The US has a notorious reputation when it comes to student debt. Without getting into whether college education should be free, cheaper or entirely nationalized, it’s important to recognize that there is still some help out there for students. This article will cover some of the best college scholarships and grants in the USA.
Before starting though, it’s important to distinguish that there is merit-based aid and need-based aid, as well as aid for women, career-specific and college-specific aid, and finally aid for minorities. As evident by their self-described titles, let’s not go into defining each one but instead see what ones actually exist (and that can be of great help!).
Pell Grants are a huge help for many American students. They’re a classic example of need-based, as they target students who have a total family income of below $25,000. Despite this, it’s worth looking into even if your situation is slightly outside of this, as you may still qualify. The grant in 2018 was just shy of $6,000, which is a very helpful amount.
Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers is aimed at increasing the number of women in engineering, a STEM subject, that has historically been underrepresented by females. In a bid for greater equality, the society awarded 230 scholarships in 2016, adding up to $750,000 in total funding.
Center for Women in Technology
This one serves a similar purpose and is certainly worth looking into when looking to study technology as a woman. An application could receive between $5,000 and $20,000 in funding, each year, for a total of four years. This can be life-changing, allowing more women the opportunity to afford college and acquire a STEM subject degree for the sake of their career.
ABA Diversity Scholarship
The ABA Diversity Scholarship is aimed at those coming from a traditionally underrepresented group, who are in the management and transportation/tourism industry. Candidates can receive $5,000 in scholarship funding, but must have completed their first year and have a GPA of over 3.0. Applications involve a 500-word essay, which will describe how they will play a role in spearheading the future of transportation, travel or tourism industry.
Amazon scholarship program
Online retail behemoth Amazon are taking in applications for its Future Engineer Scholarship Program. 100 current seniors at high school will have the opportunity to receive $40,000 to study computer science. This student will also receive a guaranteed paid internship at Amazon after completing their first year. Not only is this a great amount of money, but the student is then given a foot in the door at Amazon – a chance to build a relationship from the offset.
The eQuality scholarship collaborative awards are designed to encourage Californian students who are included in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community of LGBT. The scholarship is of $6,000, and is open to applications of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
John Lennon Scholarships
And the award for the most rock star scholarship goes to the John Lennon one, which aims to provide the three winners of a songwriting and composing contest who submit the best original song. Each of the three winners will get $20,000 each, and the applicant must be between 17 and 24. The submitted song must have no rights at publishers.
BSU Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship
Likewise, there’s also a David Letterman scholarship. Letterman has been behind this Scholarship program since the mid-1980s, when he deposited $90,000 in the Ball State Foundation. This scholarship aims to support Ball State majors in telecommunications. Applicants must have between 30 and 105 semester hours, be full time and be a Ball State telecommunications major.
Augustana College Athletic Fund
This athletic fund is merely representative of the many individual college scholarships that are aimed at providing financial support to students who perform exceptionally well in a sport. This particular one, students must be enrolled at Augustana College and average at least a 3.0 GPA. Outstanding athletes will be considered to receive funding, which can vary in its amount on a case-by-case basis.
Mike Lozano Scholarship
This fund was established in 2013 by the family of Coach Lozano. The annual scholarship (students can receive $2,500) is given to an athlete from the northern 26 counties in the Texas Panhandle. A lower than usual GPA is needed (2.0) and they must be pursuing a career in education or coaching.
Foot Locker Foundation
Foot Locker, for 9 years in a row is offering a $20,000 scholarship funding opportunity for when pursuing a 4-year degree. This is a very transactional scholarship, with Foot Locker appreciating the custom of college sports in helping them grow as a company. One of the 20 winners will also receive a $5,000 in addition to the 20k, for outstanding educational achievement.
ScholarshipPoints $10,000 Scholarship
For many, the fierce competition and high expectations of educational achievement (and thereby being awarded scholarships) is all too much. ScholarshipPoints are offering a break from this pressure with their scholarship. $10,000 can be one for a lucky winner, which is merely signing up and entering. There’s no 500-word essay about your aspirations and no GPA requirements. Sheer luck and a bit of fun makes this an interesting and no-lose opportunity.
Is there a lack of funding?
This list only scratches the surface. There are tons of scholarships out there. What you may have noticed though is that these all seem to be private foundations. Nothing wrong with that, transactional (or sheer charitable) private work is one of the great shining lights of society.
It is, however, a concern surrounding the lack of US government funding though. There’s always room for debate around equality and “socialist funding”, but one thing that is usually commonly accepted is the phrase “equality of opportunity”. So long as everyone has the chance to succeed. Only, they don’t, because college is extremely expensive. The US government needs to really keep up with the increasing amount of college students, and the increasing importance of acquiring a degree in this future “intelligence economy”, where programming, math, and critical thinking will become even more relied upon.
Funding education is the ultimate supply-side policy. It’s not the policy that wins you elections, and it doesn’t fit results quick enough to fit within the 4-year term results paradigm, but it is necessary for the future economy of the US.