Applying for scholarships for college students

As you continue your studies and try new extracurricular activities in college, you might be eligible for more scholarships you weren’t originally qualified for. Don't forget to revisit college scholarship opportunities regularly as you continue college or get more involved on or off campus.


  • If you get more college scholarship money, it might affect your other student aid.
  • All of your student aid added together can’t be more than your cost of attendance at your college or career school.
  • You’ll need to let your school know if you’ve been awarded a scholarship, so the financial aid office can subtract that amount from your cost of attendance.


  • Remember, scholarships for college students are free money, so you’ll still be paying less for college.

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.

Types of scholarships for college students

There are different types of scholarships for college students. First, search for which types of college scholarships you might want to apply for. These are some examples of scholarship categories that could apply to you.

If you're a minority student

Take advantage of scholarships available specifically for you.

Minority scholarships

If you're a woman and/or single mother

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

Scholarships for women and single mothers

If you’re a transfer student

You can search for scholarships specifically for transfer students.

If you know your major

There are many scholarships for students who major in a specific subject area. If you know your field of study, you can use that information to search for scholarships by major.

Where to find scholarships for college students

There are many sources to help you search for free college scholarships based on the type of scholarship you’re looking for.

  • The financial aid office at a college or career school
  • Organizations (such as professional associations) related to your field of interest
  • Federal agencies
  • Free online tools, like Scholarship Search

Remember, scholarships are free money for college, so apply to as many as you can.

Find scholarships for college students with Scholarship Search

Whether you’re about to start college or you’re a senior about to complete your last year, it’s smart to look and apply for scholarships. While you may not find scholarships that fit every one of your criteria, you may find opportunities based on your grade level, major, academic standing, or interests.

Scholarship Search is a quick and free way to search more than 6 million college scholarships worth up to $30 billion. Customize your search to match your profile for a list of scholarships that you can apply for.

Search scholarships

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 more information.

Learn more about college scholarships

Related topics

1. This information was gathered on 09/16/20 from
FAFSA is a registered service mark of U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.