Online learning is on the rise, with more than six million students in online degree programs each year in the US. That means one in three college students is now taking online classes!
Scholarships, too, are growing more inclusive to online learners. But where to begin? Point University is simplifying your search with helpful tips, resources, and real scholarship opportunities. Read on to learn more about your scholarship options.
What Is a Scholarship, Exactly?
Scholarships are financial aid awards granted to college students working to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree. They are distinct from loans because scholarships are essentially gifts, which do not need to be repaid. Many require that a student be enrolled in a program at the time of applying, though others are open to high school seniors still applying to colleges. While some scholarships are granted once, in the form of a check, others are renewable each year or semester, though it’s common to require students to re-apply each term. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the fine print for each scholarship to which they apply to ensure they are eligible and understand the terms of the scholarship.
Note: Technically, scholarships are a form of financial aid. For this reason, when a student is awarded a scholarship, they need to provide details about the scholarship to the financial aid office.
Finding a Scholarship for You: Getting Started
Locating the ideal scholarship for you begins with keywords: How do you describe your personality, background, and career goals? What makes you unique? What drives you to success? What is your dream career? Taking the time to consider your identity and heritage, particularly as it relates to your academic and professional goals, can help you draw out the key differentiating words to use when you start researching scholarships available to you.
How Do I Qualify for a Scholarship?
Most scholarships are offered to a limited pool of applicants based on specific criteria. Common qualifiers include:
- Heritage or ethnicity
- Nontraditional students (single parents, adult learners, students working full-time)
- Religious affiliation
- Disabilities (students with visual or hearing impairments, ADHD, autism, etc.)
- Active military or veteran status (including dependents of an active service member or veteran)
- Associations and affiliations with clubs, organizations, churches, businesses, and unions (Boy Scouts, 4-H, DAR)
- Your specific major or dream career
- Your favorite brands (i.e., McDonalds, NBC, General Electric)