Student Specific Scholarships are grants available to students who are attending, returning or just starting college or university. There are many different types of grants available to a whole variety of different students. However, they can be split into two different groups; need based grants and merit based grants. Need based grants are grants which require an application, but are awarded to students who match their descriptions or ‘needs’. Whereas merit based grants are awarded to students based on academics or extra-curricular activities. Noted – there are some grants which are decided by a combination of the both. Ask around; parents, teachers, guidance counselors, your boss, parents’ bosses, they may know of specific grants available to you. Put together a list of extra-curricular activities, skills, interests and organize your transcripts before searching for grants or scholarships. This will help you assess which awards you are best suited for. But apply to as many as you can. The more grants the better, and there is no fault for not receiving a grant or scholarship.
Under-represented Population Grants
Under-represented Population Grants are grants available to minorities. They are the most common Specific Grants and are most available to women, people with disabilities and minority races. These grants are provided by organizations who believe certain peoples have been traditionally under-represented in higher education – with the hope that these scholarships or grants will entice people from these minorities to go to college. For women, there are many organizations whose goals are to bridge the gap between males and females in the workforce, particularly in the male-dominated fields. There are many organizations who provide grants to minorities. For example: The National Institute of Health provides annual grants to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing biomedical and behavioral fields of research. People with disabilities also have a variety of grants and scholarships available to them to help pay for schooling and other necessities that would otherwise require payment. Most schools now provide accommodations for people with disabilities, but there are certain costs they may not cover that a grant or scholarship might.
International Student Grants
Costs for international students looking to study abroad can be very expensive, not to mention the costs of travel and accommodation in a foreign land. Luckily, there are grants and scholarships available to help diminish these costs. There are grants and scholarships available for American students looking to travel abroad and for international students looking to study in the USA. The Fulbright Scholar Program is a popular program providing both domestic and international students looking to study abroad with grants and scholarships. International rates are usually much higher than domestic rates, it is well worth the time to search for any grants or scholarships you may qualify for to help alleviate the costs.
There are also grants and scholarships available to people who have experienced illness or disease. Medical costs can be crippling when faced with a life-threatening illness. Organizations such as The Cancer Survivors’ Fund, help people who have struggled with cancer by providing funding for university or college. There are many organizations willing to help, you will be surprised by the number and generosity of these organizations. Check with local support groups and related organizations to inquire about scholarship opportunities available.
Non-Traditional Student Grants
Finally, another common form of grant or scholarship, is the Non-Traditional Student Grant which applies to students outside the social norm. This includes mature students either returning or just starting college or university, or it could be a family member of the military. Both have funding from organizations who aim to provide scholarships or grants to help alleviate the costs of university or college. For adults who are experiencing economic, social or physical challenges, there is Executive Women International. Their goal is to provide a grant program to adults who are looking to improve their situations through higher learning. Military families have access to grants through The General H. Arnold Education Grant Program. They provide monetary awards to children of military personnel looking to complete an undergraduate degree.