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Finding and applying for scholarships for high school students

As you plan to take your SATs and ACTs, and are scheduling your college tours, add searching for scholarships to your college checklist. Not every scholarship for high school seniors is based on academic performance or financial need. There are scholarships for high school students based on ethnic background, field of study, and even extracurricular activities. Your hobby or interest may get you money for college.

Start your search for scholarships for high school seniors with Scholarship Search. It’s free and lets you customize your search based on your interests, age, grade level, and more. You can even set up special account alerts to notify you when there’s a new scholarship opportunity that matches your profile.

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Types of scholarships for high school seniors

These are some examples of categories of scholarships for high school seniors that could apply to you.

  • Local scholarships. There should be local scholarship opportunities in your community. You can ask your school counselor for help on how to find them and to see if you qualify.
  • Scholarships for high school seniors with military parents. Most states offer state-sponsored scholarships for students with active-duty, retired, or deceased military parents. Each state’s programs are different and have distinctive sets of requirements. You can contact your state’s Department of Higher Education, or Office of Veteran’s Affairs, to learn about scholarship programs.
  • Scholarships for high SATs/ACTs. If you’ve scored highly on your SATs or ACTs, there are scholarships you can apply to that award students based on their scores.

If you’re looking for more types of scholarships for high school seniors, there are many sources to help you search based on the type of scholarship you’re looking for.

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


Scholarship application tips

These tips can help as you get ready to apply for scholarships.

When are scholarship application deadlines?
There’s no standard deadline for scholarship applications. Each scholarship has its own deadline, so be sure to keep track of dates and make sure you don’t miss any deadlines of scholarships that you want to apply to.

Do you need to know which college you’re attending?
You don’t need to know which college you’re going to attend before applying for most scholarships. However, once you’re awarded scholarships, some of them may ask for eligibility verification—which can include proof of college enrollment.

Is there a limit on how many scholarships you can apply for?
There’s no limit on the number of scholarships you can apply for or win, so apply for as many as you can. There are scholarships for current college students, too. Apply for scholarships each year you’re in school.

Does every scholarship application require an essay?
Not every scholarship will ask you to submit an essay—certain scholarships have different requirements. If you’re applying for a scholarship with an essay and need help writing yours, get tips for writing scholarship essays.

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