Undergraduate Scholarships Explained

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A Simple Guide to Undergraduate Scholarships

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree can be a costly undertaking. Fortunately, there are numerous financial aid options you can utilize to pay for your college education. Scholarships and grants are particularly helpful because you don’t have to pay them back. Such programs are available whether you are enrolled or about to enroll at a higher learning institution. Even if you don’t get full-ride scholarships, you can receive one or multiple awards to ease your financial burden. Searching for undergraduate scholarships on your own can be exhausting, but using DoNotPay will help you find all the programs you qualify for in a few clicks.

Types of Scholarships for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate scholarships come from diverse funding sources, such as:

  • Government agencies
  • Advocacy groups
  • Schools
  • Corporations
  • Professional associations

All scholarship providers create the rules for the programs they run. As a result, eligibility requirements vary from one program to another. Below are the types of undergraduate scholarships based on eligibility requirements:

  1. Subject-specific scholarships
  2. Student-specific scholarships
  3. Location-specific scholarships
  4. Merit-based scholarships
  5. Need-based scholarships

Subject-Specific Scholarships

These are undergraduate scholarships that zero in on academic majors. Subject-specific scholarship providers usually offer scholarships as incentives to inspire bright students to consider in-demand majors.

Professional associations, for example, provide awards to students within certain fields of study, such as:

Computer scienceSciencePoetryCosmetology
Critical languagePolitical scienceEngineeringArt
ArchitectureSpeech-language studiesMathCreative writing
PsychologyDentistryNursingMechanical engineering
Environmental scienceVeterinary studiesMusicBusiness
Criminal justicePharmacy studiesAccountingCulinary studies

Student-Specific Scholarships

Student-specific scholarships target different groups within the student community. Most programs aim to help the under-represented members of the student body, for instance:

Student GroupScholarships
International students
  • American University Scholarships
  • Michigan State University International Scholarships
  • AMVETS Scholarships
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Scholarships
Students from low-income families
  • Unmet Need Scholarship
  • Dell Scholars Program
Military students
  • The U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship
  • The Airman Scholarship and Commission Program (ASCP)
Transgender people
  • Point Foundation Scholarships
  • Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Scholarship Program
First-generation college students
  • Farash Foundation First in Family Scholarships
  • Black Business and Professional (BBPA) First Generation Scholarships
  • I’m First! Scholarship
  • Coca-cola First Generation Scholarship
Adults and non-traditional students
  • Adult Students in Scholastic Transition Scholarship (ASIST)
  • Imagine America Scholarships for Adults
  • Returning Adult and Single-Parent Scholarships
  • Ernest and Charlene Stachowiak Memorial Scholarship
  • Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship
  • Women In Transition Scholarships
  • Toptal Scholarships for Women
  • Supporting & Promoting Real Opportunities for Women to Thrive (SPROWT) Scholarship for Women
  • Women In Need Scholarship
Students with disabilities
  • Daniel and Lois Gray Memorial Scholarship
  • Disability Care Center Disabled Student Scholarship
  • ABC Law Centers Cerebral Palsy Scholarship
  • Wells Fargo Scholarship Program for People with Disabilities
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AICPA) Minority Scholarship
  • Krist-Reavley Minority Scholarship
  • Royce Osborn Minority Scholarship
  • American Meteorological Society scholarships

Location-Specific Scholarships

Some scholarships are awarded based on the student’s location. For instance, you need to be a Virginia state resident to qualify for the following programs:

  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program
  • Virginia State Endowment Scholarship

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships reward achievements and specific talents, ranging from academic excellence to extracurricular involvement in activities, such as athletics, leadership, and different art forms. Examples include:

  • American Bus Association (ABA) Academic Merit Scholarship—Open to students who have a college sophomore of greater status and majoring in transportation, travel, and tourism or related fields. The applicant must have a GPA of at least 3.5
  • Alliance Pipeline Scholarship—Awarded to student-athletes who have a GPA of at least 3.0. The award recipients must maintain that GPA and participate in intercollegiate sports to continue receiving the funds
  • Baylor University Baptist Scholarships—A number of scholarships are awarded to students at Baylor University who are active members of a Baptist church or whose parents serve in such as church

Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate a financial need. The programs can also include an academic merit criterion but will always require applicants to prove an unmet financial need.

The following federal grants are good examples of need-based programs:

  • Federal Pell Grants—meant for undergraduate students who have a financial need and are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)—awarded to undergraduates students who have an extreme financial need, especially those who qualify for the Pell Grant
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants—available to undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or master’s students majoring in teaching. Recipients of the award commit to teaching in areas of serving students from low-income families or a high-demand subject for at least four years after graduation. If a student doesn’t honor the commitment, they have to repay the grant amount
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants—awarded to children whose parents or guardians died in military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11

How To Find Scholarships for Undergraduate College Students

Below are some tips that can help you identify available undergraduate scholarships for which you qualify:

  • Evaluate the undergraduate scholarships offered by various groups associated with your major, for instance, professional associations
  • Find the opportunities available in your school through the financial aid office or your academic department
  • Search for programs based on your academic level, for instance, high school senior, college, graduate school, etc.
  • Check with the federal and state educational agencies
  • Search for undergraduate scholarships designed for your religious beliefs (such as Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim) or hobbies/interests (such as sports, dance, or participating in community service)

The options are endless, which makes the search overwhelming. Fortunately, our app can help you skip all that by listing all the scholarships you are eligible for in one place. and discover all undergraduate scholarships you can apply for now.

How To Apply for Scholarships for Undergraduate Students

Scholarship programs have different requirements and application guidelines. Most need-based programs (especially federal grants) will require you to complete the FAFSA. Other programs will require essays, personal statements, recommendation letters, and cover letters. Make sure you confirm the deadline for application and prepare the necessary paperwork on time. You can use our guide on preparing for a scholarship interview if you get an invite.

Find Undergraduate Scholarships Within Minutes Using DoNotPay

DoNotPay is the fastest and easiest solution for finding scholarships and grants. Once you and complete a few steps, our app will perform a personalized search and give you an extensive list of all the undergraduate scholarships you qualify for. Our scholarships and grants database is updated regularly, so you are assured of finding even the programs that almost no one talks about. Follow these steps to proceed:

  1. Enter Scholarships in the search bar
  2. Select the Apply for Scholarships tool
  3. Choose your level of study and answer a few questions

DoNotPay can also apply for no-essay scholarships of your choice in your stead. Stop searching and start applying for opportunities now.

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