Different Forms of Scholarships: Find the Right Scholarship For You


Different forms of scholarships cater to different types of people. Knowing how to distinguish one from the other will make all the difference when you apply for one.

Scholarships are typically set up to reward academic achievement and to assist students in improving their learning abilities. Whether starting your career or returning to school to learn new skills, receiving a scholarship is a significant accomplishment.

More often than not, the primary reason for applying for a scholarship is to receive financial assistance. Scholarships that are referred to as “full-ride” are the most comprehensive ones. They cover all of your tuition and living expenses, but they are challenging to obtain. 

There are, however, many partial scholarships available. While they don’t completely cover your expenses, at least a portion of your costs are covered during your education.

Know the Different Forms of Scholarships

Scholarships, however, are not solely financial. Aside from financial assistance, scholarship providers may also provide you with book assistance, internships, seminars, or valuable business and academic contacts. For some scholarships, you must also meet specific criteria to be eligible. After finishing your studies, you may be required to participate in specific research projects, attend conferences, or work for a particular company or institution. Furthermore, some scholarships must be renewed regularly, usually annually.  

That’s why you should thoroughly research scholarship offers when making your decision. Don’t worry; we’ve done half of the research here for you. Browse through and discover what form of scholarship suits you best.

Merit-based scholarships

These scholarships are among the most commonly awarded and typically provided by public and private organizations, universities, and institutions. 

Merit scholarships, unlike need-based scholarships, are not restricted by a student’s financial situation; instead, a merit scholarship is a monetary gift given by a private organization to students who excel in a specific area. Scholarship holders who are awarded merit-based scholarships are usually selected based on their academic and extracurricular achievements and any job or volunteer experience. 

However, other available scholarships emphasize artistic, athletic, or musical talents than academic achievement. 

| SEE: New Jersey Institute of Technology – Merit-based Scholarships for International Students

Specific scholarships

Aside from fellowships, many organizations award specific scholarships to individuals who meet certain criteria such as nationality, gender, religion, political affiliation, race, special needs (due to disabilities or a specific medical history), and many others. 

Scholarships for minorities are the most common student-specific scholarships. For example, the Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship provides funding to minority students pursuing a BS, MS, or Ph.D. in a technical science or engineering discipline. Scholarships for Hispanic students are becoming more available as Hispanic advocacy groups raise awareness about the low number of Hispanic students attending college. International students should also feel comfortable applying to American colleges because there are scholarships available to them.

| SEE: Ernst and Young – Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program for South African Female Entrepreneurs

Photo credits: Pexels

Need-based scholarships

You may be eligible for a need-based scholarship depending on your personal and family financial situation. Students who come from low-income families and can demonstrate financial need usually qualify for need-based scholarship funding.

These scholarships are often referred to in Europe as student grants and are provided by public entities such as governments (government financing) and charity organizations. You may qualify for need-based financial aid even if you are not a citizen of the nation you intend to study in. 

However, just because these scholarships take economics into account does not imply that it is the only factor that counts. In reality, many organizations and programs that provide scholarships require students to demonstrate both financial need and intellectual, artistic, or athletic achievement. To be more precise, each scholarship has its own set of eligibility requirements that applicants must fulfill, and there is no set income threshold for all opportunities.

| SEE: Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

Student prizes

Student awards are not a traditional kind of scholarship, but they may help you with your education. In contrast to scholarships, which typically provide a monthly stipend for the duration of your program, student prizes are one-time rewards for academic accomplishments, competition winners, or research findings. They may vary in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. 

| SEE: Commonwealth Youth Awards


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