Anatomy of a Scholarship & How it Affects You

Anatomy of a Scholarship

Scholarships have the power to help students achieve their dreams. Scholarships can be awarded to students from all walks of life and give opportunities they otherwise wouldn't have. Thousands of students have come to depend on scholarships for financial aid, so winning is imperative.

Knowing about all the different types of scholarships can help you on your path to winning them. You will understand which may fit you best, which you have the best chance of winning and which awards the most.

5 Important Attributes OF SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS

Scholarships can have many different attributes. Knowing them will help you find the scholarships that fit you best.

  • Renewability - Scholarships may be renewed periodically, most restart every semester or every year. Some may be awarded only once to one person. Knowing the renewability of a scholarship can help you plan if and when to apply for it.
  • Application Complexity - Each scholarship application has its own requirements, whether simple or complex. To efficiently prioritize and plan for each scholarship application know the time required for the application process, the complexity of the questions and essays, its restrictions and its exclusivity.
  • Competition Level - Scholarships are significantly varied in competition level. Some may only have a dozen applicants, others may have tens of thousands. Know the competition level before going in to each application process so the correct amount of effort may be applied.
  • Award Amount – Knowing the dollar amount available can help prioritize applications. Compare the time required to complete the application to the amount of funds available. Make sure you are spending time on scholarships that would be useful to you.
  • Availability – Scholarships with limited availability may only be known by a select few. here are thousands of scholarships available online, unfortunately they are just as available to everyone else. Applicants may find luck applying for limited-availability scholarships because of a lower competition level.

The Different Types Of Scholarship

  • Academic Scholarships – Academic Scholarships tend to be merit-based, and typically depend on the academic performance of each applicant. Grade Point average and various academic achievements are the usual measures used by the awarding parties.
  • Departmental (Major-Specific) Scholarships – Applicants will have access to scholarships based solely on their selected major. This is called a departmental scholarship and it is similar to an academic scholarship in that academic performance is usually highly regarded.
  • Community Service Scholarships – Community Service Scholarships are focused on awarding those who make a difference in their area. They tend to be more focused on actions or achievements completed in the community and less on grades.
  • Athletic Scholarships – Athletes who excel in a particular sport and have a solid academic background may be awarded an athletic scholarship. Athletic scholarships can have long-term payouts, renewing each semester, contingent on GPA and athletic performance.
  • Minority Scholarships – Minority scholarships exist for almost every race. These scholarships aim to give opportunities to those who may be limited because of their minority status.
  • Gender-Specific Scholarships – Applicants may be eligible for a scholarship based on their gender. These scholarships many times require exceptional academic and extra-curricular achievements.
  • Company Scholarships – Many local and national companies offer scholarships in their respective regions. These scholarships may be awarded to employees, employees’ children or the general public.
  • Creative Scholarships – Creative scholarships tend to be based on an applicant’s interests and skill sets. They usually do not judge heavily on academic performance.
  • Private Scholarships – Private scholarships are offered by individuals or institutions who want to provide help to students. These scholarship applications can be very simple and may be individualized with unique criteria. For example may come from a relative or community leader.
  • Promotional Scholarships – Organizations give scholarships in order to promote or grow their business. The scholarship works as a publicity tool for them and financial aid for you.

Easy-To-Use Scholarship Assessment Table

Type Renewability Complexity Competition $ Value Findability
Academic Yes Very Complex Extremely High High Easy
Departmental Yes Complex Varies on Major High Easy
Community Service Varies Simple Average Low-Med Quite Hard
Athletic Yes Simple Extremely High for Major Sports Med-High Hard
Minority Varies Fairly Complex Average Low-Med Easy
Gender Varies Simple High Low-Med Hard
Company Varies Very Complex Average Med-High Hard
Creative Varies Simple Varies on Field Low-Med Fairly Hard
Private Varies Varies Varies Low-High Very Hard
Promotional Usually Not Fairly Complex Extremely High Med-High Hard

There are plenty of options out there, and now that you can narrow down your scholarship application choices you can find one that best fits you and that you may be more likely to win.

Contact us with any comments or questions about this article.

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