One of the biggest misconceptions about scholarships is that they are only for high school students. In fact, there are numerous lucrative scholarship opportunities that current college students can apply for.
These scholarships for college students can help you pay for tuition, room, board, fees, and other expenses like books and laptops. If you are able to win scholarships as a college student you can lessen the amount of student loans that you need to take out. This can literally pay off after you graduate as you will have a lower student loan burden.
College scholarships by grade level
Whether you are a college freshman or a transfer student, we have specific guides to help you find and apply for scholarships:
- College Freshmen
- Community College Students
- College Sophomores
- College Juniors
- Transfer Students
- College Seniors
How to win scholarships as a college student
Here are a few tips for finding and winning scholarships and financial aid as a current college student.
Apply for need-based financial aid
Don’t forget about need-based financial aid, which includes Pell Grants, Federal SEOG Grants, and work study. To apply for need-based financial aid from the government or from your college, you will need to apply for financial aid.
The two major financial aid applications that students will come across are the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. These applications serve to assess your financial need. Both of these applications have specific deadlines, so make sure that you get everything in on time!
Additionally, financial aid is only offered on an annual basis, so you will need to reapply for financial aid in subsequent college years.
Apply to many scholarships to increase your odds of winning
A key part of any scholarship strategy should be applying to a broad array of scholarship opportunities. The more you apply to, the more you can win! Remember, this can take the form of video scholarships, local opportunities, and scholarships based on your major or your background.
Check your college’s financial aid office for scholarships
Your college’s financial aid office should be your first stop for college scholarships since they may be able to offer other forms of aid as well (like grants or work study programs). If you are not currently on campus, you can consult their website and reach out to a representative via email.
Look for departmental scholarships
Many colleges, such as the University of South Carolina, offer scholarships to current students on a departmental basis. Students who show particular promise in one field of study may be eligible to receive funding from their department for their additional years of schooling. You can try consulting your professors, your advisor, or the chair of the department you’re majoring in to see what opportunities are out there.
Study abroad scholarships
If you plan on studying abroad, you may be eligible for scholarships! There are many places to look for study abroad scholarships. These include your school’s study abroad department, the organization running the program you’re enrolling in, and our very own list of scholarships for students who are studying abroad! As studying abroad can often end up being expensive for students, it’s a good idea to pursue these options to reduce your costs.
If you win a scholarship, check to see if you must re-apply each year
Certain scholarships may require students to maintain a certain GPA, or provide proof of enrollment each year. Check the details of any scholarship you win to see if these rules apply.
Don’t forget local scholarships
Local scholarships are often some of the best bets for students looking to fund their higher education. Many local organizations, like Boy Scouts, Elks Clubs, and religious institutions, run scholarship programs or can put you in touch with other local opportunities. These can work out very well for students because they are typically more niche than national scholarships. This means they receive far fewer applications and each applicant has a higher chance of winning.
If you are involved in extracurriculars in your community or in the community of your college, including volunteer work and community service, be sure to inquire whether the programs run any scholarship funds and find out what the application process entails.
Look into fellowships
Programs such as summer fellowships can be a great way to help cut down on college costs while gaining valuable expertise in your field of interest. Fellowships can be part-time or full-time and adjust to your needs in case you want to study or work another job on top of them.
Additional financial tips for college students
As a college student, one great way to lessen the financial burden is to apply for scholarships. But remember, there are other ways to cut down on your costs! Whether you are looking for affordable housing, wondering how to make some money on the side, or just looking to reduce your spending, we’ve got you covered.
It’s also important to begin building a good financial history when you are in school. One great way to do this is to apply for your first credit card. We can help you choose the best option for students who are just beginning to open credit.
Frequently asked questions
Is it possible to get a scholarship while in college?
How do you find scholarships for college?
Which college scholarships are easy to get?
There are two opposing qualities that make a scholarship “easy” to win:
- There are few application requirements, so you can apply to a ton of them. To begin with this strategy, apply to all of the scholarships on our easy scholarships list.
- There are a lot of application requirements, so not that many people can apply. If your college offers a scholarship specifically meant for first-generation college students, the applicant pool is limited to both students attending your college and, out of that group, first-generation students. If you qualify, your chances of winning are way higher than a contest with broad application requirements. While these are a bit harder to find, you can start with our list of best merit scholarships.
- Local scholarships. Student should always ask their high school guidance counselor for resources about local scholarships. They can also check out community organizations and ask recent graduates from their high school. Local scholarships typically have much less competition than other scholarships.
Do college transfer students get scholarships?
Can I get a full ride scholarship while in college?
What is the average scholarship amount?
Explore these other scholarship categories
- Top easy scholarships
- No essay scholarships
- Scholarships for college freshmen
- Top scholarships for college sophomores
- Top law school scholarships
Join for exclusive scholarships, personalized matching, and application tracking. 0% Spam, 100% Free.