How To Apply For Scholarships: Great Scholarships For High Schoolers

Amanda PostmaAuthor

When it comes to going to college, a big challenge you’re going to face is how you’ll pay for it. It’s no secret that college isn’t cheap.

In fact, roughly 43 million Americans are swimming in student debt. That boils down to one-sixth of the population in the U.S.

Now, before you start hyperventilating, we have found the solution. Apply for scholarships. Apply, apply and apply some more.

Scholarships are the best way to cut down on how much you’ll owe after graduation. The more you apply to and the more you earn, the less you’ll have to pay.

We looked into providing you some tips for how to find and apply to as many scholarships as you can before you even get into college.

On top of that, we also included 40 scholarships that high school students can apply for so that you have a solid start. Spoiler alert, there’s a couple that award full tuition!

How to Apply For Scholarships

  • Types of Scholarships: First and foremost if you are still active or reserve and know that you have about a year left, start preparing your transition at the beginning of that final year.
    • Merit-Based Scholarships: In order to earn these scholarships, you’ll need to at least meet certain standards set by the scholarship. Typically these standards are based on academic achievement, specific interest and community involvement.
    • People Specific Scholarships: As it suggests, these scholarships are geared toward specific people. There are scholarships available just for women, minorities and military families. Among many other categories.
    Some scholarships will foot your entire college bill, while others will only pay out $500. When it comes to avoiding student debt, though, both scholarships are worth it.
  • Finding Scholarships: Scholarships can be hard to find. But it doesn’t have to be like that. You just need to use your resources. Whether that means speaking with the counselor at your high school or visiting your school’s library reference section.
  • Using Your Resources: Sometimes it’s as easy as being aware of the community organizations and businesses that reside in your area because a lot of times they will offer a scholarship. Here are some other resources you should be aware of:contacts in each state
  • Deadlines: Ah, the dreaded word. Nobody likes deadlines. But when it comes to scholarships, there’s nothing more important than making sure you apply before the deadline.
  • Stay on Top of Things: We recommend dedicating a calendar to writing down the dates of the deadline of each scholarship you plan to apply to. Some scholarships have a specific window of time that you can apply during.
  • Don’t Wait: Don’t wait to submit your application at the last minute. You don’t want to run into any issues like the site being down or your internet connection cutting out. So make sure you’re submitting way before the deadline. As early as you can, at least.
  • Applying for a Scholarship: Some scholarships will require a one-page essay. Others will require your transcripts, a letter of recommendation, a 30-second video and an essay response to a specific question.
  • Award Vs. Work: Some scholarships will definitely take you longer to apply to depending on how much they’re asking of you. You need to decide how much work you’re willing to put into each scholarship. If a scholarship demands outweigh the award, maybe you should move onto a different scholarship.
  • Small Awards: Typically, the smaller the award, the less you’ll have to do to apply. So generally, these are great scholarships to tackle.
  • More Chances: Small award scholarships don’t usually gather much attention from students, so your chances of earning that award are definitely higher. Plus, these small awards help a lot when it comes to books and other school supplies.
  • Difficult Applications: As we mentioned previously, you probably don’t want to do a whole lot of work for a small reward, but in the end, it may pay off. Especially if there are few applicants. So maybe you should spend a bit more time on these types of scholarships.
  • Branch Out: When it comes to applying for scholarships, you might get burnt out easily if you apply for random scholarships. So instead, turn to your interests. For example, there’s a scholarship out there for those who like zombies.
  • Essay Writing: When it comes to writing an essay for a scholarship it’s important to be original. Jump right into the answer or maybe approach it by setting the scene.
  • Leave the Quotes Out: Make sure the essay is about you and shows your talents. There’s no room for any quotes.
  • Essay Prompt: Don’t include the essay prompt. Don’t reword the prompt to answer it. Just don’t. Leave it out. You’re going to make the essay readers bored.
  • Stick to the List: By list, we mean requirements. If it says 30-second video, it means 30-second video. Not 31 seconds or 29 seconds. Even if that seems silly to be off by a second, it may be enough to count you out of the running.

Scholarships For High School Students

AAC Culinary Scholarships
April 30 | $2,500

The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation offers this award to exemplary students with a career goal of becoming a chef or pastry chef.

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ACS Scholars Program
March 1 | $5,000

ACS awards renewable scholarships to underrepresented minority students who want to enter the fields of chemistry or chemistry-related fields.

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Actuarial Diversity Scholarship
May 2 | $4,000

The Actuarial Diversity Scholarship promotes diversity within the profession through this annual scholarship program designed for Black/African American, Hispanic, Native North American and Pacific Islander students.

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AFA Teens for Alzheimer’s Awareness College Scholarship Essay Contest
February 15 | $5,000

The AFA Teens for Alzheimer's Awareness College Scholarship is awarded to students whose lives have been impacted by Alzheimer's.

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AFAS General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program
April 30 | $4,000

The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program is offered to eligible Air Force dependents.

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AFSA High School Senior Scholarship Contest
April 1 | $2,000

The American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship Program helps with the educational and training pursuits of students.

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AG Bell College Scholarship Awards
March 8 | $5,000

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) offers several scholarships for full-time students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

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Against the Grain Artistic Scholarship
May 31 | $1,000

The Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship provides financial assistance and promotion of Asian-American college students pursuing a major in the performing, visual arts, journalism and/or mass communications.

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Air Line Pilots Association Scholarship Program
May 1 | $12,000

Sons or daughters of medically retired, long-term disabled or deceased pilot members of the Air Line Pilots Association are eligible for the Air Line Pilots Association Scholarship Program.

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Benjamin Venezia Memorial Scholarship
May 1 | $1,000

This scholarship is awarded to students in memory of Benjamin who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia two weeks after celebrating his 13th birthday.

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Beta Sigma Psi Martin Luther Scholarship
August 15 | $2,000

The Martin Luther Scholarship is offered by Beta Sigma Psi National Lutheran Fraternity to any male member of a Lutheran congregation who will be starting his first term in a 4-year College of University in the US.

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Beth Carew Memorial Scholarship Program
February 26 | $6,000

Any undergraduate student with hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, or a related inherited bleeding disorder is eligible to apply for the Beth Carew Memorial Scholarship

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Bird Dog Foundation Annual College Scholarship Essay Contest
January 15 | $2,000

The Bird Dog Foundation, Inc. has established a Scholarship Fund to promote interest in wildlife conservation and related subjects by enhancing scholarly training and education in wildlife and wildlife conservation.

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Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship
April 10 | $5,000

Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) is a company-sponsored employee network dedicated to supporting the continued growth and development of black employees at Microsoft Corporation. You must be a high school senior to apply.

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BMW/SAE Engineering Scholarship
March 15 | $1,500

This annual scholarship is provided by BMW AG in recognition of its commitment to excellence in engineering.

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Buch Family Academic Scholarship
August 31 | Varies

The Buch Family Academic Scholarship is available to excellent students who are involved with figure skating. T

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Burger King Scholars Program
December 15 | $4,000

The Burger King Scholars program is awarded to students with a strong academic record and a passion for serving the community.

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Cameron Impact Scholarship
September 11 | $50,000

Through the Cameron Impact Scholarship, the Bryan Cameron Education Foundation seeks to invest in exceptional individuals who will make a notable impact in their varied professional and personal relationships throughout their entire lives.

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Cancer Survivors' Fund
March 18 | Varies

Scholarships from the Cancer Survivors' Fund are granted to cancer survivors for their college educations.

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National Technical Investigators' Association Captain James J. Regan Memorial Scholarship
March 31 | $500

The Carson Scholars Fund awards college scholarships to students in grades 4 through 11 who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities.

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Catching the Dream Program
March 15 | $5,000

Founded in 1986, Catching the Dream strives to help improve the quality of life in Indian communities through the higher education of Indian people by providing scholarship funds to Native college students who demonstrate academic achievement, clearly defined goals, leadership, the determination to succeed, and the desire to return to their communities and help others realize their dreams.

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CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship
April 30 | $3,000

CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship was established to ensure that African-American or Black students pursuing a degree in the performing arts receive financial assistance.

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Charles Shelton Veterinarian Medicine/Technology Scholarship
April 15 | $2,000

The Charles Shelton Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide educational scholarships to African-American students pursuing a degree in veterinarian medicine or veterinarian technology. Engineering, and Math) professor. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website.

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Evans Scholarship
September 30 | Varies

As the nation's largest scholarship program for caddies, this program has helped thousands of hardworking young men and women get to college since 1930.

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Chickasaw Nation General Scholarship
Varies | Varies

Chickasaw citizens pursuing higher education from accredited institutions are eligible to receive various grants and scholarships to assist with the cost of tuition, books and fees.

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Christ the Teacher Institute Catholic Scholar's Program
August 30 | $5,000

The Catholic Scholar's Program at Northwestern offers Catholic undergraduate students an opportunity to integrate their faith as young adults, to be theologically grounded and articulate because they have wrestled with the questions in class and conversation, to grow in spirit and compassion through prayer and service, and to find joy in the rich heritage of Catholic faith.

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CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program
June 15 | $18,000

If you are a high school senior planning to enroll in a four- or five-year college program, or you are a college freshman or sophomore enrolled in a four- or five-year college program, who is looking for career experience in a dynamic environment, apply to the CIA's Undergraduate Scholar Program and contribute to the work of the nation before you graduate.

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CIC/Anna Chennault Scholarship
April 21 | $5,000

The purpose of the CIC/Anna Chennault Scholarship is to encourage students to pursue journalism as a career and to induce competitors to research, learn and give an opinion on a topical news item and to take a stand on this particular issue.

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Dr. Ron Hanson Academic Scholarship
December 31 | Tuition

An academic scholarship to support cadets pursuing their undergraduate or graduate education.

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Clark University Presidential LEEP Scholarship
February 1 | Tuition

Awarded to approximately five students each year, the Presidential LEEP Scholarship is a prestigious award for students whose academic record and leadership potential places them at the very top of Clark’s applicant pool.

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CME Beef Industry Scholarship
November 13 | $1,500

The Beef Industry Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing careers in the beef industry.

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Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship
October 31 | $20,000

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors.

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DAR American Indian Scholarship
January 31 | $4,000

This scholarship is awarded to help Native Americans students of any age, any tribe and in any state striving to get an education at the undergraduate or graduate levels.

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Davis Memorial Scholarship
April 9 | $5,000

The Davis Memorial Foundation currently awards each year to individuals who want to further their education. The Foundation gives priority to students who want to attend a trade school, or get a college or university degree that relates to the construction industry.

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Delete Cyberbullying Scholarship
June 30 | $1,000

In an effort to get students committed to the cause of deleting cyberbullying, we are offering the Delete Cyberbullying Scholarship Award for high school, college and graduate student -- a $1,000 scholarship to help cover educational expenses.

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Dell Scholars Program
December 1 | $20,000

The Dell Scholars Program places greater emphasis on a student's determination to succeed than just academic record and test scores. We reward low-income, highly motivated students who are better than their numbers indicate and demonstrate the drive to succeed despite personal obstacles.

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Elks National Foundation Legacy Awards
February 5 | $4,000

Elks National Foundation Legacy Awards are for children and grandchildren of Elks members.

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Elms College STEM Scholarships
February 1 | $10,000

The Elms College Elm STEM program, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, awards scholarship funds to students who major in STEM fields and attend Elms College full-time.

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ExxonMobil/LNESC Scholarship
April 15 | $20,000

The ExxonMobil/LNESC Scholarship Program recognizes outstanding Hispanic high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in engineering at U.S. post-secondary institutions.

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Amanda PostmaAuthor