In today’s competitive world, education is the only key to success. However, despite having talent, several students find it tough to take their education forward because of monetary constraints. Some of the best universities also charge the highest fees. In most cases, while an underprivileged person can pull on till junior high, it becomes almost impossible for him or her to continue further and obtain specialization in any one of the fields of study.
The government, several individual philanthropists, and private organizations offer free scholarships with an intention of encouraging education among all those who cannot afford it. These education scholarships are awarded to the needy students who have the potential to go a long way in the education arena.
Understanding Government Scholarships
The free scholarships are an attempt by the government to ensure that the students are able to complete their education without monetary pressure. These are government grants which are awarded to certain students and they are not expected to repay the money at any time in the future. There are five basic types of free grants which a student can avail in the US. They are based on educational programs in which they choose to enroll, minority status, student-specific grants, subject-specific grants and grants by private organizations. Here is an elucidation of these five grants.
Free Scholarship Based on Degree Type
This category is broadly based on the ‘undergraduate’, ‘graduate’ and ‘postgraduate’ degree scholarships. The maximum number of scholarships are awarded at the undergrad and graduate levels. Getting free grants for doctoral courses is tougher when compared to the two lower-level degrees. Doctoral grants are not only fewer in number, but also entail tougher competition. The easiest way to avail these scholarships is to apply through the university in which you are enrolled. If you can obtain employment at the university as an adjunct instructor or an assistant to one of the professors, you can win a grant as well as a stipend.
Free Minority Scholarships
Based on ethnic and social background, students can avail of free government grants. Physically challenged students and women are also categorized under minority sections. These minority grants are available throughout the year and are usually offered by the state, local or federal government, private and public companies and nonprofit organizations. Within the minority grants, there are two categories – general minority scholarships and scholarships for minority students with a medical condition.
Student Specific Free Scholarship Grants
Student-specific grants are awarded based on aspects specific to the students and are not governed by subjects chosen or degree. Minority or Women Students belonging to a diverse ethnic background are offered a large number of free scholarships in the United States, in any field of study including technology, science, math or vocational trade.
Free scholarships are also available for students who are unable to apply for courses or any other scholarship program on time. The delays could be caused because of personal reasons, health factors, delay in receiving exam results, last minute change of plans, shifting to a new state and any other legitimate reason. Students need to meet eligibility criteria and if selected, students either receive grants in the form of monetary awards or concessions in fees.
Another kind of scholarship is for students who are part of clubs, associations, political affiliations, from veteran families and sportsmen. Although these free scholarships are based on affiliations and memberships in various organizations, the basic criterion for selection is either financial need or merit.
Grants Offered by Private Organizations
As the name indicates, the government does not play any role in these scholarship programs. In the United States, the number of privately sponsored scholarships are more in number when compared to government-sponsored programs. Each scholarship has a different set of criteria for selecting students. Aspirants need to check the official websites of these organizations in order to obtain the latest information about important deadlines. See also this post about Scholarships for Women.
Although free scholarships are extremely helpful in reducing the financial burden on students, many of them might not necessarily be available for the entire course duration. Renewable scholarships are renewed only if the student shows consistency in academics. Scholarship money is released year on year and is not offered in one go. In many cases, the granting organization transfers the money directly to the university. There are many scholarships that are offered as a partnership between the university and an organization.