At CAA our coaches get asked a lot about scholarships. We want to share some of the places you can earn a scholarship so that you will know where to look. The good news is that there are lots of varieties out there. If you approach your search in a methodical and organized manner, you are likely to find many options for you. Below are a few categories to consider:
1. Merit-based Scholarships – Scholarships based on your good grades and SAT/ACT scores are the most common. This is why we encourage our students to take full advantage of our program to have the best chance to receive these types of merit-based scholarships. It takes hard work and time build these things up. Put in the effort now and you will be glad you did later!
2. Need-based Scholarships – These are scholarships where you must have financial need. Usually you have to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and/or other financial aid applications. These need-based scholarships have an element of helping those who have a financial need to finance their college education.
3. Organizational Scholarships – Did you know that companies and organizations give out scholarships for high school students? It could be organizations in your community, a company a parent works for, or even from a club that you participate in. It is great to ask the question to see if an organization that you are involved in or affiliated with gives out a scholarship. Usually they will have a way to apply and a deadline. It is best to ask early so that you have plenty of time to reach out to multiple options.
4. National Merit Scholarship – Here is an option for juniors instead of seniors! As a junior you can take the PSAT to make you eligible for this award. If you are a National Merit Scholar, colleges will have different scholarships available. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but it could be lucrative if you have one of the top PSAT scores from your class year.
5. Service-Oriented Scholarships – Some colleges will give scholarships based on how much you volunteer! They want to know that you give back to your community in a big way! This takes time, effort, and a willingness to go the extra mile. Be sure to keep track of the time you put in for volunteering and record any significant events throughout the year. A scholarship may ask you to recount a time when you helped someone else and/or how you made an impact with your service.
These are a few categories to consider as you work through your scholarship search. Each college you apply to can have their own method for considering you for financial aid. As you navigate this journey, we encourage you to interact with the CAA coaches and get the guidance you need.