Although the expense of attending college keeps going up, there are a ton of scholarships available to aid students with the cost of their education. Even though academic and athletic achievement are frequently recognized with scholarships, there are numerous more ways for students to get financial aid.
A lot of scholarships honor kids who have a passion for something, such as painting or video games. Even with more specialized, unique, or private interests, there’s probably a scholarship out there. According to would Geiger, co-founder and CEO of Scholarships360.org, a free resource that assists students in finding relevant scholarships, the more specialized a scholarship is, the more likely it is that a student would receive it.
“It’s a huge misconception that scholarships are just for top students or for students who might be … stellar athlete(s),” Geiger said. “Those are the most visible examples of scholarships, so I think it is definitely a misconception problem.”
Scholarships based on hobbies can be worth a few hundred dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. Certain awards are renewed every year, while others are one-time grants. The number of recipients varies as well; some award many winners, while others only go to a single student.
Kevin Ladd, the chief executive officer of Scholarships.com, an online scholarship search engine, noted, “There are some new categories which are quite popular, such as eSports scholarships.” “Every year we are seeing new types of scholarships.”
Geiger calculates that students may be unaware of millions of dollars in scholarships that are available to them. Some are even open to students enrolled in colleges right now.
“There might be some opportunities if you think about your interests a little bit more,” Geiger adds. “In my opinion, students have a much higher chance of winning these kinds of awards than they do for something very general where there are a lot of applicants.”
He advises pupils to begin by jotting down any identifying qualities they may have, such as a favorite book, as well as their interests, background, religion, and other details. Next, conduct a thorough search for any relevant scholarships. According to him, scholarships that demand essays are usually the ones to focus on because fewer people apply for them.
According to an email from Jackie Bright, executive director of the National Scholarship Providers Association, there are scholarships available for students of various backgrounds. There are several more free scholarship matching databases available, such as the College Board’s BigFuture, in addition to websites like Scholarships.com and Scholarships360.org. After students fill out a profile and submit additional data, the database assists in finding the scholarships they qualify for.
“The typical high school senior will match to dozens of scholarships,” adds Bright. Scholars advise students not to use for-profit scholarship matching services.
According to Geiger, students who take the time to customize their application for each award will be the most successful.
“If you’re really deliberate and thoughtful, you’re going to get better results,” he says. It’s not necessary for you to apply to thousands of scholarships. It would be far preferable for you to apply for scholarships that fit your objectives, experiences, background, and interests.
Though these are only a few examples of hobby-based scholarships, students can explore their own interests to identify scholarships that might be a suitable fit.
Through the Doodle for Google Scholarship, which offers the winner a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology package for their school or non-profit organization, a trip to Google headquarters in California, as well as Google hardware and merchandise, Google gives students the opportunity to use their imaginations and show what they are grateful for. Additionally, the winning piece of art will be featured as the Google Doodle for one day.
The Beans For Brains Scholarship program offers four to five $2,500 scholarships per year to crafty types who specialize in knitting and crochet. According to the company’s website, Beans For Brains, which is supported by knitting and craft supplies firm Jimmy Beans Wool, has given more than $50,000 in scholarship help since 2010.
The Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest offers up to $10,000 to design-minded students who are prepared to work with unusual materials to create the most inventive dress or tuxedo utilizing Duck Brand duct tape. According to Scholarships.com, 25 Florida high school seniors who “demonstrate excellence in creative writing, dance, drama, music, or visual art” will receive $1,000 scholarships from the Arts for Life! Scholarship.
Through the Midwest Animation Promotion Society, students interested in anime, a type of Japanese animation, can win money. Full-time college students are eligible to receive awards of up to $3,000.