What Are Scholarships and What Are the Types?

Scholarships are financial awards to help students pay for college.
Scholarships are:

  • One-time vs renewable
  • Outside vs. school-based
  • Merit vs need, or both
  • Payable to you or to your institution, or both
  • Do not have to be paid back
  • May carry requirements around:
    • Use
    • Reporting progress/attending events
    • Minimum GPA

how do scholarships work?

A scholarship check written to you is intended to be used for education related expenses. Be wise about how and in what way you choose to spend it. This money is meant to be spent on school expenses, (tuition, books, food, etc.). Follow any guidelines communicated to you upon receipt of the scholarship. Scholarship checks awarded to you (or to you and your institution) and sent directly to your institution will be disbursed according to college/university policy.

Tips for applying for scholarships

  • Cast your net wide
  • Do NOT ignore local scholarships
  • Look for opportunities in your community, district, school, etc.
  • No scholarship is too small!
  • May be less competitive
  • Be original in your responses
  • Apply for as many as you can
  • Check with your prospective university
  • Do not spend money to apply for scholarships
  • You should never pay for a scholarship search engine, that is a scam!

When to start applying

  • Continual process – you should begin your scholarship search before your senior year in high school; preferably your junior year in high school
  • Many scholarships applications will require essays. Feel free to draft a few “core” essays that you can refer back to and edit as needed
  • Good rule of thumb: Start applying no later than 12 months before you need the funding
  • Between August and May for funding in the fall semester

where to look for scholarships

Examples of scholarship search engines:

Latinx Opportunities

Visit our google spreadsheet where we are currently adding different scholarships for students to access.