Types of scholarships

There are scholarships out there for all types of students—from high school students, to minority students, to single mothers, and more.

There are different types of scholarships to help you pay for college

If you're a high school senior

It's about time to start deciding which scholarships you want to apply for. Once you find a list of scholarships types you like, make sure they're for high school students.

Scholarships for high school seniors

If you're already in college

It doesn’t mean you should stop searching for scholarships for next year. New types of scholarships for current college students pop up all the time.

Scholarships for college students

If you're a minority student

There are different types of scholarship opportunities to help pay for college just for you. Many colleges emphasize the value students of different backgrounds bring and understand that a diverse campus reflects the makeup of our country and today’s workforce.

Scholarships for minority students

If you're a woman and/or single mother

There are special types of scholarships and grants aimed at helping women and/or single mothers succeed, whether you’re attending college for the first time or returning to school.

Scholarships for women and single mothers

Get matched with college scholarships

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How are scholarships awarded

Many scholarships are awarded for academic or athletic excellence. But scholarships aren’t just for straight-A students or all-star athletes. There are different types of scholarships out there for almost every hobby, skill, or interest. Think about your strengths and things you love to do—then search for scholarships based on those.

Most scholarships require you to fill out a form, write an essay, or submit some sort of creative entry.

What types of scholarships do colleges offer

The types of scholarships that colleges offer can vary based on if the school is private or public, among other factors. When considering which colleges to apply to, reach out to the financial aid office to learn about the scholarship opportunities available.

What types of scholarships are based on financial need

Scholarships can be based on financial need or they can be merit-based, which means they’re given out for some kind of ability, hobby, ethnicity, religion, etc.

College grants are usually need-based. Both federal and state governments give grants. To apply for government grants, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

Find scholarships

Scholarships are free money for college—and Scholarship Search is the fast, easy, and free way to search for more than 6 million college scholarships worth up to $30 billion. You can even set up customized account alerts to notify you when there’s a new scholarship opportunity that matches your profile.

Search for scholarships

Find more free money for college

Enter the Sallie Mae Monthly Sweepstakes.footnote 1 We’re drawing one winner each month to win $1,000 for college! Simply register for our free College Planning tools – Scholarship Search and the College Planning CalculatorSM, and you’re entered.

What types of scholarships does Sallie Mae offer

Our mission is to turn our customers’ higher education dreams into reality—and that mission includes offering sweepstakes and scholarships.

Visit our Sweepstakes and Scholarships page for current contests, past winners, and more.footnote 1

Learn more about college scholarships

Related topics

footnote 1. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Ends 12/31/2023. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. See official rules at SallieMae.com/SweepstakesRules.

footnote FAFSA is a registered service mark of U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.