Scholarship Opportunities High School Students Should Take Advantage Of
College is ridiculously expensive and data indicates that tuition prices are unfortunately increasing. As a result, it’s probably a good idea to start looking at scholarship opportunities in order to alleviate some of the cost of higher education. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a 4.0 student with an abundance of extracurriculars to be considered for a scholarship. In fact, different scholarships have different criteria. Some will completely overlook your grades and evaluate you based on an essay while others, for example, will require you to submit a video. Many awards also cater to students coming from an underrepresented or lower socioeconomic background. You just have to do some research and apply to those which are a good fit for you.
Here, we have compiled a list of several different scholarship opportunities that cater to various different types of high school students. To make things easier, we included the requirements and deadlines.
1: Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) Scholarship Program
Grade: High school seniors and undergraduate students
Intended demographic: Students of Asian background
Deadline: Applications open September 2019 and closes January 2020
This is an amazing opportunity for students of Asian background who are of low socioeconomic status. Although the minimum GPA required is 2.7, potential scholars are mainly judged on 3 mini personal statements and extracurriculars. Awards start at $2500 and numerous scholars are selected.
2: Taco Bell Live Más Scholarship
Grade: High school juniors - graduate students
Intended demographic: ANYONE!
Deadline: February 21, 2019
Taco Bell is giving away over $4 million in scholarship money to 100 students. All you have to do is upload a video that entails your passions in two minutes or less. Also, they won’t judge the quality of the video! All you have to do is be yourself and tell them how this award will benefit your education. The best part is that your grades don’t matter for this scholarship!
3: QuestBridge Prep Scholars and QuestBridge National College Match
Grade: High school juniors and seniors
Intended demographic: High achieving students from a lower socioeconomic background
Deadline: March 20, 2019 (Prep Scholars) and September 2019 (College Match)
QuestBridge is an organization that makes some of the top colleges, such as Harvard, Columbia, and California Institute of Technology, more accessible to underrepresented students. They have a Prep Scholars program for Juniors, where they will mentor students and prepare them for the college admissions process. Furthermore, the National College Match is for seniors and essentially a college application on its own. If you get matched to one of their partnership schools, QuestBridge will cover the cost! Students will be evaluated based on their academics, extracurriculars, essays, and recommendations because this program is competitive, but highly prestigious.
4: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship
Grade: High school seniors
Intended demographic: High achieving students who show financial need
Deadline: Fall 2019
This organization offers up to $40,000 covering tuition, as well advising to their scholars. Although the scholarship evaluates students on various criterias like grades, extracurriculars, essays, letters of recommendations, it’s a wonderful opportunity because winners will receive both financial and academic support. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation also has a scholars program for younger students that prepare them for the college application process.
For some of you, college may be years down the road. However, it’s never too early to make a list of potential scholarships and programs you want to apply to. With thoughtful preparation, anyone can be a scholarship winner!