The following is adapted from Federal Student Aid.
Merit-based scholarships are earned by meeting or exceeding certain standards set by the scholarship-giver. Merit scholarships might be awarded based on academic achievement or on a combination of academics and a special talent, trait, or interest. Other scholarships are based on financial need. Work hard in high school to be eligible.
Many scholarships are geared toward particular groups of people; for instance, there are scholarships for women or high school seniors. And some are available because of where you or your parent work, or because you come from a certain background (for instance, there are scholarships for military families).
A scholarship might cover the entire cost of your tuition, or it might be a one-time award of a few hundred dollars. Either way, it’s worth applying for, because it’ll help reduce the cost of your education.
You can learn about scholarships in several ways, including contacting the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend and checking information in a public library or online. But be careful. Make sure scholarship information and offers you receive are legitimate; and remember that you don’t have to pay to find scholarships or other financial aid. Check out our information on how to avoid scams.