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Top 34 Need Based Scholarships in March 2023
While some scholarships are focused on supporting students based on specific talents or achievements, other scholarships aim to support students who have demonstrated financial need. These need based scholarships sometimes also include a merit or academic component, but will always require students to demonstrate financial need.
If you are a low income student or even a middle income student, you may qualify for one of our top need based awards.
Keep on reading for more information about the specific scholarships, eligibility, and deadlines, as well as a mini-guide on applying for need-based financial aid.
Jump ahead to:
- Top need-based scholarships
- How to win need-based scholarships
- How to apply for need-based aid
- Resources for students with financial need
- Frequently asked questions
- Additional scholarship categories to explore
Top 34 Need Based Scholarships in March 2023
The Scholarships360 Research Team reviews all scholarships individually and strives to exclude any scholarship where any of the below applies:
- The scholarship requires a fee to apply
- The scholarship requires paid membership in an organization (with certain exceptions for reputable trade organizations and others)
- Student are required to sign up for a site or service to apply*
- The scholarship seems primarily used for lead generation** or idea harvesting purposes***
- The scholarship website has many grammatical errors and/or advertisements
- The scholarship or scholarship providing organization seem untrustworthy
- There is no evidence the scholarship was previously awarded
- The scholarship has not been awarded in the past 12 months
- There is no available contact information
If you believe a scholarship has been published in error, please reach out to [email protected] and we’ll take a look!
* There are certain exceptions to this, for example if the sponsoring organization is a major corporation or nonprofit with its own scholarship application system.
** Lead generation scholarships will require students to sign up for an app or website and require minimal (if any) application requirements.
***Idea harvesting scholarships will require students to submit blog posts or other materials that companies may use for marketing purposes.
$10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship
The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship is open to all students who want some extra help paying for their education. Whether you are a high school student who hopes to…Show More
$2,000 Nitro College Scholarship – No Essay
Easy scholarship from Nitro College open to all high school, college, community and graduate students.
$25,000 No Essay Scholarship
Easy scholarship from Niche open to high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year.
P. Buckley Moss Endowed Scholarship
Offered by P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education
The P. Buckley Moss Endowed Scholarship is funded by the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education, an organization that provides a forum for sharing innovative methods for how to…Show More
Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship
Offered by Legal Defense Fund
The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship is funded by the Legal Defense Fund, “America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice.” Their Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship awards $3,000 a…Show More
Two Ten Footwear Foundation College Scholarship
Offered by Two Ten Footwear Foundation
Are you an employee or child of an employee in the American footwear industry? If so, consider applying for the Two Ten Footwear Foundation College Scholarship! The scholarship is open…Show More
Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship
Offered by Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship Fund
Are you a high school senior planning to major in a subject other than music or art at a university in Washington state? If so, consider applying for the Nellie…Show More
Women In Transition Scholarship
Offered by Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting
Are you a female breadwinner in the first year of an undergraduate (bachelor's) Accounting program? If so, consider applying for the Women In Transition Scholarship! The Women In Transition Scholarship…Show More
Vegetarian Charity Grants
Offered by The Vegetarian Charity
Are you a vegetarian? If so, consider applying for the Vegetarian Charity Grants! The Vegetarian Charity Grants are open to vegetarians and vegans aged 25 and younger or parents with…Show More
Promise of Nursing Faculty Fellowships
Offered by The Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association (FNSNA)
Are you a graduate student enrolled in a nursing program in hopes of becoming a nursing educator? If so, consider applying for the Promise of Nursing Faculty Fellowships! The fellowships…Show More
$25k “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship
Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.
Flatiron School Access Scholarship
Offered by Flatiron School
Are you attending the Flatiron School and are from an underrepresented community or background? If so, consider applying for the Flatiron School Access Scholarship! The scholarship is open to underrepresented…Show More
Macy’s Emergency Scholarship Fund
Offered by LNESC & Macy's
Are you a college student and Puerto Rico resident facing economic hardship? If so, consider applying for Macy's Emergency Scholarship Fund! The scholarship is open to full-time university students residing…Show More
NMF Emergency Scholarship Fund
Offered by National Medical Fellowships
Are you a second-through-fourth-year medical student in the U.S. who is part of an underrepresented minority group? If so, consider applying for the NMF Emergency Scholarship Fund! This scholarship is…Show More
AICPA Foundation Scholarship for Future CPAs
Offered by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
Are you an accounting student planning to pursue CPA licensure? If so, consider applying for the AICPA Foundation Scholarship for Future CPAs! The AICPA Foundation Scholarship for Future CPAs is…Show More
This scholarship might not currently be accepting applications. Most scholarship programs only accept applications a few months ahead of their annual deadline. We’ve estimated this deadline based on last year’s deadline in order to help you plan out your scholarship applications.Mar 15, 2024
Dream.US National Scholarship
Offered by TheDream.Us
Are you an undocumented immigrant student who came to U.S before the age of 16? If so, you may be eligible for the Dream.US National Scholarship! The Dream.US National Scholarship…Show More
This scholarship might not currently be accepting applications. Most scholarship programs only accept applications a few months ahead of their annual deadline. We’ve estimated this deadline based on last year’s deadline in order to help you plan out your scholarship applications.Feb 28, 2024
Offered by Servco
Are you an incoming or current college student from Hawaii hoping to pursue a career in business? If so, consider applying for the Fukunaga Scholarship! The scholarship is open to…Show More
This scholarship might not currently be accepting applications. Most scholarship programs only accept applications a few months ahead of their annual deadline. We’ve estimated this deadline based on last year’s deadline in order to help you plan out your scholarship applications.Feb 22, 2024
Jeannette Rankin Foundation National Scholar Grant
Offered by Jeannette Rankin Foundation
Are you a female aged 35 years or older pursuing an associate's, technical/vocational, or first bachelor's degree? If so, consider applying for the Jeannette Rankin Foundation National Scholar Grant! The…Show More
This scholarship might not currently be accepting applications. Most scholarship programs only accept applications a few months ahead of their annual deadline. We’ve estimated this deadline based on last year’s deadline in order to help you plan out your scholarship applications.Feb 17, 2024
$10,000 CollegeXpress Scholarship
Annual $10k scholarship from CollegeXpress open to high school students in the class of 2024, 2026, and 2026.
Niche $2,000 “No Essay” College Scholarship
Easy scholarship from Niche open to all high school, college, and graduate students.
How to win need-based scholarships
Earning scholarships starts with completing thoughtful scholarship applications. Scholarship applications might include requirements like transcripts, test scores, essays, and interviews. For need-based scholarships, the scholarship committee will be considering your financial need as an application factor too.
Depending on the scholarship, some applications may ask you to share more information about your family’s financial situation. This can range from writing a statement of financial need to providing actual documentation of income or eligibility for fee waivers or free and reduced lunch.
Many need-based scholarships will also include an essay component, which provides you with an opportunity to share your story. When thinking about the essay as a student who has faced financial hardship, you should be focused on showing how you have grown and succeeded despite this set of circumstances. One of the mistakes that students make when talking about adversity is focusing too much on what happened to them as opposed to how they grew from the experience.
Writing about this will not be easy, so give yourself plenty of time to reflect and brainstorm stories that you’d like to share with the scholarship committee.
Essay advice for need-based scholarships
We also have some helpful resources to help you write powerful essays. Check out our guide on how to start a scholarship essay, and another on how to write a winning scholarship essay. Here are a few more helpful resources for writing successful scholarship essays:
- How to write an essay about yourself
- Guide to writing a “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” essay
- How to write a 250 word essay
- How to write a 500 word essay
How to apply for need-based financial aid
Need-based scholarships are just one part of the financial aid equation. In fact, for most students with demonstrated financial need, they won’t even be the most important source of financial aid to pay for college. Need-based grants, which are awarded to students by the government and specific educational institutions, are the most important source of financial aid for low income students.
Like scholarships, need-based grants are free money that does not need to be repaid. The most well-known need-based grant is the Pell Grant, which is awarded to students by the federal government.
Students can apply for need-based grants through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. The FAFSA opens up on October 1st of each year and allows students to access need-based grants, but also federal student loans and work study.
Some colleges may also require a financial aid application called the CSS Profile. The CSS Profile is administered by the College Board and captures more information than the FAFSA, which some colleges use for awarding financial aid.
Remember, you will need to apply for financial aid by the appropriate CSS Profile and FAFSA deadlines. If you apply for financial aid and are accepted to the college, you will receive a financial aid award letter that outlines the various types of aid available to you.
Resources for students with financial need
Your school counselor
If you are a high school senior, your school counselor may be a helpful resource as you navigate the admissions and scholarship process. Many school counselors will be able to help you find scholarships, answer questions about the FAFSA, and serve as an overall resource for you as you apply for admission and financial aid.
Similarly, if you are a member of a college access organization, your college counselor or coach will be able to provide help with anything related to paying for college.
Your college’s financial aid office
Whether you are a high school senior or a current college student, your college’s office of financial aid is a great resource if you encounter any problems or questions when applying for financial aid. If you are feeling lost or overwhelmed by any components of the financial aid process, you can give your college financial aid office a call (or if you are a current student, you can schedule an appointment to speak to someone).
Frequently asked questions
Does my family income qualify me for need-based scholarships or financial aid?
It depends! Every scholarship will have a different requirement for income and who is eligible. Many need-based scholarships will provide a specific income or range that eligible student must fall in-between.
For need-based financial aid, it will also depend. Each college will use a formula to determine how much money your family can afford to pay (this is also known as the Estimated Family Contribution or EFC).
What’s the difference between a need-based and merit based scholarship?
The primary difference is that a need based scholarship will be taking into account a student’s financial situation and will focus on supporting the students who need financial support the most. A merit based scholarship will be focused on supporting students with specific talents or “merits” as defined by the scholarship committee.
Merit scholarships typically assess students based on a variety of factors, including GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities, and internships. Keep in mind that many scholarships use a combination of need and merit-based qualifications to choose their recipients. So, as a student applying for need-based scholarships, you’ll have a better chance if you earn good grades and test scores.