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    Top Need-Based Scholarships in June 2024 – $5M+ Available

    Written by Will Geiger

    Will Geiger is the co-founder of Scholarships360 and has a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. He is a former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College where he personally reviewed 10,000 admissions applications and essays. Will also managed the Kenyon College merit scholarship program and served on the financial aid appeals committee. He has also worked as an Associate Director of College Counseling at a high school in New Haven, Connecticut. Will earned his master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate degree in history from Wake Forest University.

    Full Bio

    Learn about our editorial policies

    Updated: June 2nd, 2024

    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.

    Read More
    Why choose Scholarships360
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    We helped over 4 million students find scholarships in 2023

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    13+ years of experience helping students make smart education decisions

    Scholarship Review Process

    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 provider’s privacy policy allows for the misuse of student data
    • 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.

    Learn about our editorial policies
    459 scholarships
    Sort by

    $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Scholarships360

    Exclusive
    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels

    Offered by Scholarships360

    Exclusive

    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…Show More

    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…Show More

    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 go to college, a graduate student who’s in a master’s program, or an adult learner who wants to return to school, you are eligible for our no essay scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to students who get the most out of Scholarships360 scholarships and content. You will be a strong applicant if you apply to scholarships with the Scholarships360 platform. Finalists for this scholarship will be interviewed about their process for funding their education.Show Less

    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels
    Apply

    $2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Sallie Mae

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $2,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level HS Upperclassmen, College & Graduate Students

    Offered by Sallie Mae

    Easy Application

    Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for…

    Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for…

    Sallie Mae will award $2,000 each month to eligible entrants. No essay or account sign-ups, just a simple scholarship for those seeking help paying for school.

    1 award worth $2,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level HS Upperclassmen, College & Graduate Students
    Apply

    “A Helping Hand” Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Scholarships360

    Exclusive
    1 award worth $500
    Deadline Jan 31, 2025
    Grade Level HS Upperclassmen, College & Graduate Students

    Offered by Scholarships360

    Exclusive

    At Scholarships360, we know how hard it can be to pay off the hefty costs of a college tuition. Oftentimes, this is even more difficult…Show More

    At Scholarships360, we know how hard it can be to pay off the hefty costs of a college tuition. Oftentimes, this is even more difficult…Show More

    At Scholarships360, we know how hard it can be to pay off the hefty costs of a college tuition. Oftentimes, this is even more difficult for students coming from low-income backgrounds or for those who demonstrate financial need. This is where our “A Helping Hand” Scholarship comes in! We're offering a $500 scholarship to help out a low-income student who is passionate about their higher education journey and is actively looking for ways to fund it. This award is open to high school juniors and seniors (graduating class of 2024 and 2025), as well as undergraduate and graduate students enrolled during the 2024-25 academic year. In order to apply, students should submit an essay detailing how winning the scholarship would help you fulfill your dreams. Please note that applicants will be reviewed based on both the quality of their essay and quantity of scholarships applied for on the Scholarships360 platform. Scholarships360 users who are more active on the platform will be given higher consideration. We look forward to reading your application!Show Less

    1 award worth $500
    Deadline Jan 31, 2025
    Grade Level HS Upperclassmen, College & Graduate Students
    Apply

    $40,000 Build a College List Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by The College Board

    Easy Application
    Multiple awards worth up to $40,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level High School Junior

    Offered by The College Board

    Easy Application

    Create a college list with six schools you're considering - no minimum GPA or essay required!

    Create a college list with six schools you're considering - no minimum GPA or essay required!

    Create a college list with six schools you're considering - no minimum GPA or essay required!

    Multiple awards worth up to $40,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level High School Junior
    Apply

    Douglass M. Hamilton Memorial Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Bold.org

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $7,700
    Deadline Aug 29, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels

    Offered by Bold.org

    Easy Application

    The Douglass M. Hamilton Memorial Scholarship is a beacon of hope for low-income students in Oregon. Pursuing higher education can be a daunting task, especially…Show More

    The Douglass M. Hamilton Memorial Scholarship is a beacon of hope for low-income students in Oregon. Pursuing higher education can be a daunting task, especially…Show More

    The Douglass M. Hamilton Memorial Scholarship is a beacon of hope for low-income students in Oregon. Pursuing higher education can be a daunting task, especially for those who face financial burdens. This scholarship is designed to honor the memory of Douglass M. Hamilton by providing financial assistance to low-income students who are first-generation college students. If you're a low-income student in Oregon, this exclusive scholarship opportunity is for you. To apply, share your story and detail the obstacles you've overcome, your family's background, and how you plan to use your education in the future. Apply and take the first step towards achieving your dreams!Show Less

    1 award worth $7,700
    Deadline Aug 29, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels
    Apply

    Ascent’s $10,000 Summer Scholarship Giveaway

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Ascent Funding

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Sep 2, 2024
    Grade Level High School Seniors & College Freshmen

    Offered by Ascent Funding

    Easy Application

    As you soak up the summer vibes and look ahead to the next school year, it's never too early to start thinking about your internship…Show More

    As you soak up the summer vibes and look ahead to the next school year, it's never too early to start thinking about your internship…Show More

    As you soak up the summer vibes and look ahead to the next school year, it's never too early to start thinking about your internship or job! Whether you're figuring out what interests you, checking out career resources, or picking up skills for your dream job, we want to know: Do you have what you need to enter the next phase of life, post-graduation? Ascent is committed to your long-term success and is giving away $10,000 to one lucky winner for sharing your feedback and ideas on what you need to build the skills and confidence to thrive in the workplace. To apply, complete these three easy steps below: Step 1: Visit the “Summer of Success Scholarship” to complete a quick survey and contact form. Step 2: Follow @ascentfunding on Instagram and like the post. Step 3: Tag 3 friends below that would benefit from this scholarship! Be sure to end your comment with #AscentSponsored. Disclaimer: Deadline to apply for Ascent’s $10,000 scholarship prize (1) is September 2nd at 8:59AM PT. To apply and see official rules, visit the “Summer of Success Scholarship” link here: AscentFunding.com/Scholarships.Show Less

    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Sep 2, 2024
    Grade Level High School Seniors & College Freshmen
    Apply

    Scorenavigator Financial Literacy Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Bold.org

    Easy Application
    5 awards worth $1,000
    Deadline Jul 13, 2024
    Grade Level High School Juniors & Seniors

    Offered by Bold.org

    Easy Application

    Are you a low-income high school junior or senior with plans to pursue an undergraduate education? Further, do you have a GPA above 3.0? If…Show More

    Are you a low-income high school junior or senior with plans to pursue an undergraduate education? Further, do you have a GPA above 3.0? If…Show More

    Are you a low-income high school junior or senior with plans to pursue an undergraduate education? Further, do you have a GPA above 3.0? If so, consider applying for the Scorenavigator Financial Literacy Scholarship! The scholarship awards $1,000 to five (5) low-income, academically impressive high school juniors and seniors who will be pursuing a degree after their high school graduation. In order to apply, interested students must submit an essay about their "personal financial experiences and how [they] plan to use [their] financial education to better [their] future." If you're a low-income, college-bound high school junior or senior, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.Show Less

    5 awards worth $1,000
    Deadline Jul 13, 2024
    Grade Level High School Juniors & Seniors
    Apply

    Hagan Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Hagan Scholarship Foundation

    Multiple awards worth up to $7,500
    Deadline Dec 1, 2024
    Grade Level High School Senior

    Offered by Hagan Scholarship Foundation

    Are you a college-bound high school senior attending a public school in the United States? Further, do you come from a low-income household? If all…Show More

    Are you a college-bound high school senior attending a public school in the United States? Further, do you come from a low-income household? If all…Show More

    Are you a college-bound high school senior attending a public school in the United States? Further, do you come from a low-income household? If all those statements apply, consider applying for the Hagan Scholarship! Each year, the scholarship vows to meet the unmet financial need of its top applicants, awarding up to $7,500 per semester for up to 8 consecutive semesters (for a total of up to $60,000 over four years)! Applicants may even receive additional money depending upon their GPA, grade level, and other academic achievements. All this information can be found in the “description of scholarship.” The scholarship is funded by Dan Hagan, a self-made businessman from rural Missouri who is dedicated to helping students in similar circumstances to those he experienced in his youth. If you meet the eligibility criteria and want some help paying off your college costs, we encourage you to apply!Show Less

    Multiple awards worth up to $7,500
    Deadline Dec 1, 2024
    Grade Level High School Senior
    Get Started

    $10,000 CollegeXpress Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by CollegeXpress

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline May 1, 2025
    Grade Level High School Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors

    Offered by CollegeXpress

    Easy Application

    Annual $10k scholarship from CollegeXpress open to all high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

    Annual $10k scholarship from CollegeXpress open to all high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

    Annual $10k scholarship from CollegeXpress open to all high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline May 1, 2025
    Grade Level High School Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors
    Apply

    Reboot Representation UNCF Scholarship Program

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by UNCF (United Negro College Fund)

    Multiple awards worth $5,000
    Deadline Jun 26, 2024
    Grade Level College Junior

    Offered by UNCF (United Negro College Fund)

    Are you a Black/African woman currently enrolled in your junior year of a four-year, computer science-related degree program? If so, the Reboot Representation UNCF Scholarship…Show More

    Are you a Black/African woman currently enrolled in your junior year of a four-year, computer science-related degree program? If so, the Reboot Representation UNCF Scholarship…Show More

    Are you a Black/African woman currently enrolled in your junior year of a four-year, computer science-related degree program? If so, the Reboot Representation UNCF Scholarship Program may be a great opportunity for you! Each year, the scholarship awards $5,000 each to multiple Black women currently in their third year of a four-year computer science (or related field) program. Eligible fields include Computer Science/Programming, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Software Development, Computer Information Systems, Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Informatics, Data Science, or Cybersecurity. To apply, interested students must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), a transcript, and an essay that describes their interests in the computing field and career goals. If this sounds like a good opportunity for you, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $5,000
    Deadline Jun 26, 2024
    Grade Level College Junior
    Get Started

    21st Century Scholarship

    Offered by Indiana Commission for Higher Education

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024

    Offered by Indiana Commission for Higher Education

    The 21st Century Scholarship is an incredible opportunity for income-eligible Indiana middle schoolers to apply to receive up to four years of paid tuition at…Show More

    The 21st Century Scholarship is an incredible opportunity for income-eligible Indiana middle schoolers to apply to receive up to four years of paid tuition at…Show More

    The 21st Century Scholarship is an incredible opportunity for income-eligible Indiana middle schoolers to apply to receive up to four years of paid tuition at an eligible Indiana college or university. Starting in seventh or eighth grade, students are connected to the Scholar Success Program and provided with resources to help them prepare for college and career success. Once in college, Scholars receive support to complete their degrees and connect with career opportunities. If you're a proud Hoosier looking to attend an in-state college, don't pass this opportunity up!Show Less

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Get Started

    Niche $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Niche

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Jul 31, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels

    Offered by Niche

    Easy Application

    Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year!

    Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year!

    Easy scholarship open to all high school and college students, as well as anyone looking to attend college or graduate school in the next year!

    1 award worth $10,000
    Deadline Jul 31, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels
    Apply

    Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship

    Offered by Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level High School Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors

    Offered by Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

    Are you a college-bound 8th - 11th grader from Oklahoma from a low-income household? If so, you may be eligible for the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship!…Show More

    Are you a college-bound 8th - 11th grader from Oklahoma from a low-income household? If so, you may be eligible for the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship!…Show More

    Are you a college-bound 8th - 11th grader from Oklahoma from a low-income household? If so, you may be eligible for the Oklahoma’s Promise Scholarship! Each year, the scholarship awards various amounts of scholarship money to help cover the tuition costs of eligible students who will be attending an Oklahoma two-year college or four-year university. To be eligible for enrollment in the program, the federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of the applicant's parents may not exceed $60,000 with one or two dependent children OR $70,000 with three or four dependent children OR $80,000 with five or more dependent children. If you're an Oklahoma student wanting help affording to attend an in-state university, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level High School Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors
    Get Started

    Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation Scholarship

    Offered by University Aviation Association

    Multiple awards worth $2,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Upperclassmen

    Offered by University Aviation Association

    The Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation Scholarship was established through the University Aviation Association to encourage others to reach the highest level of achievement in…Show More

    The Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation Scholarship was established through the University Aviation Association to encourage others to reach the highest level of achievement in…Show More

    The Joseph Frasca Excellence in Aviation Scholarship was established through the University Aviation Association to encourage others to reach the highest level of achievement in their aviation studies. It is bestowed upon those who demonstrate a commitment and devotion to aviation in the tradition of Joseph Frasca. Must be a junior or senior currently enrolled in a University Aviation Association (UAA) member institution. If this sounds like a good opportunity for you, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $2,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Upperclassmen
    Get Started

    $25k “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Bold.org

    Easy Application
    1 award worth $25,000
    Deadline Jul 1, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels

    Offered by Bold.org

    Easy Application

    Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.

    Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.

    Open to high school students, college students, community college students, and graduate students.

    1 award worth $25,000
    Deadline Jul 1, 2024
    Grade Level All Grade Levels
    Apply

    Maine Osteopathic Association Scholarship

    Offered by Maine Osteopathic Association

    Multiple awards worth $1,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Students

    Offered by Maine Osteopathic Association

    The Maine Osteopathic Association Scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for Maine residents enrolled in an approved osteopathic medical school. With awards of $1,000 each, this…Show More

    The Maine Osteopathic Association Scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for Maine residents enrolled in an approved osteopathic medical school. With awards of $1,000 each, this…Show More

    The Maine Osteopathic Association Scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for Maine residents enrolled in an approved osteopathic medical school. With awards of $1,000 each, this scholarship is a great way to support your education and future career in the medical field. Don't miss out on this chance to take your studies to the next level!Show Less

    Multiple awards worth $1,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Students
    Get Started

    North Star Promise Scholarship Program

    Offered by Minnesota Office of Higher Education

    Multiple awards worth Unmet Tuition + Fees Costs
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Students

    Offered by Minnesota Office of Higher Education

    Are you a Minnesota resident attending a public, higher education institution or Tribal College in Minnesota? Further, do you have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)…Show More

    Are you a Minnesota resident attending a public, higher education institution or Tribal College in Minnesota? Further, do you have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)…Show More

    Are you a Minnesota resident attending a public, higher education institution or Tribal College in Minnesota? Further, do you have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) below $80,000? If both apply, you may be eligible for the North Star Promise Scholarship Program! The program works as a "last-dollar" scholarship which allows Minnesota residents to receive up to 100% of the amount charged in tuition and required fees per term, minus all other sources of gift aid they receive. To be considered for the scholarship, interested students must complete either the Minnesota Dream Act Application or the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If this sounds like a good opportunity for you, keep on reading to learn more!Show Less

    Multiple awards worth Unmet Tuition + Fees Costs
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Students
    Get Started

    $1,000 Appily Easy College Money Scholarship

    This scholarship has been verified by the scholarship providing organization.

    Offered by Appily

    Easy Application
    Monthly awards worth $1,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level HS Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors, College Underclassmen

    Offered by Appily

    Easy Application

    This easy scholarship from Appily is open to U.S. high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, 2027) and college transfer students. One scholarship will be…Show More

    This easy scholarship from Appily is open to U.S. high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, 2027) and college transfer students. One scholarship will be…Show More

    This easy scholarship from Appily is open to U.S. high school students (Class of 2025, 2026, 2027) and college transfer students. One scholarship will be awarded each month.Show Less

    Monthly awards worth $1,000
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level HS Freshmen, Sophomores & Juniors, College Underclassmen
    Apply

    Silver State Opportunity Grant

    Offered by Nevada System of Higher Education

    Multiple awards worth up to $5,500
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Students

    Offered by Nevada System of Higher Education

    Are you a low-income, Nevada resident enrolled in one of NSHE's community colleges (College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, or…Show More

    Are you a low-income, Nevada resident enrolled in one of NSHE's community colleges (College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, or…Show More

    Are you a low-income, Nevada resident enrolled in one of NSHE's community colleges (College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, or Western Nevada College) or Nevada State College? If so, the Silver State Opportunity Grant (SSOG) may be a great opportunity for you! Each year, the grant is awarded to Nevada residents attending an NSHE Community College or Nevada State College who have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under $8,500. Recipients' SSOG award amounts will be calculated by subtracting the student's contribution, their expected family contribution, and federal awards received from their total cost of attendance. Recipients may earn up to $5,500 annually through the SSOG. To be considered for the grant, interested student must complete their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If you're a Nevada resident and incoming NSHE community college or Nevada State College student, keep on reading to learn more!Show Less

    Multiple awards worth up to $5,500
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Students
    Get Started

    Granite Edvance Scholarships

    Offered by Granite Edvance

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors

    Offered by Granite Edvance

    Are you a returning undergraduate student (non-freshman) and New Hampshire resident who is enrolled in college at least half-time? Further, do you have a minimum…Show More

    Are you a returning undergraduate student (non-freshman) and New Hampshire resident who is enrolled in college at least half-time? Further, do you have a minimum…Show More

    Are you a returning undergraduate student (non-freshman) and New Hampshire resident who is enrolled in college at least half-time? Further, do you have a minimum 2.5 GPA? If so, the Granite Edvance Scholarships may be a great opportunity for you! There are four types of Granite Edvance Scholarships available: The Granite Edvance Community Service Scholarship, The Granite Edvance Academic Excellence Scholarship, The Granite Edvance Leadership Scholarship, and The Granite Edvance Opportunity Scholarship for first-generation college students. To apply, interested students must submit an essay answering one of the types of scholarships' respective prompts. If you're a New Hampshire resident enrolled in an undergraduate program more than half-time, we encourage you to apply! Keep on reading to learn more.Show Less

    Multiple awards worth Varies
    Deadline Jun 30, 2024
    Grade Level College Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors
    Get Started
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    Top 10 need-based scholarships overall

    We’ve hand-picked the following scholarships based on the strong reputation of their organizations, the value of the awards, and being open to a wide number of students. Apply with confidence to these 10 top scholarships for students with financial need:

    • Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship – For graduating high school seniors part of a minority group with academic excellence and financial need. Worth up to $8,750
    • Dream.US Opportunity Scholarship – For undocumented high school seniors and college freshmen with high financial need living in a state where public colleges do not offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. Worth $20,000 per year
    • The Gates Scholarship – For low-income minority high school seniors, offers a full ride to college
    • Questbridge College Match – For high school seniors with financial need, offers a full ride to college
    • Jack Kent Cooke College Scholarship – For high school seniors with financial need, worth up to $55,000 per year
    • Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship – For high school seniors with high financial need who plan to study computer science in college. Worth $10,000 per year
    • Dell Scholars Program – For Pell Grant-eligible high school seniors who participated in a college readiness program. Worth $20,000 with 500 scholarships awarded every year. Recipients also receive a free laptop, textbooks, and more
    • Ron Brown Scholarship – For Black high school seniors with financial need who plan to study global entrepreneurship and/or community engagement. Worth $10,000 per year
    • Horatio Alger Undergraduate Scholarships – For high school students with critical financial need. Worth up to $52,000
    • Bezos Scholars Program – For U.S. public high school junior passionate about increasing their leadership skills. Provides a zero-cost leadership program that lasts an entire year, free college advising, and $1,000 to go towards a personal project

    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 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.

    Related: How to get student rent assistance

    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.

    Additional scholarship categories to explore

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