Best Scholarships for College Students in 2024

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While many people agree that earning a college education is worth the time, effort, and money, becoming a college student and earning a degree has become increasingly difficult. With how expensive college is and the rising price of tuition, students are finding it more burdensome than ever to fund their education.

Whether you are a high school senior preparing for the financial stress of college or a current college student actively looking for financial aid, there are opportunities for you to fund your education and related expenses. High school students nearing the end of their K-12 education will find it helpful to look ahead to the costs associated with college so they can begin to find scholarships that will make it easier for them to attend college. At the same time, undergraduate students and graduate students can find scholarship opportunities that provide financial aid for their current education.

College scholarships can help to significantly reduce the out-of-pocket costs students pay for college, allowing them to focus on their schooling rather than worrying about how to pay for school. In order to help incoming college students and existing college or graduate school students, this list gives college students a good starting point for finding scholarships.

For more resources on financial aid for college, create a free account on Bold.org to gain access to helpful insights, exclusive scholarships, and more!

Three college students sitting at a table in the library together

What Is a Scholarship?

Students new to the scholarship process often have questions about what scholarships entail and how they work, but the first question truly is: what is a scholarship? Scholarships are a type of financial aid that helps students fund their education. They are given primarily to students pursuing higher education, whether that's through college or career school. A scholarship is akin to 'free money' in that students do not have to pay the scholarship money back. They aren't loans - the scholarship money students win is theirs to keep.

But isn't there a catch? Don't scholarships sound almost too good to be true? There's no catch; students rightfully earn scholarships through their essay submissions, quality applications, and engagement. Online resources, such as those on Bold.org, are designed to help students in high school, trade school, and college find free money, like a personal financial aid office.

Whether you are in college or career school, pursuing an education is expensive, which is why scholarships exist. Scholarships vary in how they are presented. Some are given to the student in the form of a check, while others are sent directly to the student's institution. Depending on the scholarship, the money might be reserved specifically for tuition or, conversely, be available for students to use on all college expenses.

If you have questions about how specific scholarships work, reach out to guidance counselors and advisors at your school or talk to your financial aid office. Since college scholarships aren't all the same, pay attention to the details and ask questions when you have them.

undergraduate scholarships

Undergraduate Student Scholarships

Undergraduate students have many opportunities when it comes to financial aid since they are right in the midst of their education and have current costs that need covering. A quick search on the internet for college scholarships can be helpful, but it can also be overwhelming as it yields thousands of results, many of which are not credible.

Fortunately, Bold.org has many credible college scholarships and is easy to navigate. To find an even more extensive list, take a look at Bold.org's list of scholarships for undergraduate students. Additionally, use the "Education" filter on the scholarship search page to find exclusive college scholarships and new opportunities every week.

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"Equal Opportunity" Scholarship

The “Equal Opportunity” Scholarship through Bold.org is a yearly scholarship that aims to create an equal playing field, giving any student of any education level and any background an equal chance to apply.

Open to every student, this scholarship is perfect for undergraduates of any major, background, grade level, etc., because there are no additional requirements. This makes it a great scholarship, especially for students new to the scholarship application process.

  • Selection Criteria: Current student of any education level, no essay required
  • Deadline: Rolling deadlines
  • Award Amount: $1,000

Charles Cheesman's Student Debt Reduction Scholarship

Charles Cheesman's Student Debt Reduction Scholarship recognizes the long-term effects that student debt can have on borrowers' lives even decades after graduation. The eligibility requirements of this scholarship also recognize the systemic financial struggles that African American and Hispanic/Latino students face in particular.

This program seeks to fuel students' love of learning by rewarding four hard-working students who have gone into debt in pursuit of their education.

  • Selection Criteria: First-generation African American or Hispanic undergraduates, graduate students, or college graduates who have student debt
  • Award Amount: $23,000

Ray W Bausick Green Industry Memorial Scholarship

The Ray W Bausick Green Industry Memorial Scholarship honors the memory of Ray, a beloved friend and colleague who was passionate about the green industry and protecting the world.

This scholarship will support three winners with $5,000 each to pursue their education. Applicants must write a short essay about their passion for the green industry and how they will make a difference in the field.

  • Selection Criteria: High school seniors or undergraduate students pursuing the green industry with GPAs of 2.7 or higher
  • Award Amount: $15,000 total, $5,000 each

Sunshine Legall Scholarship

The Sunshine Legall Scholarship recognizes the opportunities that come from higher education and the potential for a college degree to create lasting change for students and their families.

This is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates because the pool of eligible applicants is smaller than some of the other scholarships mentioned, as only BIPOC students are eligible to apply.

  • Selection Criteria: BIPOC high school seniors or undergraduate students who have GPAs of 1.5 or higher
  • Award Amount: $10,565 total, $2,113 each

Dr. Magidson Memorial Theater Scholarship

Bold.org offers scholarships every month that celebrate students' positive attributes, highlighting their success and perseverance. The Dr. Magidson Memorial Theater Scholarship focuses on students pursuing the theater arts, asking students to submit samples of their work in theater. This is a good scholarship for undergraduate students to apply for and is exclusive to FGLI (first-generation and low-income) applicants.

  • Selection Criteria: High school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student, FGLI, and pursuing theater arts
  • Award Amount: $5,000
Three undergraduate students eating at a table outside on campus

Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship

The Lyndsey Scott Coding+ Scholarship seeks to support minorities who are pursuing careers in computer science. The scholarship will award $5,000 to one recipient and will provide $1,000 each to five runner-ups.

This scholarship is great for undergraduates because it is awarded to multiple students and gives them a chance to write about their goals.

  • Selection Criteria: High school seniors and undergraduates who are studying computer science and are women, BIPOC, and/or LGBTQIA+
  • Award Amount: $10,000 total

GTF Book Scholarship

The GTF Book Scholarship is a great scholarship that helps Black college students afford expenses at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This scholarship is specifically for college students, narrowing the applicant pool since only undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. This makes it a great scholarship for undergraduates since the eligibility isn't too broad but also isn't too narrow.

  • Selection Criteria: Black/African American undergraduate students, 3.0 GPA or higher, HBCU
  • Award Amount: $500

Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship

Tennis star Sloane Stephens has partnered with Bold.org to give $26,000 in scholarships to students pursuing their educational goals. The Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship gives twenty students financial aid in honor of Sloane's grandparents, who were strong supporters of education.

This is a great scholarship for undergraduates because it is a financially significant scholarship and awards more than one winner. It is open to high school seniors and undergraduate students, allowing college students of any background to apply.

Ukrainian Women in STEM

Like many college scholarships, the Ukrainian Women in STEM has more specific criteria, offering $5,000 to 4 different women who are pursuing their undergraduate degrees. It is specific to students of Ukrainian descent who are pursuing STEM degrees at the Florida Institute of Technology or the University of Central Florida.

This is an excellent scholarship for eligible undergraduate students because it awards 4 different students. This gives more students the chance to win. At the same time, there are more eligibility requirements for this scholarship than many of the others included here, making the applicant pool small. Therefore, students have better chances of winning this scholarship because of its specificity and the high number of winners.

  • Selection Criteria: Ukrainian women pursuing undergraduate degrees in STEM at the Florida Institute of Technology or the University of Central Florida
  • Award Amount: $20,000

Graduate Student Scholarships

Scholarship opportunities don't go away when students move from undergraduate school to graduate school. Graduate students have all sorts of opportunities to earn financial aid if they know where to look. The scholarships below give a great starting point for graduate students looking to pursue further degrees. At the same time, Bold.org has a more extensive list of scholarships specifically for graduate students.

Sean Carroll's Mindscape Big Picture Scholarship

Sean Carroll's Mindscape Big Picture Scholarship is an easy, no-essay scholarship designed to help curious students as they pursue higher education. It is a perfect opportunity for graduate university students because it gives them a chance to earn a scholarship without having to take the extra time to prepare a scholarship application. Applying for scholarships for college can be intimidating at times, so this is a great stress-free scholarship that also helps incoming students with the new challenges of graduate school.

  • Selection Criteria: Current students, no essay required
  • Deadline: Rolling deadlines
  • Award Amount: $10,000
Graduate students sitting in a classroom during a lecture

Law Family Single Parent Scholarship

The Law Family Single Parent Scholarship aims to reduce the obstacles that single parents face when pursuing higher education. With more responsibilities and financial obligations due to their children, parenting students often don't complete their degrees.

  • Selection Criteria: Current students who are single parents, minority students from Kentucky preferred
  • Award Amount: $10,000 total, $5,000 each

Norma's Nursing Education Scholarship

Norma's Nursing Education Scholarship aims to recognize the crucial role that nurses fill in society. A merit-based scholarship focusing mainly on the contents of a student's application, this opportunity helps give financial aid to students aspiring to careers in nursing.

Students in New York and New Jersey are encouraged to apply for this opportunity due to the limited applicant pool.

  • Selection Criteria: Undergraduate or graduate students in New York or New Jersey who are pursuing nursing
  • Award Amount: $5,000

@ESPDaniella Debt Grant

The @ESPDaniella Debt Grant will award three students with a scholarship to pay off their student debt. This scholarship is perfect for graduate students to apply for because it is quick and easy to apply for and can be used toward any student debt they've taken out for their education. For graduate students who are busy, this is a great opportunity to apply for a scholarship without taking the time to write an essay.

  • Selection Criteria: Undergraduate or graduate students who have student debt
  • Award Amount: $4,500 total, $1,500 each

No-Essay College Scholarships

Students of all education levels can benefit from no-essay scholarships for college since they are easy to apply for and don't take too much time out of your busy schedule. Many people apply for no-essay scholarships, but submitting applications for them is still beneficial to students because it puts them in the running for many different college scholarships. On top of the scholarships included below, Bold.org offers many different easy scholarships for students pursuing higher education.

"Be Bold" No-Essay Scholarship

The “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship is unique in that it doesn’t require an essay or a personal statement. Instead, the winner of this scholarship is the student with the “boldest” profile on Bold.org. Scholarship recipients are chosen based on the quality of their online profiles, which demonstrate their dedication and determination.

Every year, one winner is awarded this incredible financial aid. Students of any education level are eligible to enter, including high school students, current college students, adult learners, and career school students. Students are encouraged to think ahead since applications submitted earlier are prioritized when the winner is chosen.

  • Selection Criteria: Current student of any education level, no essay is required.
  • Deadline: Rolling deadlines
  • Award Amount: $25,000

1000 Bold Points No-Essay Scholarship

The 1000 Bold Points No-Essay Scholarship seeks to help students with the process of paying for their upper-level education. The scholarship will be awarded to students who have the boldest profiles.

The scholarship has a rolling deadline that gives students the opportunity to apply every month. In that sense, it provides college students with continuous, simple opportunities that become available every month.

  • Selection Criteria: Current students
  • Deadline: Rolling deadlines
  • Award Amount: $10,000

Conscious Consumer Scholarship

The Conscious Consumer Scholarship aims to support financial literacy as students prepare to start their careers. This no-essay scholarship is easy to apply for, with only a few clicks needed to apply.

With rolling deadlines that open every month, students can apply throughout the year, though earlier applicants will have better chances of winning. Since the resource is so useful and the scholarship is available to students every month, it is a great scholarship for college students to apply for.

  • Selection Criteria: Current students
  • Deadline: Rolling deadlines
  • Award Amount: $1,000

Skin Grip Diabetes Scholarship

The Skin Grip Diabetes Scholarship is different from many of the other scholarships listed here because it is more specific than many easy scholarships. Instead of being open to everyone, this scholarship is specific to students who have diabetes. Additionally, this scholarship allows applicants to share a short video about themselves instead of requiring an essay.

While still open to students of any education level, this scholarship is for a specific group of students who are pursuing higher education while navigating life with diabetes. It is a great scholarship for eligible college students because it has a narrower pool of applicants but is still simple to apply for.

  • Selection Criteria: High school seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students with diabetes
  • Award Amount: $25,000

WayUp Dream Job No-Essay Scholarship

WayUp is a useful resource for college students as they begin planning for their future careers. They help provide students with job resources, such as internship opportunities, job availabilities, internships, and more. Students who apply for the WayUp Dream Job No-Essay Scholarship will be entered into their exclusive $1,000 scholarship while also committing to engage on their platform for future endeavors. Winners are chosen based on their activity and involvement in WayUp.

This is a great scholarship for undergraduate students and graduate students alike to apply for because it is more than just a scholarship. Not only would this give students the opportunity to win a scholarship supported by WayUp and Bold.org, but it will also give them resources crucial to their near job search. The goal is to help students both financially and through networking and job search assistance.

  • Selection Criteria: Undergraduate or graduate students graduating between 2020-2026. No essay is required.
  • Deadline: Rolling deadlines
  • Award Amount: $1,000
Three college students walking down the steps on campus

How to Find Scholarships for College Students

There are many ways to go about finding scholarships for college. Students new to the scholarship process can take a few important steps to help them find the best scholarships. There are different places to look for scholarships: locally, online, with your college, and through federal programs.

Check out how to find scholarships for a more extensive look!

Look Locally

The best place to start is with opportunities you are already familiar with. See if there are scholarships meant for students specifically in the area you live, in the programs you are involved with, or through opportunities suggested by trusted community members.

Looking locally is a great way to start getting involved with scholarships because it allows students to find opportunities that are very specific. Local scholarships are beneficial in that they don't have as many applicants as larger national scholarships, giving students who apply a better chance of winning.

Online Platforms

Another good place to look for scholarships is online. Bold.org and many of the other organizations referenced in the scholarship section above are designed to help students fund college. These websites try to make it easy for students to apply for scholarships by making accessible platforms with easy-to-understand scholarship applications.

On Bold.org specifically, the application process is very straightforward, and the platform has countless scholarships available. New scholarships open up every week on Bold.org, allowing students to have access to new opportunities on a regular basis. Features such as the filters on the scholarship search page help students explore scholarships specific to their education level, background, experiences, interests, majors, etc. Many people apply for scholarships on these platforms, but there are significantly more opportunities than you would find locally.

College-Specific Scholarships

Individual colleges almost always have some sort of financial aid office or program available specifically for their students. Students can speak with members of their financial aid office, who can guide them through what kind of aid is available at your institution, as well as what scholarships are available.

Colleges want to give opportunities to their students because they want their students to succeed. High school students going into college can explore scholarships for incoming students. For current college students, talk to your advisors and financial aid office. Oftentimes, universities offer scholarships for college students every year, giving undergraduate and graduate students the chance to get financial aid every year.

These are important to pursue because they have a narrow pool of applicants - submissions only come from students attending that school. It's also a great way to discover your school's resources and network within your college.

Two college students reading books in the library

Federal Student Aid

Student loan debt has become more prevalent in the United States. Scholarships help combat this, but so do other types of financial aid. The government provides federal student aid catered for students who present a level of financial need. College students can apply yearly for the FAFSA and other government programs to help with college costs.

Sometimes this still isn't enough. Student loan programs operate both publicly and privately. Federal student loans are available to students who need loans to help pay for college. For more information on how the government can aid students financially, visit Federal Student Aid.

Scholarships for Me

Once you become familiar with where to find scholarships, it can almost become overwhelming. With so many opportunities, how do you know what to apply for?

One of the biggest suggestions we can give is to find scholarships specifically for students of your education level, background, grade point average, and/or major. The more eligibility requirements you satisfy, the better because scholarships with more requirements are open to fewer students. Scholarships are available for students of specific education levels, such as high school, undergraduate, graduate, career school, and more.

Other specific features to look for are your interests. Scholarships are available for students in specific majors and fields, as well as students with specific interests. Start by applying for scholarships that seem most individualized to you in order to give yourself the best chance of earning scholarships for college.

At the end of the day, your scholarship search is in your hands. You get to decide what kinds of scholarships you want to apply for and where you want to get your financial aid from. No matter what you choose, remember that there are always opportunities for you to fund your education. To begin your search now, visit the Bold.org scholarship search page.

college scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships for College Students

Where to find scholarships for college students

Scholarships are available to students at any step on their educational journey - all you have to do is look. As detailed more thoroughly above, there are scholarships available locally, specifically for your school, through online platforms, and more.

On Bold.org, it's a simple process. After you've created your free profile, you can begin exploring the exclusive scholarships offered. Sort through the opportunities using filters for education, amount, relevance, and interests/majors. College students have a tremendous number of options for financial aid if they simply look.

Which group of college students is typically offered scholarships?

College students at every degree level have scholarships available to them. High school seniors preparing to enter college are given many opportunities, but it doesn't stop there. Undergraduate students, especially in their freshman and sophomore years, are still early in their college careers and, therefore, have many expenses ahead of them. Freshman and sophomore College scholarships are available for all undergraduate students as well as graduate students. As long as you are a current student or enrolled in a school for the future, you are eligible to apply for various scholarships.

There are other scholarships offered for groups based on background. This includes scholarships for various ethnicities, specifically for minority students. Many scholarships are awarded to first-generation college students as well. As for interests, scholarships are often offered to students pursuing a specific career field or major. These options can all be found under the 'Category' filter.

How do scholarships help college students?

In the United States, student loan debt has become a wide-scale problem, with students in the U.S. owing a cumulative $1.745 trillion. Scholarships exist to reduce this number, giving future generations of college students the chance to graduate with little to no student debt.

Scholarships help college students avoid taking out masses of student debt by funding their education. This helps the future success and well-being of students as well as promotes a better economy across the nation. The effects are both short-term and long-term, making scholarships more important than ever.

Do colleges give scholarships to transfer students?

Scholarships are available for transfer students, especially on broad scholarship platforms like Bold.org. More specific transfer student scholarships vary in availability depending on the school. Some schools have scholarships specifically for transfer students or let transfer students apply for their general scholarships. Others might have a different process. In order to best understand your chances of getting scholarships as a transfer student, talk to the financial aid office at the school you are transferring to.

What’s the difference between a grant and a scholarship?

Scholarships and grants are easily confused, given that they are very similar in nature. However, there are three main differences: where the aid is being applied, how applicants qualify for the aid, and the source of the aid.

In general, scholarships can come from a variety of sources. They are usually based on merit and are explicitly for educational expenses. On the other hand, grants are often given by the federal government and are typically based on financial need. Grant money is not only reserved for tuition but can be used for other external expenses required for earning a higher education.

To learn more about how grants and scholarships differ, visit What is the Difference Between a Grant and a Scholarship?

How many scholarships can you get?

On Bold.org, there is no limit on the number of scholarships you can win. For other scholarship platforms or specific local/school-specific scholarships, there may be rules restricting students from winning the same scholarship multiple times, etc. However, in general, students are not limited in how many scholarships they can earn.

Are scholarships considered taxable income?

Scholarships won through Bold.org do not count as income because the money is not given to the individual who won the scholarship. Instead, the scholarship money is sent directly to the student's university. If students are in high school or are not yet enrolled in an upper-level college or university, their scholarship money will be held in an account with Bold.org until they enroll.

Check out the hundreds of scholarships currently taking applications on Bold.org for even more financial aid options!