Educational Scholarships From the U.S. Government

Free Federal Money Targets Certain Students

College affordability tops many of the most current political and social issues. As the price tag for a college education steadily climbs the federal government struggles to balance budgets and allocate more money for federal loans, grants and scholarships. You might think federal scholarships would be easily accessible to a large majority of U.S. students, but hard and fast criteria cut out many contenders. Does the Federal government fail to appeal to the largest demographic?

Federally funded scholarships are just one component of a larger federal student assistance program. You already are familiar with the Federal Family Education Loan Program and scholarships provide free money to students that qualify.

Criteria Matters

A feature that distinguishes a scholarship from a student loan or grant is the program criteria, the qualifications. Most scholarships target students based on merit or need and then in relevance of career intent or type of college, among other things. As easy as it might seem to qualify for federal scholarships, the fact is that students often overlook the limitations and fail to strategize an effective scholarship search.

Succeed with Federal Scholarships

As you browse the scholarships notice first the outstanding criteria. Some require you have stellar grades, while others expect you demonstrate a career interest of particular national importance:

Federal Scholarship Programs

Your high school guidance/career counselor will be able to provide you with a list of applicable scholarships as well as make suggestions to help you search and apply with confidence. A selection of some of the more popular federal scholarships include:

Federal Scholarship Shortcomings

Both the Nursing Scholarship Program and the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship welcome applicants from two-year degree programs along with those in a traditional four-year program. However, in large part the remainder of the federal scholarships target elite brainiacs at four-year colleges. I started off my college career in a community college, which automatically eliminated me from almost all of the above free funding opportunities. Of course my academics were a constraint as well. Be aware that scholarships come bundled with very specific requirements and the federal government is looking for the best of the best for the most part. Other scholarship constraints include:

Part of the shortcomings with the federally funded scholarships is the gap in between the scholars and the financially needy, where the average student floats along with thousands of others.