submitting your application late severely limits your chances. Further, the application process starts one year in advance of enrollment. For example, if you’re in the 7th grade at present, you would be applying for the 8th grade.

Scholarships for private schools offered by A Better Chance give students the opportunity to develop themselves and become leaders.

Information for People Looking to Apply for HOPE Scholarship

The HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) is Georgia’s unique and nationally recognized program to help its students succeed. You can apply for HOPE scholarship to study in a public technical college or an eligible public or private college or universities in Georgia. Georgia Lottery for Education funds the program.

If you are a Georgia resident, who is attending a Georgia public technical college to earn a certificate or diploma, you are eligible for a HOPE Grant regardless of your high school graduation date and grade average. You may receive the award for an unlimited number of programs that are in accordance with the guidelines.

Enrolling as a full-time student is not mandatory, but you must be making satisfactory academic progress to stay eligible. Maintaining a ‘B’ average is not required for renewing the grant.

HOPE Grant Awards:

The grant covers your tuition fees, HOPE-approved mandatory fees, and up to $100 per quarter as book allowance.

The HOPE Scholarship for Recent High School Graduates

The eligibility requirements for recent high school graduates looking to get a HOPE Scholarship for a degree program at a technical college are the same as students looking to get a degree at one of Georgia’s public or private colleges or universities. The criteria for a first-year student are as follows:

You must be a legal resident of Georgia; must have graduated from an eligible high school in 1993 or later; must have a high school grade average of ‘B’.

Year 2000 and later high school graduates will need to earn a ‘B’ average in their core-curriculum subjects. For more details of the core-curriculum requirements, check with your high school guidance counselor.

The HOPE Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students

High school graduates, who graduated prior to 1993, may be able to apply for a HOPE scholarship for a degree program at a technical college. The eligibility requirements are as follows:

You must be a legal resident of Georgia; your HOPE cumulative grade point average must be 3.0 after the quarter in which you attempted 45 hours of degree credit. [Your eligibility is determined taking into account all your attempted degree credit and coursework converted to degree credit after you graduated from high school.]; you must not have a baccalaureate (four-year) degree or have attempted over 190 quarter hours (127 semester hours) of college credit.

You can apply for HOPE scholarship by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the HOPE Scholarship and Grant Application. An e-HOPE (online) application for the scholarship is available at  GSFC.org

Union Scholarships-Union Scholarship Program

The Union Plus Scholarship Program has been awarding scholarships to union members and their families since 1992. It has given away more than $3 million in union scholarships to students who want to begin or continue their education at the post-secondary level. More than 1,900 families have benefited from these awards. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation.

In 2010, some 121 union members and union family members have been awarded $150,000 in scholarships, ranging from $500 to $4,000.

The students who won the Union Plus Scholarship for studying in the different institutions (university, college, trade school or technical school) have different backgrounds, union affiliations, accomplishments and goals. This is a very competitive scholarship, as the program receives more than 5,000 applications each year.

Evaluation Criteria:

The scholarship can be won by anyone attending or looking to attend a college or university, a community college, or a technical college or trade school.

The evaluation process involves assessment of the student’s academic ability, financial need, social awareness and appreciation of labor.

A committee of impartial post secondary educators judges the scholarship applicants. In the first stage, a panel of independent career professionals reviews the applicants. They choose the semi-finalists on the basis of a point scale. The applications of the semi-finalists are then provided to judges who decide the finalists and winners.

If you want to receive a confirmation of receipt of your application, you may send a stamped postcard with your address, along with your application.

The judges’ panel includes representatives from the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the United Negro College Fund, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Scholarship Award Amounts:

Union Plus Scholarship Program provides awards ranging from $500 to $4,000. The award money is sent to successful candidates in one installment for study beginning in the fall of that year.

Notification to Winners:

If you win the scholarship, you will be notified on May 31by mail. You should receive your award letter within the first two weeks of June. Union Plus will not offer you any advice regarding the status of your application.

You should remember that the union scholarships offered by the Union Plus Scholarship program are very competitive. Union plus receives a number of outstanding applications each year, so you may not be able to win even if you have a stellar background.

Scholarships for Service

The Scholarship for service program is a unique opportunity for students to acquire some scholarship money in exchange for service in the federal government for a time period equivalent to the duration of the scholarship. This program is offered collectively by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security. This program also enables federal agencies to select highly qualified and competent employees for permanent positions and internships.

The scholarship can cover all or partial expenses of room, board, tuition, books, etc. The students also receive a stipend which could be for example up to $12,000 for graduate students. The students are required to serve in a federal institution for the same length of time that they received the scholarship.

To be eligible for the scholarship the candidate must be a permanent resident of the United States and also eligible for federal employment. The candidate must also be a full time bachelor’s, masters or doctorate student at an NSF designated institution. The candidate is also required to complete the degree on time. The candidate may also be required to complete a summer internship with a participating federal agency.

In the event that a student fails to complete the full period of the employment or the scholarship itself, the student will be required to return a prescribed amount of money equivalent to the time not served. For example a candidate who has served six months less than his required time will have to return 25% of the scholarship money. The federal agencies immediately report such incidents to the scholarship for service program office which take the necessary actions immediately.

Examples include two programs offered by the Carnegie Mellon University which meet the SFS criteria. These include a MS in information security technology management and a MS in information security policy and management.

The selected candidates are also expected to participate in some extra-curricular activities. They should attend the annual SFS job fair held in Washington DC in January. They should also attend lectures, symposia, etc arranged by the SFS.

With a little commitment and perseverance, any student can opt for a scholarship for service program. Sometimes it can also be desirable to be able to serve in a federal organization after the completion of the studies. The candidates must make sure that they will be able to fulfill their commitment at the end of the scholarship period.

Scholarships for Men

Scholarships for men were not a very common thing in the past, but times have changed. Now, there are many such scholarships, offered by schools and programs.

Joining school may seem like a tough thing to do for men who have started their families and have children, particularly those who have been working for a long time. However, learning extra skills or getting a new degree can bring about changes in their job.

The education can help you get a part time job or a promotion. The scholarships can help you pay for your education, but you may find it difficult to manage job and studies together. In this situation, you can take night classes or online classes. Many schools offer these so that men can manage both work and study.

You can search for these scholarships on the internet or by contacting your local colleges. Searching online for scholarships within your state will save you the trouble. Majority of schools specify which courses have scholarships – some allow you to apply for a scholarship with all courses, while others provide scholarships with certain courses. These include computer related and nursing courses, which can help you get a higher salary after graduating.

What do these scholarships cover? First, majority of programs provide enough money to cover tuition fees, books, and other expenses related to your education. With some programs, you will even get an allowance, which can enable you to study without worrying about getting a second job. The purpose of these scholarships is to improve the lifestyles of students and enable them to become financially independent by getting a better job than the one they are currently doing.

There are several sites where you can find scholarships for men. These sites specialize in such scholarships and say that anyone can apply. To access the related information, you will have to register online. This includes the courses you are interested in taking and if these are available online. The sites also say that there is no GPA requirement. With some of the scholarships for men, you get $10,000. These scholarships are particularly offered to dads who are looking to improve themselves or explore other possibilities.

Scholarships for men are a good opportunity for dads and all men who want to improve their quality of life. When applying, make sure that you follow the instructions provided to maximize your chances of winning a scholarship.