A scholarship is an financial award for a student to study at various levels. It can be diploma, undergraduate or postgraduate (Master, Phd) scholarships. Scholarships are given on numerous criteria depending on the values and purposes of scholarhip sponsors.
Common types of scholarships are:
- Merit-based scholarship: These awards are based on a student's academic, artistic, athletic or other abilities, and often factor in an applicant's extracurricular activities and community service record. The school or sponsor usually set a set of condition when selecting scholars.
- Need-based scholarship: need-based sholarships are given to students who are financially unable to afford for their studies. For example, in United States, these awards are based on students and familys' finanancial circumstance providing in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These financial support is to ensure qualified Americans having financial aid for their education.
- Student-specific scholarship: These are scholarships where applicants must initially qualify by the characteristics of students like gender, race, religion, family and medical history, or many other student-specific factors. Minority scholarships are the most common awards in this category. For example, The Gates Millennium Scholars program is a minority scholarship for highly qualified African American, American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander American and Latino students pursuing their study in college.
- Career-specific scholarship: these scholarships are given for students who are pursuing a specifiec field of study at a college or university. Normally, this type of scholarships are awarded to high demand career like nursing.
- College-specific: College-specific scholarships are awarded to excellent students by colleges or universites. Normally the decision is based on academic recored, personal achievement of applicants.
Additionally, there a various scholarships offered locally for students by their geographical residency including:
- Guidance counselors
- Non-profits and charitable trusts
- Community foundations
- Music teachers
- Trade union|Labor/trade unions
- Houses of worship
- Chamber of commerce
- Other volunteer organizations
- Disabilities: for students with disabilities.