Unlike loans, neither scholarships nor grants have to be repaid, except perhaps by way of a service commitment (in the case of some scholarships, such as those the military provides).
There are many kinds of scholarships for those in financial need, at the federal, state and college level.
In addition to needs-based scholarships, there are a smaller number based on merit-based scholarships, anything from notable academic, artistic or sporting prowess, to the right affiliations.
Types of Available Scholarships
- See those provided by WCSU with some additional information and dollar amounts here. You may even want to see if there are any awards offered by a workplace of one of your parents, a church, or some other organization/affiliation of yours. Some awards may be automatic, but there are others for which you may have to apply.
- State merit scholarships. Connecticut’s include: AFS-HACU Scholarships for Hispanics; Capitol Scholarship Program; Connecticut Army National Guard (100% of tuition); Minority Teacher Incentive Program.
- National Scholarship Competitions, e.g. the Coca Cola Scholarship.
- Military/ROTC. See the Military Aid section of WCSU Your Money.
- Community Scholarships, e.g. The American Legion or Lion’s Club. Note: High school counselors are often attuned to these scholarships. Be certain to ask about grants that match your demographic, skill set, or carer goals. As Peterson’s annual guide points out, even at $500 apiece these grants can add up.
Where to Find Them
- Web sites: Search for free at FastWeb, said to be the Internet’s leading scholarship search service; College Scholarships; The College Board; Education Grant; and FinAid.
- Directories, e.g. “Peterson’s Scholarships, Grants & Prizes,” which details more than 4,000 such grants.
Grants from the Federal Government, all needs based:
- Pell Grants — up to $5,500*
- FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) — up to $4,000*
- FWS: Federal Work Study program – no earnings cap from these part-time jobs
*Yearly limit for 2012