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 3 Types of Scholarships to Help You Pay for College

A lot of students look to scholarships to help off-set some of their college tuition costs. But what you might not know is that different types of scholarships are available to you, and you have a better chance of winning certain types. In our next report, TKN reporter Ava speaks to an expert about three kinds of scholarships you need to have on your radar when applying to college:

Now, let’s get into some amazing scholarship opportunities.

Top Scholarships for Minority Students

American Indian College Fund

The American Indian College Fund issues Full Circle and Tribal College scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native college students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students can qualify for the awards if they’re attending a tribal college, nonprofit school or accredited university.

Award amounts vary, but students must be enrolled in school full-time, and be a member or descendent of a state or federally recognized tribe with at least a 2.0 GPA.

American Meteorological Society (AMS) Minority Scholarship

Geared towards groups that have been historically underrepresented in the sciences— especially Hispanic, Native American and Black students—the AMS Minority Scholarship awards $6,000 to students entering their first year of college. Awardees receive the funds over the first two years of college.

The application process requires a completed application form, high school transcripts and a letter of recommendation. Applicants must also be interested in a career in atmospheric, oceanic or hydrologic sciences.

Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholars (APIA) Scholarship Program

APIA’s scholarships range in value from a one-time $2,500 prize to a $20,000 multi-year award. The scholarships are available to Asian and Pacific Islander students that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Live at or near the poverty level
  • Are the first in their families to attend college
  • Have a demonstrated focus on community service and leadership
  • Are U.S. citizens or permanent residents (citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are also eligible)
  • Students must complete the FAFSA by early April

To apply, you’ll need to submit an application, a short essay and a letter of recommendation. Finalists may be required to submit additional documents.

La Unidad Latina Foundation

La Unidad Latina Foundation issues scholarships to undergraduate and graduate Latino students. Awards range from $500 to $2,000 to help students complete their education. Students should have strong GPAs, be enrolled in an eligible four-year school, and submit transcripts and letters of recommendation.

National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) Pathway Scholarship

The NACME Pathway Scholarship is for first-year college students majoring in engineering or computer science. The scholarship provides up to $5,000 per student for the first year, and is renewable for at least $2,500 per year until graduation as long as the student meets GPA requirements as a full-time student. Winners are also eligible for potential internships hosted by the sponsoring company.

To qualify for a NACME scholarship, students must be a high school senior applying to an engineering or computer science program at a NACME-partner institution. NACME’s mission is to increase representation of Black, Hispanic and Native American students.

National Press Club’s Scholarship for Journalism Diversity

The National Press Club’s Scholarship for Journalism Diversity was created in honor of Julie Schoo, who served as the executive director of the National Press Club for more than 30 years. The scholarship is designed to encourage diversity in journalism, and it gives winning students a $5,000 scholarship. The award is renewable for up to three years.

To qualify, students must be in high school and intend to pursue a career in journalism. Students must submit an essay, writing samples, letters of recommendation and high school transcripts.

National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) Diversity Scholarship

The NSHSS Diversity Scholarship is for rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school. Eligible students can get up to $2,000 to pay for their education. To qualify, students must complete an essay on diversity and inclusion, submit their resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation and photos or videos of their diversity activities in action.

The Gates Scholarship

The Gates Scholarship is one of the top scholarships for minorities in STEM—science, engineering, technology and mathematics. It’s a last-dollar financial aid award for minority high school seniors from low-income households. It’s designed to cover the full cost of attendance that isn’t covered by other financial aid, such as Pell Grants and institutional awards.

To qualify, students must be eligible for a federal Pell Grant and identify as Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander or Hispanic. The scholarship is awarded to 300 students annually.

Visa Black Scholars and Jobs Program

The Visa Black Scholars and Job Program is for Black high school seniors who intend to study business or technology at a four-year college. Offered in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, scholarship recipients are selected based on financial need. Scholarship recipients will receive up to $20,000 per year, and the award can be renewed for the duration of their college careers.

In addition, the selected students will also get mentorship from Visa employees, professional development training and opportunities to grow their leadership skills. If they meet the program commitments and Visa job requirements, they are guaranteed a full-time job with Visa upon graduating from college.

To apply, students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, have a demonstrated financial need and participate in all program activities.

​​The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship program is for students that are U.S. immigrants or the children of immigrants. You must be 30 years old or younger and enrolled in graduate school to be eligible. The scholarship is open to all fields of study, and pays up to 50% of tuition and fees, up to a maximum of $10,000 per semester.

Top Merit Scholarships

Buick Achievers Scholarship

Financial Award: Up to $25,000

Number of Recipients: 50

This award was established by the General Motors Foundation. It provides renewable scholarships for students who want to study engineering, technology, and other related subjects. This merit-based scholarship requires applicants to have academic excellence and leadership potential. Financial need is also taken into consideration.

Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Financial Award: $20,000

Number of Recipients: 150

Coca-Cola provides scholarships to students based on their academic records, volunteer work, and leadership skills. All applicants must plan to attend an accredited college in the U.S. Among all the applicants, only 2,000 are named semifinalists, and 250 become finalists. There is then an intense interview process, after which 150 winners are named. The remaining finalists each get a $1,000 scholarship. 

Gates Millennium Scholars Program

Financial Award: Varies

Number of Recipients: 1,000

Bill and Melinda Gates started the Gates Millennium Scholars Program for “outstanding minority students with significant financial need.” The scholarships are for students interested in disciplines such as computer science, engineering, and mathematics. If any of these scholars want to continue to graduate school, they are awarded scholarships for that, as well. The award is renewable, and the amount varies based on need. 

Dell Scholars 

Financial Award: $20,000

Number of Recipients: 500

Dell Scholars offers funding for tuition. In addition, scholarship recipients get a new laptop and money for college textbooks, as well as individual support for handling the challenges of college and an extensive resource network. All applicants must be eligible for the Pell Grant, a federal fund for all undergraduates. Pell Grants are based on family household income. 

Foot Locker Scholarship 

Financial Award: $20,000, dispersed as $5,000 per year

Number of Recipients: 20

Foot Locker offers a four-year scholarship for athletes with high GPAs. The award amount is $20,000 spread out over four years, so you don’t have to renew each year. There is an additional award, the Ken C. Hicks scholarship, given to one of the 20 finalists. The athlete selected for this scholarship receives an additional $5,000. The award is only for high school seniors who want to attend a four-year college.  

National Merit Scholarship Program

Financial Award: Varies, but $2,500 for National Merit

Number of Recipients: Approximately 7,600

The National Merit Scholarship is based on PSAT/NMSQT scores. Around 16,000 students with the highest scores in all 50 states are named semifinalists. These students then receive scholarship application packets and must meet certain academic requirements to advance to the finalist level. Winners are then chosen based on accomplishments and skills. The three types of scholarships available are the National Merit, corporate-sponsored awards (often for children of employees), and college-sponsored awards for students accepted into a given school. 

Barry Goldwater Scholarship 

Financial Award: Up to $7,500

Number of Recipients: Around 400

Barry Goldwater was an Arizona senator and the Republican nominee for president in 1964. The scholarship was created to honor his memory and his commitment to public service. The award is for college sophomores and juniors who want careers in disciplines such as natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

Financial Award: Up to $7,000

Number of Recipients: 55

The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation was named after two brothers, both of who served in the House of Representatives of Arizona. The foundation offers three types of scholarships for college sophomores and juniors. Two are only for Native Americans and Alaska Natives interested in Native health care and/or tribal policy. The third is open to any college sophomores and juniors interested in a career in conservation or the environment. 

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