Scholarships can help you through college: Take the first step in the scholarship process

When someone mentions “college scholarships,” many people immediately think of football, basketball or some other type of sports scholarship. You may also think of academic scholarships.

In both cases, you are right. College scholarships are awarded to students based on merit as well as need, and the money doesn’t have to be repaid.

Merit-based scholarships go to students who are superb academic or athletic performers. For example, the National Merit Scholarship is a competitive scholarship given to students on a merit basis. This scholarship can be subjective and sometimes the best-qualified student may not always win. The same goes for athletic merit scholarships.

Need-based scholarships go to students who cannot afford to attend a college where they have been accepted. You can receive this type of scholarship at many schools. The money can be quite large depending on the financial-aid resources of a particular college as well as your financial need.

There is another type of college scholarship called specialty scholarships. Most colleges have a special group of awards that are usually provided by graduates of the school. This type of college scholarship gives money to first year students according to unique considerations.

For example, church-affiliated colleges may have some specially endowed scholarships for young men and women who are members of that denomination. Other specialty awards might go to students from certain geographic areas. Be aware that these types of specialty scholarships may have a variety of requirements and restrictions.

The first step in the scholarship process is to gather as much information and knowledge as possible. Review the different types of scholarships available to you and then decide which scholarships are the best match for your specific needs. 

We're here to help you through this process! Stay tuned for more tips and information on our blog and please post comments so we make sure to cover all your questions. 

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