Finding scholarships to help pay for college is important now more than ever. The rapid rise in tuition, combined with the challenge of managing student debt, have made college an expensive proposition.
Not only should scholarships be a standard part of your college application process, but they can also play a big role in determining where you choose to go to school. A bit of research, and a few applications, and good students can make their financial journey to college vastly easier.
Going to college is not getting any cheaper. The inflation-adjusted price for one year of college in 1980 – including tuition plus living costs – was $10,231. Today, the total price has increased to $28,775.
With these high costs, it comes as no surprise that over 80% of college students are on financial aid. In fact, roughly half of the entire college industry is financed with loans from federal and state government sources. (Many students also take on supplemental private loans.)
In March 2020, the U.S. government put a “freeze” on student loan payments because of Covid. This yielded a “snapshot” of the student debt landscape:
All you have to do to qualify for federal loans is be accepted into college. But while it may seem like “free money” at the time, this debt can follow you around for many years.
Scholarships are where you’ll find the real “free money”. Though they may have requirements -- such as maintaining a certain GPA, or playing a varsity sport – they don’t have to be paid back.
Some of the more common areas that qualify students for scholarships include:
But those are only the more “obvious” qualifications. You can also find scholarships for special criteria such as:
All you have to do is begin your research. The opportunities are there for you to find.
Our NSHSS blog is loaded with useful articles about scholarships. Here are a few to get you started:
The first place you should look for scholarships is right here at NSHSS. Every year, we offer over $2 million in awards to promising students.
Since 2002, NSHSS has supported young academics on their journey to college and beyond as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. The mission behind NSHSS is to recognize academic excellence and honor high-achieving students, providing them with the resources and network to excel in college, career, and community. In doing so, NSHSS connects members with global events, , college fairs, internships, career and , partner discounts, and more. Discover to student members and how you can get involved.