The news media are full of stories about student loan debts that quite a few people are now reconsidering college. But the truth is, if you have a son or daughter who is college-bound, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pony up for the full tuition yourself. Here are some of the more popular college scholarship programs that can give you a leg up:
1. Merit Scholarships. If your son or daughter is already hell-bent on a particular college, check if it offers a merit scholarship. Many of them offer some sort of scholarship based on academic achievement. They’re not even needs-based at all, so you don’t have to prove how financially unstable you are.
2. Athletic Scholarships. This is probably the most popular type of scholarship known to a lot of parents. If your kid is performing well and is one of the best players in their high school sports team, then you’ve got a chance, especially if it’s one of the major sports.
3. Rhodes Scholarships. All really smart American kids know about this one, especially if they want to go to Oxford for free for two years. Thirty-two students are chosen each year, and the scholarship may be renewed for a third year.
4. Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Your kid can be one of the 250 scholarship recipients based on achievement. They just need at least a 3.0 GPA and their future college must be accredited. The top 50 of the kids get $20,000 while the rest receive $10,000.
5. Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Award. If your kid is a high school senior athlete who manages to get a 3.20 GPA, then they can be one of the 25 scholars who can receive a $7,500 scholarship, plus a free trip to Disney World and a spot in a Milk Mustache commercial.
6. Tall Clubs International Scholarship. If your kid is just tall (at least 6′ 2″ for boys and 5′ 10″ for girls), they can qualify for this scholarship. All they need to do is to write an essay with the title “What Being Tall Means to Me”.
7. American Fire Sprinkler Association Scholarship Program. The application for this scholarship isn’t based on needs, or even athletic or academic achievement. It was set up to increase awareness of fire prevention. Your kid needs to simply read an essay online about using fire sprinklers, and then they answer a test. They are then entered into a drawing for a $2,000 scholarship, plus a chance for a $1,000 scholarship. The more answers your kid gets correctly, the more chances they have.
8. Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest. Before your kid hoes to the prom, have them look into this scholarship. This is a contest which encourages students to use duct tape creatively in their prom outfits. There’s more than one winner, with special prizes for “best tie” and “best purse”. It’s worth $3,000.
9. Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program. It offers $1,500 scholarships to 7,400 students.
10. AXA-Equitable Scholarships. Your son or daughter needs to demonstrate outstanding community spirit, and they can be chosen from your state to receive $10,000 in scholarship funds.