For most students and families, scholarships and grants are a new world to navigate. Indeed, finding scholarships and completing applications can seem daunting and time consuming. However, the sooner one starts, the better the chances are of winning. 

Given that early starts help, applying for scholarships while in high school makes sense. In fact, there are many college scholarships for high school seniors specifically. This gives you a small window to apply for these prizes because you’re no longer eligible after graduating high school. 

To help you take advantage of scholarships for high school students, we’ll cover the following below:

  1. What you need to know to position yourself to win scholarships for high school students;
  2. How to create a list of scholarship opportunities that you’re competitive for; and
  3. How to use AI to help your chances of landing a college scholarship. 
College and University scholarships for high school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students.

Important Tips for Landing Scholarships for High School Students

Before offering tips to help you find and win scholarships you should know that finding scholarship awards and creating winning applications require different skills. We’ll elaborate on this in the points below. 

Start Early in Finding and Applying for Scholarships

It’s never too late to start your scholarship search. Whatever level you’re at in your academic life, there are scholarships available for you. 

Ideally, it’s best to research scholarship programs as a high school junior. You should know that there are high school scholarships available for juniors, but they are much less numerous than those available for seniors. 

As well, getting started as a junior allows you to proactively understand what various scholarships expect and look for. You’re likely to have a little more time to thoroughly investigate awards as a junior because senior year comes with the added pressure of college admissions. 

Understand Eligibility Criteria and Types of Scholarships for High School Students

Many scholarships have specific eligibility requirements and quite a few of them are designed exclusively for high school students. Learning about these criteria can significantly enhance your chances of receiving these awards. It can also save you a lot of time and frustration because you’ll know what to look for

Think of it this way: scholarships are like keys, and each one opens a unique door. By understanding what each key needs – be it your academic standing, a particular talent, or even a community service you’ve participated in – you’ll be better equipped to unlock these opportunities. Many of these doors can only be opened while you’re in high school, so it’s crucial to seize these chances now.

As a graduating high school senior, you should look for awards that specifically state that they are open to high school seniors. However, beyond this eligibility requirement, there are other types of scholarships that you can find based on what best suits your unique student profile. Here are some examples: 

Merit Scholarships: Based on Grades and Test Scores

Your grades are an asset, especially in competitions for top scholarships. Merit-based scholarships reward students for excellent GPAs and/or high test scores. Academic achievement is the name of the game here, so if your grades are stellar, you might qualify for a merit scholarship.

Scholarships Based on Extracurricular Activities

Your extracurricular activities can qualify you for many diverse scholarship prizes. Whether you’ve started your school’s first environmental sustainability club, play on the chess team, or bird watch, there may be a college scholarship out there for you. No extracurricular is too obscure.

Student-Specific Characteristics: A Diverse Set of Scholarships for High School Seniors

Aspects of your identity can also qualify your for a scholarship. There are countless prizes out there that reward students who come from different backgrounds or various communities.

For example, there are scholarships for Hispanic students, African-American students, scholarships for women, minority scholarships, scholarships for veterans, local scholarships from towns and counties, scholarships for international students, scholarships based on ethnicity, and even scholarships for various medical conditions.

This list is endless, so ask yourself what makes you unique?

Financial Need Scholarships: For High Schoolers Who Need Help Paying for College

Financial need makes you eligible for various scholarships. If your household income falls under a certain level and you have qualified for student aid (you may have to fill out the FAFSA), you’re likely eligible for a variety of needs-based scholarships.

Many of these prizes are available to graduating high school students in order to help bring down the cost of college. These prizes help students with tuition, books, and other education expenses associated with higher education.

Scholarships for College or University for high school students, undergraduates, and graduate students.

Know Where to Find Scholarships

There are a number of resources to help students find money to pay for college. 

Online scholarship databases are a popular option. The BridgesEDU Scholarship Finder does things differently than others. Put simply, we empower you with an incredible tool that allows you to get very specific in your search for scholarships. You can search thousands of prizes down to one word – for example: marketing, Italian, veteran, women, engineering, the town or county you reside in, etc. The possibilities are endless. 

Beyond this, you can also use your guidance counselor or local library to find scholarship awards open to high school students in your area. If you’ve completed college applications and you’re registered at a college or university for the upcoming academic year, also check with your institution’s financial aid office about possible prizes for incoming college students. 

Some schools offer scholarships that you can only apply for before you start as a freshman. 

The Best Way to Create a List of Scholarships for High School Seniors

The best way for you to create a list of college scholarships is to use the best free scholarship finder around. That’s ours! Here’s why. As you can see in the video below, you’re empowered to find local and niche scholarships that are likely to attract few applicants. 

If you Google “Scholarships for High School Seniors” and consult the lists that come up in the search, you can bet those competitions will be tough. Think about it. If thousands of students just like you can easily access these awards, it will translate to more competition. 

Check out how our scholarship finder provides you with more valuable scholarship matches based on keywords you use: 

Creating Winning Scholarship Applications Requires Strategy

There are many high school and college students applying for scholarships across North America. In many cases, international students may be eligible for scholarships you’re interested in applying for, too. 

This means that competition is fierce. However, that shouldn’t intimidate you. You just need a strategy to ensure that your scholarship essay communicates the right message to a scholarship committee

Ensure that you take time to research how scholarship applications are judged and what exactly helps an applicant stand out

Submitting an application that you’ve given appropriate attention to is way more likely to help you win a scholarship. Your chances of winning are amplified even more when you apply consistent proven strategies

Use AI to Help You Win College Scholarships 

AI tools are helping transform the way students apply for scholarships. You can check out our free BridgesEDU Scholarships AI Essay Writer, which is an incredible tool to help students and families with scholarship applications. 

Our AI platform provides personalized guidance on essays and grammar. Beyond this, it helps build the quality of your scholarship personal essays and saves you time while doing it. Among other things, our AI tool provides feedback on essay structure, grammar, and content.

Without question, leveraging AI technology can be a game changer in your approach to secure funding for higher education. 

Harness the power of AI with a ChatGPT scholarship essay writer

Get Started on Winning College Scholarships for High School Students

It’s time to unlock countless scholarship opportunities for high schoolers like you! Get a head start on your competition by diving deep into the world of scholarship contests. Discover a wealth of options waiting for you and learn how to ace the application process. So, gear up, start your journey, and seize the chance to win exciting scholarships now!