Every year there are billions of scholarship dollars awarded. Here’s how to get YOUR piece of the pie.
A brief history of scholarships
1643: first scholarship, established by Lady Anne Radcliffe Mowlson, Harvard U.
1840: first student loan program. Harvard
1944: G.I. Bill, Serviceman’s Readjustment Act
1995: First free large online scholarship search database (FastWeb)
$46 billion: amount of FREE scholarship money awarded each year by the Department of Education and colleges
$35 million: amount of college scholarships money available through private companies, foundations, and civic groups
ONLY $3 million of these scholarships to college is unrestricted.
• U.S. and state governments
• Federal Pell Grants (based on need): $5,645 (for the year 2013-2014) max. individual grant
• Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant: $5,645. You may be eligible if your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11.
• States: Lottery funds grants for state residents in state colleges in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee
• 5 Popular corporate scholarships
• Dr. Pepper Million Dollar Tuition Giveaway. Application Deadlines: December 31, annually. $2,500-$100,000.
• Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarship Program. Application Deadlines: January 21. Since 1985, more than $44 million awarded.
• Coca-Cola Scholars Program. Oct. 31. Achievement-based scholarship awarded to 250 high school seniors each year. Fifty of these are four-year, $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year for four years), while 200 are designated as four-year, $10,000 scholarships ($2,500 per year for four years).
• Dell Scholars Program. Application Deadlines: January 15. 250 scholarships, each $20,000. Total annual equals $5 million. Offered to those high school students participating in an approved AVID program.
• Gates Millennium Scholars Program. Application Deadlines: January 15. Awarded to outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, and Hispanic American students
• Universities (types of scholarships)
• Academic: thousands available. Google your school of choice.
• Athletic: there were 177,159 athletic scholarships awarded in 2012
• Philanthropists: Many famous scholarships come from stipulations in their wills, for instance, the Rhodes scholarship, began in 1902. Famous Rhodes scholars include:
• Pro football quarterback Pat Haden,
• Political pundit Rachel Maddow
• Former President Bill Clinton
• Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, Ford Foundation
• George Soros, financier, The Soros Foundation Network
• Eli Lilly and Family, Pharmaceuticals, Lilly Endowment Corp.
• Hugh Grant: Galsworthy scholarship to New College, Oxford
• Madonna: dance scholarship to the University of Michigan
• Denzel Washington: scholarship to attend the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco
• Tom Cruise: attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati on a church scholarship, studying priesthood for a year
• Alec Baldwin recently donated $1 million to NYU for needy students who want to be drama scholars.
• Jerry Seinfeld: provides a number of scholarships each year worth as much as $10,000 to New York residents, with family incomes of less than $60,000.
• Will.i.am provides 4 years worth of assistance for financially needy students.
• Alicia Keys Open Door Scholarship provides up to $5,000 to members of Frum Tha Ground Up, a youth group promoting character, confidence, and integrity. [Keys herself got a scholarship to Columbia in NYC…when she was a student)
• Michael Jordan: $5,000 for Chicago-area juniors, with at least a 3.0 GPA.
• John Lennon, in his name, a $5,000 annual award goes to students with at least a 3.0-grade point average studying communications, media or arts, did the same.
• G-Unit, the record label founded by rapper 50 Cent, provides a $1,400 credit against tuition for students attending Queensborough or LaGuardia Community Colleges.
• Christopher Reeve Award gives $1,000, for students showing “passion and caring in serving their community.”
• The organization guarantees you will win an award by paying a fee
• The organization sounds like a non-profit but has no traceable history
• The organization claims it will “handle all your scholarship applications” for you
• The organization requests banking or credit card information to “process your application”
• The organization requires an entrance fee
$15,000: Collegiate Inventors Competition–Students enrolled full-time at a U.S. or Canadian college or for at least 12 months and have a new idea, process or technology.
$10,000: David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship–Students attending Ball State University could win by submitting a variety of creative media.
Up to $10,000: Ayn Rand The Fountainhead Scholarship–If you are in the 11th or 12th grade, you could win by writing the best essay concerning the novel.
$7,500: Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Award–This scholarship, free trip to Disney World and spot in a Milk Mustache advert are available to 25 student-athlete high school seniors with 3.20 GPAs
$7,000: Carnegie Mellon University Bagpipe Scholarship– Available to bagpipe major students.
$5,000-$10,000: Tylenol Scholarship – Awards to 40 students desiring a career in medicine.
$3,000: Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship—To qualify, a desire to study parapsychology, with proof that you’ve written about it.
$1,000-$1,500: United States Bowling Congress (USBA) Scholarships– To bowling fans.
$1,000: American Nudist Research Library Scholarship–If the nudist in you is itching to get out–and you don’t mind living in a nudist colony.
$500: KLI Academic Award: The Kor Memorial Scholarship–If you’re a Trekky then you’ll love this scholarship from the Klingon Language Institute for students in the field of language study.