Different Types of Scholarships in the U.S.

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Most college students do not have the means to pay for college on their own. Thus, they are forced to seek out financial aid to help them get through school. If you are a high school senior or college student looking for a way to cover your educational expenses, you may want to learn about the different types of scholarships available in the United States. Understanding your options will give you the best chance at getting through school free of debt. Here is a simple overview of typical scholarships in the U.S.

Merit Scholarship

Merit based scholarship are issued to students with high GPAs and test scores. The requirements for these scholarships will depend on the committee offering them, but most will require at least a “B” average. If you have striven to do well in school for years on end, these scholarships could reward you for all of your hard work.

Need Based 

Need based are designed to help students who come from low income families. Some of these are based on academic merit as well, but most of them focus on a student’s abilities to pay for schooling on his or her own. If you come from a family with a low household income, you may qualify for several of these scholarships in the U.S.


Minority are made for students who represent a minority in college, usually referring to race or gender. If you are black, Hispanic, Asian, female, or older than a traditional college student, you could qualify for financial aid because of the unique perspective you bring to the educational world. The specifics of each minority scholarship will depend on the organization issuing it, so look around for awards related to your situation.


State scholarships are meant to encourage students to attend school in a certain state. For instance, let’s assume that you live in Oklahoma. You may be able to get a state scholarship from the government that can be used at Oklahoma University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Christian University, or any other school within the state’s border. Some of these scholarships require applicants to be residents of the state before applying, and others merely require students to attend college within the state. You will have to explore your options to see which one is right for you.


Disability scholarships are meant to help students who have physical or mental disabilities. If you are wheelchair-bound, dyslexic, blind, deaf, cancer-ridden, paralyzed, or disabled in any way, you could still get money to help you pay for college. You just have to look for solutions that relate to the specific disability you have.

There are plenty of other scholarship opportunities to look into. You just have to explore your options on the internet and in your local community. With the right amount of effort, you should have no trouble finding enough money to pay for your college education.

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