The best scholarships for average students are those that don’t punish for less than the absolute highest grade history. What are some of the top scholarships that lookout for this rather large student population today? The following represent 20 great choices in scholarships available to average students right now.
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1. Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship
– Have between 30 and 102 total credit hours at the end of the fall semester before applying.
– Have a major or minor in telecommunications.
– Be enrolled in at least 12 hours of telecommunications courses at the time of applying
David Letterman, the famed comedian, late-night entertainer, and self-described “average student”, started this scholarship, the Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship, in 1985. Still running strong today, this funding opportunity presents winners with up to $10,000 in tuition coverage. Three applicants are chosen for this one each year.
2. Spirit of Giving Scholarship
– Applicant must be a student who is planning to attend school in the following school year at an institution within the US.
– Applicants must not be an employee or family member of a Wine Country Gift Baskets or Houdini Inc. employee.
– Applicant must not be a previous winner of this scholarship.
The Spirit of Giving Scholarship is a great college funding opportunity offered by Wine Country Gift Baskets, a premier online gift basket retailer. In the spirit of giving, this one goes out to three, deserving students. Each award is in the amount of $1,000.
3. National High School Essay Contest
– Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the US territories, or if they are US citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted.
The National High School Essay Contest is a great way for virtually any student to score some free college funds. This offer of the American Foreign Service Association provides chosen applicants with a package that includes $2,500, a paid trip to visit with a member of the US Department of State in Washington DC, and a fully paid Semester at Sea educational cruise. April 6th is the deadline to apply, and several applicants are chosen for wins each year.
4. You Deserve It Scholarship
– Be a US citizen.
– Be a current high school or college student of at least 16 years of age.
For a quick $1,000 scholarship award, all students are encouraged to check out the You Deserve It Scholarship. This fund is administered by Scholarship Owl, an online scholarship administration organization, and is for any US student age 16 or older. Apply by the annual April 29th application deadline for your chance to win.
5. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program
– Be in grades 5-12 as of November 5th.
– Be a legal resident of any US state or Washington DC.
– Demonstrate engagement in a volunteer activity that occurred during the 12 months prior to the date of the application.
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program is a yearly funding opportunity that comes courtesy of the Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, or NASSP. With a win here, applicants can look forward to tuition coverage up to $5,000. This scholarship fund has run since 1995 and has helped more than 130,000 students to reach their educational goals.
6. Full Circle Scholarship
– Must be enrolled full-time in a certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate program at an accredited tribal, public, or private (non-profit) college or university.
– Must be a US or Canadian citizen eligible to attend college in the US under provisions of the Jay Treaty.
– Must be registered as an enrolled member of a federal or state-recognized tribe or a descendant of at least one grandparent or parent who is an enrolled tribal member.
– Hold at least a 2.0 GPA.
Another great opportunity for college funding for today’s average student comes via the annual Full Circle Scholarship. Winners of this scholarship receive scholarship funds as allotted per the fund, and multiple winners are chosen each year. Applicants must be of Native American descent or otherwise present as an active tribal member.
7. Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Contest
– Application is open to any current high school senior graduating in the current application year.
– Applicants must attend the duck-calling contest on November 29th at the Main Street Stage beside the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce building in Stuttgart, Arkansas.
The Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce represents the business district of Stuttgart, Arkansas, and in that mission, the chamber provides its annual Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Contest. This chance at a tuition award of up to $2,000 comes by way of a contest built on the back of a renowned duck-calling contest. The contest takes place on November 29th at the Main Street Stage beside the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce building in Stuttgart, Arkansas.
8. CARiD Scholarship Program
– Be a current US student enrolled in post-secondary education in the upcoming semester.
– Be between the ages of 16 and 20.
– Applicant cannot be a CARiD employee or a family member of a CARiD employee.
CARiD is a popular online automotive parts retailer and information resource all in one. Each year, this retailer also opens up applications for its CARiD Scholarship Program, a funding opportunity that affords chosen applicants with $1,000 in educational cost coverage. Two scholarships are offered each year with April 30th and October 31st serving as the application deadlines for each period.
9. National High School Oratorical Contest Scholarship
– Applicants must be citizens of or lawful permanent residents of the United States.
– Applicants must be high school students who are also under the age of 20.
Every year, three winners are chosen for The American Legion’s National High School Oratorical Contest Scholarship. The first-place winner receives $18,000 in scholarship funds, while second and third-place each receive $16,000 and $14,000 respectively. Submit a winning speech on the US Constitution and the duties of US citizens therein, and you’ve got a chance to win.
10. Patricia McNamara Scholarship Fund
– Applicants are chosen strictly on content of personal character: strong work ethic, values, dependability, compassion, etc.
The Patricia McNamara Scholarship Fund is a scholarship opportunity designated in the honor of the late and very beloved Patricia McNamara. This one gives winning applicants from Cary Grove High School valuable tuition assistance toward their college endeavors. Since 2015, this scholarship has awarded multiple participants annually.
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11. Teens for Jeans Scholarship
– All are eligible for application/consideration once they have donated a pair of jeans to one of the scholarship’s approved drop sites.
In a unique method of facilitating charity toward the homeless, Dosomething.org sponsors the Teens for Jeans Scholarship. In this program, applicants simply donate a pair of jeans to the homelessness cause, and they are then entered for a chance at winning a $500 award. Award amounts climb substantially, too, if students collect and turn in bulk numbers of jeans to the cause.
12. The Paradigm Challenge
– All students are invited to register with and participate in The Paradigm Challenge.
The Paradigm Challenge is yet another excellent and certainly unique route for students to earn tuition money. With this program, the student is challenged to follow a program in which they must join a team, identify real-world problems, form a plan to tackle that problem, and create a presentation in which this is all demonstrated. A massive, $100,000 prize is the stake at hand, but the challenge must be fully completed in order to win it.
13. The Hiram College Hal Reichle Scholarship
– Be a Hiram College sophomore or junior who demonstrates a strong sense of community service and giving.
Average students are typically very well-suited to apply to The Hiram College Hal Reichle Scholarship. This funding opportunity offers tuition coverage to select students of Hiram College who demonstrate a strong knack for helping others. This one was created in honor of the late Hal Reichle who was known for his extraordinary spontaneity of generosity to others.
14. We the Students Essay Contest
– Applicants must be citizens or legal residents of the US who are high school students and who are no older than 19 and no younger than 14 as of the end of the contest period.
Virtually anyone can get in on the We the Students Essay Contest. This great college funding opportunity comes via the Bill of Rights Institute in their goal to help maintain public knowledge of the US Constitution and the rights of the citizen therein. Winning applicants will successfully answer the essay question “What does civil discourse mean to you?” and go on to receive an award of up to $7,500.
15. The Discover Student Loans Scholarship Award Sweepstakes
– Be a US citizen age 16 or older.
– Be a high school senior or college student enrolled at least half-time in an associate’s or bachelor’s program.
The Discover Student Loans Scholarship Award Sweepstakes is an offer of Discover Products, Inc. that affords winning applicants with a $5,000 tuition check. Unlike most other scholarship arrangements, this program operates by selecting winners through a random drawing process. 12 winners are announced each year for that top prize of $5,000.
16. SME Education Foundation Scholarships
– Be a US student pursuing a two-year, four-year, or advanced degree in manufacturing or engineering.
– Additional eligibility requirements per individual scholarship can be found at the SME Education Foundation website.
Every year, the SME Education Foundation distributes millions of dollars worth of scholarships to a whole range of student types. The foundation’s many scholarship offers come by way of four categories of which many “average” students can find eligibility: Technical School/Community College Scholarships, Graduating High School Seniors Scholarships, Undergraduate Students Scholarships, and Graduate Students Scholarships. Even more helpful is the fact that applicants can apply any time of the year, and their applications will become active and they will be given notice once open review periods actually do open.
17. E-Waste Scholarship
– The applicant must be a high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior or a current or entering college or graduate school student of any level. Home-schooled students are also eligible.
– Applicant must be a US citizen or legal resident.
As its name suggests, the E-Waste Scholarship is an initiative aimed at not only helping students gain an education but also at reducing harmful E-waste while promoting public knowledge of it. With this special offer, applicants submit a short essay response about E-waste and apply by Earth Day in April for a chance at an award. Winners then receive an easy $1,000 check toward their college ambitions.
18. Scholars Helping Collars Scholarship
– Applicants must be US citizens who are full-time high school seniors.
The annual Scholars Helping Collars Scholarship is a creative take on scholarship funding mixed with animal-based charity. In this program, the applicant simply relates a story of their previous charity toward an animal or animals in need and in return is given a chance at winning the $1,500 award. A wide range of charitable activities count, and the annual deadline to get in your story and application is February 28th.
19. Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship
– Be a high school or college student with a GPA of 2.5 at the minimum.
In honor of the late Pedro Zamora, the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship is a great option for many students who might consider themselves “average.” Submit an essay on the impact of AIDS/HIV, hold a 2.5 GPA or better, and you’ve got a chance at funding. Selected winners of this scholarship receive thousands of dollars in tuition funding, and in the previous year, 2019, 10 winners were selected with a total payout of $50,000.
20. HAADA Career and Technical Scholarship Program
– Must be a US citizen under the age of 30.
– Must be a high school graduate or GED-holder.
– Must be able to demonstrate financial need.
– Must exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a career or technical program (up to 2 years) at an accredited, non-profit, post-secondary institution in the United States.
HAADA stands for the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, and this organization is one that specifically works to ensure the American dream of success to all who seek it. To that end, the group’s HAADA Career and Technical Scholarship Program is their annual offer of up to $2,500 per chosen student applicant. As does this scholarship offer by HAADA, the best scholarships for average students allow for average grades and use other avenues of decision-making when distributing awards.
See more great scholarships here.
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