How to Obtain a College Scholarship

How to Obtain a College Scholarship


Getting a scholarship may sound difficult, but it can be simple if you follow the right steps. A 2020 report showed that nearly 58% of students used a scholarship to make their education affordable. With multiple scholarships including different types being offered to aid students financially, it is a good idea to know how you can obtain one yourself.

If you are a student that is looking for answers to this exact question, then you are in the right spot. In this guide, we shall closely look at what a scholarship is, its types, and what you should do to get one from a renowned institute like the American International College. Without further ado, let’s get straight to it.

What Is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is a financial incentive or award that is offered to potential college or university students. Financial help allows such students to afford to study in an undergraduate, graduate, or master's degree program. Students either receive a sum of money or may be paid annually or quarterly. This amount can be provided as cash, sent to the institute of choice directly, or transferred to a bank account. A scholarship is a monetary gift that does not need to be returned like a loan.

What Are the Different Types of Scholarships?

Once you start looking into scholarships, you will be surprised to know that there are various types that you can opt for. An understanding of these categories will enable you to decide which one you are eligible for. These types include:

Need-Based Scholarships

A student’s financial standing is used to determine whether they are eligible for this scholarship. Assessment is made by looking at a student’s family income to see if it lies below a certain threshold.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Students with excellent academic performance and good grades are considered for this scholarship. High test scores, athletic abilities, outstanding GPA, and other skills may also be used as criteria for assessments.

Identity-Based Scholarships

Students with learning difficulties, those from specific backgrounds, or students that fall under other special criteria are awarded this scholarship.

Activity-Based Scholarship

Students that participate in sports, extracurricular activities, or those that are part of similar groups/communities are considered for this type of scholarship.

Governmental Scholarships

Unlike private scholarships, these are offered by the government to encourage education. These may be federal, local, or state scholarship programs.

Employer-Sponsored Scholarship

Some employers offer scholarships to aid employees in getting advanced degrees and further education. These scholarships are often offered for graduate programs and are known as employer-sponsored tuition assistance.

Steps to Obtain a Scholarship

Consider Your Options

The first step to getting a scholarship is exploring your options. You can pick one out of several dedicated websites to search for scholarships or can simply use a search engine to see what results pop up for your region. Make sure to search for scholarships abroad too if you are interested in those.

It is also a good idea to perform organized searches and narrow them down to the exact institutes and type of scholarship you are looking for. Track scholarship applications using a spreadsheet so you can keep up with deadlines.

Reach Out Directly

While researching online and performing database searches is a good idea, it is also necessary to contact your favorite colleges or universities directly to discuss the scholarships they are offering and any requirements that they have. Visit the official college or university website to get the financial aid office’s contact number or email.  

You can also browse the institute website to see if a scholarship page or section has been provided with all the essential details. Make sure to communicate the correct details when applying so there are no issues later on.

Apply Wisely

Even though some colleges or universities will skim through all submissions to find the best possible candidates for a scholarship, some others grant these using the first come, first serve principle. Therefore, it is a good idea to start searching for scholarships early on so as to not delay the submission.

Most scholarships ask for a personal statement or written submission, so it is a smart idea to start working on these long before you hope to enter a university/college. This allows you time to polish your submissions so that you can be selected more easily.

The good news is that you can even apply for a scholarship at most institutes even after you have enrolled in a program. All you need to do is keep checking your institute’s website or financial aid department to see if you can get one for the upcoming academic year, semester, or quarter. New scholarships are launched often, so staying up to date is important.

Set Realistic Goals

While researching, make sure to always list down scholarships that you are eligible for. Eligibility requirements depend on the type of scholarship, categories, and institute that is offering it. Do not waste time on a scholarship that you are not suitable for or one that seems out of reach. Instead, focus on those that you really have a chance at and work your way upwards.


Scholarships are not only great for those that require financial help but can also help students with brilliant academic performance. A grant or scholarship not only makes education more affordable but also allows students to stand out amongst the crowd especially if they have been awarded one due to their skills, expertise, or good performance.


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  • avatar
    Jeremiah Agware
    Mar 10, 2023 - 09:02 pm

    Hi, I especially wanted to say I loved your blog and how curated it was. When it comes to scholarships, I've been bouncing around quite a few and I must say your article is the most genuine I've seen in a while. Kudos and keep up the good work.

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