Discover Scholarship and Loan Opportunities

Last updated on November 15, 2017

When you think “scholarship”, do you automatically think “straight-A” student? And do you think that leaves you out in the cold?

Well, you may be wrong. There are many, many sources of scholarships, and not all of them require high school grades in the stratosphere. Average students who are outstanding in nonacademic ways can also win big scholarship money.

For instance, are you a skateboarding whiz? A budding entrepreneur? A community volunteer? There are scholarships recognizing all those qualities. Others reward athletic achievement, artistic merit, creativity, strength of character, acts of kindness— even the ability to fashion a prom outfit out of duct tape!

Read about all kinds of unusual “average student” scholarships, and start applying now. Some sponsors make awards as early as freshman year of high school.

Scholarships and Grants

For a comprehensive look at traditional and nontraditional scholarship and grant opportunities, try these sources:

Books

Peterson’s Scholarship Almanac
The Scholarship Handbook
Scholarships, Grants, and Prizes

Online

www.fastweb.com
www.scholarships.com
www.finaid.org
studentaid.ed.gov

Don’t overlook local and community sources, such as religious groups, civic organizations and local corporations. Ask your high school guidance counselor for a list of local scholarships.

Loans

Scholarships, grants and loans from a federally funded program may not be enough to cover costs. You might consider a private loan to make up the difference. However, experts recommend this step only after other options are exhausted.