The process of paying for college is never easy. Although I have been blessed enough to be granted the famous Gates Millennium Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship that provides higher education funds up to my doctorate level, I may not have attended Loyola Marymount if I had to pay its expensive tuition. Several other students are not as fortunate and may even skip the opportunity to attend college simply because of its cost. Luckily, there are several online resources for minorities created to avoid this unfortunate aspect of school by providing financial aid in the forms of grants and loans.
Fastweb matches students to hundreds of online scholarships to apply to. Here, students are able to receive scholarships based on their family lineage, strengths and interests, service in the armed forces and several other specifics. There are also other resources for students including financial aid information, a college search and career advice. Members of the website (membership is free) also have the opportunity to enter a monthly sweepstakes and win even more scholarships.
UNIGO is a fantastic and extremely thorough scholarship website that offers thousands of dollars in funds for several specifics including merit-based, minority, college-specific, athletic and even company-sponsored scholarships! Their website is absolutely free to browse and they even offer articles related to getting prepared for college financially.
3. Posse and Questbridge
The Posse Foundation has trained over seven thousand high school students to become Posse Scholars – a community of minority students who have received full-tuition scholarships at institutions of higher education. Posse Scholars also graduate at a rate of ninety percent and are recognized campus-wide.
Similarly, Questbridge Scholars receive a full, four-year scholarship worth over $200,000 each. The financial aid package covers tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies and travel expenses. Visit their websites and consider applying to be Posse and Questbridge scholars!
The Dell scholarship is open to anyone in a college preparatory course. The Dell Scholars Program values students more than just their test scores, as their website states, "Our GPA requirement is Grit, Potential and Ambition." Although Dell Scholars receive a total of $20,000 to complete their higher education over the course of six years, this scholarship is more than just a check. The Dell Scholars Program also provides its students with a private scholar networking community, mentoring and support to lessen the financial and spiritual burden of attending college.
The Horatio Alger Program is one of the largest need-based scholarships designed to recognize students of the highest leadership and achievement caliber. The Horatio Alger Association has awarded more than $125 million in funds to approximately 20,000 students. In addition to scholarship support, the program also provides services and opportunities for scholars including scholarship counseling, college readiness tools, alumni/mentoring programs and graduate grants.
Unfortunately, my specific scholarship, the Gates Millennium Scholarship, is funded by a one billion dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, concluded providing funding for undergraduate students in 2016. Luckily, a second scholarship, simply titled "The Gates Scholarship," is in the works to begin in 2018 and may provide some funds for scholars attending college after 2017, so keep your eyes peeled!
There's no surprise that attending higher education may cost a pretty penny and may even place several students and parents into more debt. Luckily, there are several foundations and institutions that make it their mission to lessen the financial burden of college and ease the minds of scholars throughout the duration of their collegiate careers. The hardest part is often beginning the application, so don't hesitate to take that first step toward financial freedom!
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