You're a high school senior and college is on your mind. As everyone begins to talk about their college choices, you begin to think about one important question:

How am I going to pay for this?

A man showing his empty pockets.

The answer to your question may involve one of the best ways to fund your college education: scholarships for high school seniors.

Learn how to start funding your college experience while in your final year of high school!

What Is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is a form of financial aid that is awarded to a student based on certain qualities that a student meets. It doesn't need to be paid back. The money awarded through a scholarship can be used for tuition, room and board, supplies, books, and more!

This is money that is available for you to use for your college education. There are lots of scholarships for high school seniors out there, but you need to know the different types and what you qualify for.

A man in an office throws a pile of money to waiting hands. He says,

Different Types of Scholarships

Merit-based Scholarships

These scholarships are based on different criteria, such as athletics, academics, hobbies, community service,and career interests.

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Concrete Rose Scholarship Award

Etherine Tansimore Scholarship

Derk Colden Memorial Scholarship

Need-based Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded based on financial need, which is usually determined by your family's yearly income (usually less than $150,000).

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The Gates Scholarship

Horatio Alger National Scholarship

Greenhouse Scholars Fund

Most scholarships for high school seniors will require a personal statement or essay as part of the application, especially scholarships that are based on writing.

A person sitting at a computer, typing, with the word

However, there are options for scholarships that don't require writing, known generally as, "no essay" scholarships. Keep in mind that you still have to fill out an application form for any type of scholarship.


What can help you get a merit-based scholarship? Select all that apply:

What Scholarships Apply to YOU?

While there are lots of scholarships for high school seniors available, you don't want to apply for a scholarship that doesn't represent you.

For this, you have to reflect on who you are as a person and as a student! Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my favorite subject in school?

  • What are my hobbies?

  • What do I plan on studying in college?

  • How were/are my grades in my classes?

Let's take a look at two students to see their scholarship options:

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Jake is a high school senior who's been taking art classes since his freshman year of high school. Outside of school, he paints murals around town and volunteers as an art teacher for younger kids on the weekend.

Scholarship options: Jake should look for scholarships for high school seniors that have an art focus. He could also look for scholarships that require an art piece submission so that he can show off his work!

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Marla is a high school senior who is on the volleyball team. She has won 2 Player of the Year awards, and 4 Scholar-Athlete awards (one for each year that she's been on the team). She wants to continue her volleyball career in college but needs help finding the money.

Scholarship options: Marla should keep an eye out for scholarships high school seniors who have excelled in academics while on a sports team. She can also look for scholarships specific to volleyball.


Katie is a high school senior and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) for her entire high school career. She has volunteered to tutor her classmates and is a teacher's assistant. What scholarships should she apply for? Select all that apply:

Where To Find Scholarships

Now that you know about the different types of scholarships, it's time to start your search!

You can find scholarships for high school seniors through:

  • Online scholarship hubs (listed below)

  • Your school's college/guidance counselor

  • College websites

A woman spinning in an office chair with money falling on her.

Check out these online scholarship hubs below:

Going Merry


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