For high school graduates preparing for college, a daunting process awaits—searching for scholarships to ease the financial burden.
In the United States, students pay an average of $38,000 per semester at a private college, $22,000 at an out-of-state public university, and $10,000 at an in-state public university. Even the lowest cost adds up over the course of two or four years.
While the process of finding scholarships can be intimidating, students should know there are many unique opportunities available to fund their higher education.
In Texas, thanks to the Hazlewood Act, qualified veterans, spouses, and dependents may receive an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption at a state school. Learn more at tvc.texas.gov.
Many students will appreciate the opportunities offered to those who fit into specific demographics or niche categories. For instance, the Tall Clubs International Foundation awards scholarships up to $1,000 to female students who are 5’10″ and taller and male students 6’2″ and taller who apply on their website.
Students who can prove they are not averse to taking risks may apply at Bold.org for up to $25,000 in their “Be Bold” No-essay Scholarship. As well, all scholarships are not just for public or private schools. OnToCollege.com lists many programs and awards specific to homeschool students. Some require only that the student learn at home for at least two years, while others, like the Mason Lighthouse Scholarship, award funds for college, trade school, or even mission work after graduation.
Students can also check out GoingMerry.com and let the free scholarship search and application platform do the work for them.
Students in Williamson County may submit a single application for scholarships to the Austin Community Foundation, which then matches their qualifications to relevant scholarships. Additionally, any student in Williamson County in the top 25 percent of his or her class is qualified for the Leola and Charles H. Hugg Trust Scholarship (huggtrust.org).
Chisholm Trail Communities Foundations
Georgetown students may also apply for scholarships available only to GISD students.
Georgetown Promise was established in 2020 to increase the educational opportunities for African American and Latino students.
Madelyn Grace Shoales Memorial Scholarship awards scholarships to Georgetown High School student athletic trainers.
More scholarships can be found at GeorgetownISD.org.
Editor’s note: Scholarships, like any other financial transaction, are subject to scams. While search platforms are helpful, some things to remember:
- Do not pay fees up front to apply.
- Research the name of the company and make sure the website provides contact information.
- Do not provide financial information in your application.
- Delete messages that say “You’ve been selected…” if you did not apply first.
- Check an offer’s eligibility requirements to make sure they match your qualifications.
- When in doubt, ask your counselor.