Various Scholarship Opportunities and Ways to Earn Them


Courtesy to Kiplinger

The image shows a scholarship application that students fill out to earn financial awards for their college tuition.

Tiana Salisbury, Photojournalist

When applying for a college, students also acknowledge the tuition of their school of choice. To avoid student debts from high tuition, many students do their best to find scholarships to reduce the cost of their education. There are many scholarship opportunities that students know about, such as academic scholarships, but there are also a few that not many people know about, such as first-generation students.


One of the most commonly known scholarships for students is for academic achievement. Many of these scholarships can be obtained by high GPAs and grades. An example of this is the National Merit Scholarship Program, where students who perform well on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) will be selected as Semifinalists, and then must meet additional academic standards in order to be considered as a Finalist and receive the $2,500 scholarship.


Another commonly known scholarship is for sports. Student-athletes who excel in a certain sport can receive this scholarship by first selecting a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division to apply for and then following the NCAA scholarship requirements. According to the NCAA, athletes must maintain a 2.3 GPA throughout their high school years in addition to the athletic requirements. Depending on the sport, the average scholarship is worth $8,700, and some sports even offer full-ride scholarships.


A less well-known scholarship opportunity is for first-generation students or students from underrepresented groups. This includes students from low-income backgrounds and minority groups. The Gates Scholarship is an example of this, in which students with the listed ethnicities are eligible to apply for the award. As stated in the Gates Scholarship eligibility requirements, students must plan to obtain a degree at a four-year college and also demonstrate leadership, academic, and personal success throughout their high school years. Annually, 300 students are selected to receive funding for their college tuition, books, and other attendance costs. Similar scholarships include the Questbridge Scholarship, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.


In addition to all the nationwide scholarships, there are also many scholarships that are available to the local area. These opportunities are limited to residents of a certain area, which means less students are applying, and a greater chance of receiving the award. A scholarship program local to Southern California is the Edison Scholarship Program. The program is aimed towards students who wish to pursue careers in technology and engineering. According to the Edison Scholarship Program, 30 students are awarded $40,000 every year to help pursue their careers.


All of the scholarships that were mentioned are just some of the scholarships students can earn. Of course there are many more opportunities that students can find based on their unique interests. Ameerah Hirji (10) explains that “if students do know about the different scholarship opportunities, they will go forward and try to earn them. But, if they do not know about them, they might not try as hard both inside and outside of school.” It is never too early or too late to start applying for scholarships, and one can start today just by making an effort to strive academically.