Why a Scholarship?

Scholarships are financial awards for your education that do not need to be repaid. While they are typically awarded based on merit, very often the scholarship committees take financial need into consideration in awarding their recipients. The amount of total financial aid cannot be more than the cost of attendance for your college or university.

With increasing tuition costs, scholarships can help lessen the sting of college debt for parents and students alike. Scholarships help to fill the gap between low-income families and higher-income. Frequently government aid is focused on lower income students, leaving middle or higher-income families struggling with high tuition costs. Scholarships can help reduce the responsibility significantly. And for students paying their own way through school, it means less time spent working while trying to finish your degree.

Why Do Corporations Offer Scholarships?

Many large companies and corporations sponsor a wide variety of scholarships. In fact, many have set up independent foundations that are completely separate from the business. There are a number of reasons why a company sets up and offers a scholarship. First and foremost it’s a form of positive marketing and advertising. In some cases, a corporation may use a scholarship to enhance workplace diversity in a particular field. This is often with STEM (science, technology engineering and math) career paths. Frequently, scholarships are offered to underrepresented students (minorities) in the field.

In other cases, the business is seeking out new, cutting edge ideas and talented next-generation employees. You see this most often with contests and with fellowship and internship offerings. It benefits them to locate and hire the talented students coming through in preparation for the aging out of the older generation of staff.

One of the benefits for students is that corporate scholarships tend to be high-dollar offerings. While this means the competition is greater, it also means if you are selected you could very well have the majority of your tuition paid for – and a job upon graduation as well. Because the award amounts are typically larger, there are fewer of these types of scholarships. However if you take your time and look, you may find far more than you expected.

A Handful of Available Corporate Scholarships:

The Buick Achievers Scholarship – Offers up to $25,000 per year for four years ($100k) to students pursuing STEM degrees only who have a high G.P.A. and have an interest in automotive related studies.

Siemens Competition – Offers up to $10,000 (local) to $100,000 (national) to individual and team research projects in a STEM subject for Siemens national competition.

Coco-Cola Scholars Foundation – Offers up to $20,000 to students who have a minimum 3.0 G.P.A. and have shown exemplary ways of leading the serving their community.

Davidson Institute for Talent Development – Offers $50,000 to students under 18 who have completed a significant work in math, science, literature music, technology and music.

Horatio Alger Scholarship Award – Offers $20,000 to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree with demonstrated financial need and who have overcome great obstacles.

KFC’s Colonel Scholars Program – Offers $20,000 over four years to students with entrepreneurial spirits who are pursuing a degree while working ten hours a week.

Media Fellows Program, $5,000, awarded to students who have an extraordinary achievement in their field,

Create-A-Greeting Card Scholarship – Offers $10,000. Applicants have to design an original work for possible use on a greeting card and a winner is chosen.

AFSA Scholarship Contest – Offers up to $20,000 and applicants have to complete a essay and test.

Microsoft Imagine Cup – Awards up to $50,000. Applicants have to create innovative and original software applications.

It’s important to start your preparations early and pay attention to the details and guidelines of each scholarship offering. Don’t limit yourself to only high-dollar scholarships; ten thousand dollars from one award works the same as ten separate thousand dollar awards. Talk to the admissions department at the school you are attending; sometimes there are corporate scholarships or grants available you are not aware of as a student. Just like students, companies come from diverse and rich backgrounds. Scholarship opportunities can appear in places that you don’t expect. Take your time, plan ahead and don’t always rely on search engines only. If there is a company you are interested in working for after graduation, check their website – you just may find they offer their own scholarships.

Apply for as many scholarships as you can, and aim for making it through the first round of review. If you don’t get a scholarship this year from one particular organization, try again next year. Use what you’ve learned, make adjustments if necessary, and don’t give up.

Search and Apply for Scholarships on ScholarshipChart.com

ScholarshipChart.com helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through ScholarshipChart.com.