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Last updated on June 10, 2024

Top Need-Based Scholarships to Apply for in 2024

The Best Need-Based Scholarships with Upcoming Deadlines

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150 SCHOLARSHIPS
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  1. Etherine Tansimore Scholarship

    Funded by
    Ollie Tansimore
    This scholarship is perfect for high school seniors from low-income backgrounds who want to make a difference through a career in the medical field.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school senior
    • GPA: 2.5 or higher
    • Background: Low-income
    • Field: Medical
    Amount:$550
    Deadline:Nov 28, 2024
    One Click Apply
    1
  2. Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal Scholarship for Scientific Studies

    Funded by
    The Aggarwal Family
    This scholarship seeks to support the next great minds of science by helping low-income high school students in Massachusetts and New Jersey afford their college education.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school junior or senior
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • GPA: 3.0 or higher
    • Field of Interest: Science
    • Location: Massachusetts, New Jersey
    Amount:$5,300
    Deadline is Approaching! 24 days left
    One Click Apply
    2
  3. Frederick and Bernice Beretta Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    Beretta Family
    This scholarship seeks to honor the memories of Frederick and Bernice Beretta by supporting students who are trying to better themselves through education.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • State: California
    • Background: Financial need
    • Education Level: High school, undergraduate, or trade school student
    Amount:$2,500
    Deadline is Approaching! 2 days left
    One Click Apply
    3
  4. Eleanor Anderson-Miles Foundation Scholarship

    Funded by
    Sebastian Miles
    This scholarship seeks to create a path for students to develop themselves through access to education in hopes to create a foundation for academic, emotional, and social success.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: Undergraduate student
    • Background: Has overcome adversity
    Amount:$6,000
    Deadline is Approaching! 5 days left
    One Click Apply
    4
  5. Rompe Las Fronteras Scholarship

    Funded by
    David Felipe
    This scholarship aims to support underprivileged Latin-American students who are dedicated to pursuing higher education.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school senior
    • Identity: First-generation, low-income, and Latin American
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline is Approaching! 15 days left
    One Click Apply
    5
  6. Surveys and Savings No-Essay Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship aims to support students who are looking for free and easy opportunities to improve their finances.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$500
    Deadline is Approaching! 16 days left
    One Click Apply
    6
  7. Scorenavigator Financial Literacy Scholarship

    Funded by
    ScoreNavigator Inc
    This scholarship will support high school junior and senior students from low-income backgrounds, who have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school junior or senior
    • Background: Low-income
    • GPA: 3.0 or higher
    Amount:$5,000
    Deadline is Approaching! 28 days left
    One Click Apply
    7
  8. WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship

    Funded by
    WC & EJ Thornton Foundation
    This scholarship exists as one small way to make higher education more accessible to low-income students.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Financial Status: Low-Income
    • Education: High school senior, going back to school, or already in a post-secondary program
    Amount:$20,000
    Deadline:Jul 16, 2024
    One Click Apply
    8
  9. Miguel Mendez Social Justice Scholarship

    Funded by
    Nancy Roberts
    This scholarship will support students who are passionate about social justice and seek to enact change in their communities.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: Undergraduate
    • Background: Low-income and first-generation college student
    • GPA: 3.0 or higher
    • Career Path: Social Justice
    Amount:$3,000
    Deadline:Jul 19, 2024
    One Click Apply
    9
  10. Nell’s Will Scholarship

    Funded by
    Nell's Treasures
    This scholarship aims to support disadvantaged girls who would like to attend college but don’t have the funds to do so.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school or undergraduate student
    • Gender: Female-identifying
    • GPA: 3.5 or higher
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Jul 20, 2024
    One Click Apply
    10
  11. Pierson Family Scholarship for U.S. Studies

    Funded by
    Pierson Family
    This scholarship aims to support international students who want to pursue higher education in the United States.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • GPA: 3.5 or higher
    • Identity: International and/or non-US citizen
    • Education Level: High school or undergraduate
    Amount:$10,200
    Deadline:Aug 01, 2024
    One Click Apply
    11
  12. My Brother's Keeper Scholarship

    Funded by
    Ministries of Restoration
    This scholarship seeks to make higher education accessible for low-income students living in Michigan.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • GPA: 2.5 or higher
    • Education Level: High school student
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • State: Michigan
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Aug 04, 2024
    One Click Apply
    12
  13. TJ Crowson Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    The Crowson Family
    This scholarship aims to honor the memory of TJ Crowson by supporting students with financial need who are pursuing law.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school senior or undergraduate student
    • Field of Study: Law
    • Financial Background: Low-income
    Amount:$3,000
    Deadline:Aug 16, 2024
    One Click Apply
    13
  14. Schmid Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    Mattson Family
    This scholarship aims to honor Erich and Frieda Schmid by supporting students who display the compassion and generosity that they embodied.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school senior or two or four-year undergraduate student
    • Background: Volunteering or community service experience
    Amount:$2,000
    Deadline:Aug 18, 2024
    One Click Apply
    14
  15. Sara Chaiton Scholarship for Resilient Women

    Funded by
    Chaiton Family
    This scholarship is in the memory of our grandmother, Sara Chaiton, a Holocaust survivor who was 15 when her life was torn apart by Nazis. After losing nearly everyone she knew, she was able to emigrate to Canada and returned to high school in her 50s. This scholarship in her honor will award a Jewish teen or young adult whose education was changed or temporarily halted by the loss of an immediate relative. The annual amount will be $500/year.This scholarship aims to honor the incredible life of Sara Chaiton by supporting Jewish students who have been impacted by the loss of a loved one.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school senior, undergraudate, or graduate student
    • Gender: Female-identifying
    • Identity: Jewish
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Aug 25, 2024
    One Click Apply
    15
  16. Douglass M. Hamilton Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    Hamilton Family
    This scholarship aims to honor the memory of the Hamilton family patriarch by helping low-income students pursue higher education.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • State: Oregon
    Amount:$7,700
    Deadline:Aug 29, 2024
    One Click Apply
    16
  17. Kumar Family Scholarship

    Funded by
    Scholarship Creation Club
    This scholarship seeks to support underserved students who need financial assistance in order to pursue higher education.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • Background: First-generation college student
    • Education Level: High school or undergraduate student
    • GPA: 3.2 or higher
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Aug 30, 2024
    One Click Apply
    17
  18. Wendy Alders Cartland Visual Arts Scholarship

    Funded by
    Wendy Cartland
    This scholarship aims to honor the legacy of Wendy Alders Cartland by supporting low-income students pursuing the visual arts.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: Undergraduate or graduate student
    • Financial Background: Low-income
    • Field of Study: Visual arts
    • Experience: Non-profit, volunteering, or work experience involving participation in the visual arts
    Amount:$10,000
    Deadline:Sep 05, 2024
    One Click Apply
    18
  19. Promising Pathways - Hard of Hearing Scholarship

    Funded by
    Seamone Family
    This scholarship seeks to support students with hearing impairments so they’re able to pursue their college degrees.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: Undergraduate student
    • Hearing: Wears hearing aid or cochlear implants to assist with hearing
    Amount:$2,000
    Deadline:Sep 06, 2024
    One Click Apply
    19
  20. Lotus Scholarship

    Funded by
    Fiona Chen
    This scholarship will support BIPOC students who are from low-income backgrounds or have been raised in single-parent households.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school senior, undergraduate, or graduate
    • Race/Ethnicity: BIPOC
    • Background: Low-income or raised by a single parent
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Sep 10, 2024
    One Click Apply
    20
  21. Henry Bynum, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    Kimberly Bynum
    This scholarship seeks to support low-income students who need financial support to achieve their dreams of higher education.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school, undergraduate, or graduate student
    • Race: African American
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • Background: Volunteering experience
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Sep 10, 2024
    One Click Apply
    21
  22. Cyrilla Olapeju Sanni Scholarship Fund

    Funded by
    Cyrilla Olapeju Sanni Scholarship Fund
    This scholarship seeks to support African students who are struggling financially so they can fund their education and achieve their dreams.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Race: African
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • GPA: 3.0 or higher
    • Background: Migrant from Africa or the child of African migrants
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Sep 12, 2024
    One Click Apply
    22
  23. Clarice Kanouse Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    Trista Budzynski
    This scholarship aims to support low-income students from challenging backgrounds who are pursuing their dreams of higher education.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school or undergraduate student
    • Field of Study: Nursing
    • State: Michigan
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    Amount:$2,000
    Deadline:Sep 28, 2024
    One Click Apply
    23
  24. Manny and Sylvia Weiner Medical Scholarship

    Funded by
    Mezaros / Weiner Family
    This scholarship seeks to support students who are striving to become medical doctors and require financial assistance.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Financial Status: Must demonstrate financial need
    • Education Level: Must be in medical school or an undergraduate student in a pre-med program
    • Career Goals: Must be working towards becoming an M.D.
    Amount:$7,500
    Deadline:Nov 01, 2024
    One Click Apply
    24
  25. Hilliard L. "Tack" Gibbs Jr. Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bertha Gibbs
    This scholarship seeks to honor the life of Hilliard L. “Tack” Gibbs Jr. by supporting students who are pursuing science and math.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school senior or undergraduate student
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • Field of Study: Science or math
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Nov 15, 2024
    One Click Apply
    25
  26. Cybersecurity & The Latinx Community Scholarship

    Funded by
    Castellanos
    This scholarship aims to support Latinx students who are pursuing higher education in cybersecurity.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: Undergraduate student
    • Ethnicity: Latinx
    • Financial Background: Low-income
    • Field of Study: Cybersecurity
    Amount:$5,000
    Deadline:Nov 25, 2024
    One Click Apply
    26
  27. Ethan To Scholarship

    Funded by
    Justin To & Ann Tran
    This scholarship aims to honor the memory of Ethan To by raising awareness of mental health struggles and supporting students as they pursue their goals.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: Undergraduate or graduate student
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • Field of Study: Psychology and/or counseling
    • GPA: Undergraduate 3.5 or Graduate 3.2
    Amount:$2,000
    Deadline:Feb 16, 2025
    One Click Apply
    27
  28. Coach "Frank" Anthony Ciccone Wrestling Scholarship

    Funded by
    Joe Falconi
    This scholarship seeks to honor the life of Coach “Frank” Anthony Ciccone by supporting students who share his love for wrestling.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school or undergraduate student
    • Background: Financial need
    • Sports Experience: Wrestling (ideally planning to wrestle in college)
    Amount:$2,500
    Deadline:Mar 10, 2025
    One Click Apply
    28
  29. Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care

    Funded by
    Lance Lawson
    This scholarship seeks to support high school and undergraduate students who intend to spend their careers helping other people.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school senior or undergraduate student
    • Financial Status: Low-income
    • Field of Interest: Healthcare, social work, government, education or a related field
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Apr 15, 2025
    One Click Apply
    29
  30. Chief Lawrence J. Nemec Jr. Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    Michael Bosch
    This scholarship seeks to help five students who are volunteer firefighters or EMTs afford their college education.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Experience: Volunteer as a firefighter or EMT
    Amount:$16,000
    Deadline:Aug 10, 2024
    One Click Apply
    30
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About Need-Based Scholarships

When it comes to pursuing higher education, the cost can often be a major obstacle for many students. However, need-based scholarships provide an opportunity to alleviate some of the financial burden and make college more accessible. In the U.S. alone, borrowers collectively owe $1.75 trillion.

For many low-income students, loans open the door to higher education and the bright futures that can come from it, but these loans can also be difficult to pay off. It takes an average of 20 years for a borrower to finish paying off the student debt. Additionally, high interest rates can make the total amount paid far higher than the initial balance, and many borrowers actually see an increase in their balance during the first five years. 

Need-based scholarships seek to solve this problem by providing financial aid to the students who need it most. These scholarship opportunities are not awarded solely based on merit but also on financial need. Since low-income students have the fewest family resources to pay for college, they often have to rely on student loans to cover costs if federal aid and merit scholarships don't cover their total expenses. 

Let's explore what need-based scholarships are, the best options available, how to apply for them, and tips for qualifying.

Make a Bold.org profile to access hundreds of exclusive scholarships, with more added daily.




What Is a Need-Based Scholarship?

A need-based scholarship is a type of financial aid that is awarded to students based on their demonstrated financial need. Unlike merit-based scholarships, which are awarded based on academic or extracurricular achievements, need-based scholarships take into consideration the financial circumstances of the student and their family.

These scholarships are designed to bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and the amount of financial resources available to the student. They aim to provide assistance to students who would otherwise be unable to afford the full cost of tuition and other expenses associated with pursuing higher education.

It's important to note that the availability and criteria for need-based scholarships can vary widely depending on the institution or organization offering the scholarship. Some scholarships may be funded by the government, while others are provided by private donors or foundations with specific eligibility requirements.

Here at Bold.org, we have tons of scholarships and even grants for student loans.



Are Need-Based Scholarships Only for Undergraduate Students?

No, there are need-based scholarships available for undergraduate, graduate, and even doctoral students. Each scholarship program may have its own specific eligibility criteria.



Best Need-Based Scholarships

There are many need-based awards that low-income students should consider when searching for financial aid. No matter what education level you're pursuing, what demographic you're from, or what career field you're entering, there are need-based scholarships out there for you. Consider applying for the scholarship opportunities below to reduce your need for student loans.



Need-Based Scholarships for High School Students

High school students should consider beginning their scholarship search as early as possible to maximize their earnings. The early years of high school are often less overwhelming than your junior and senior years, so it can be a great time to pursue scholarship opportunities. 

As soon as you're in high school and at least fourteen years old, you can begin applying for scholarships on Bold.org. There are plenty of opportunities that all high school students are eligible to apply for, but high school seniors, in particular, can benefit from grade-level scholarships. 



Need-Based Scholarships for College Students

Whether you're continuing your scholarship search or just beginning, college is a critical time to find financial support. Federal student aid often doesn't go far enough when paying for college, so scholarships can be essential, especially for students with financial need.




Need-Based Scholarships for Graduate Students

Graduate students often don't think to look into scholarships since they're so far into their education journey. Though applying for scholarships while in high school and/or college can help students get ahead, it's never too late to begin applying. The high costs of the average graduate degree program make it difficult for graduate students to afford their tuition without turning to loans.

Recent college graduates or graduate students enrolled in current programs can also consider scholarships and grants to pay off student debt.



Need-Based Scholarships for International Students

International students often can't receive federal financial aid, making it difficult for them to afford higher education. International students who are now college students enrolled in the U.S. can apply for scholarships directly through Bold.org.



How to Qualify for Need-Based Scholarships

Qualifying for need-based scholarships typically depends on the applicant's financial situation. Here are some factors that scholarship committees may consider when determining eligibility:



  • Family income: Scholarships often have income thresholds, and students from lower-income families may have a higher chance of qualifying for need-based scholarships.
  • Financial assets: Besides income, scholarship committees may also consider the value of a student's financial assets, such as savings, investments, and property.
  • Number of dependents: If a student is part of a larger family with more dependents, their chances of qualifying for need-based scholarships may increase.
  • Academic performance: Some scholarships may take academic achievements into account as a secondary factor for eligibility.

Applicants should pay attention to the specific application requirements for each scholarship. Some scholarships may require essays, letters of recommendation, test scores, or proof of exceptional financial need. Meeting all the necessary documentation and deadlines is essential to maximize the chances of receiving need-based scholarships.

Every scholarship you apply for on Bold.org will have detailed instructions and eligibility requirements in the description, making it easy to verify whether or not you're an eligible applicant. If you qualify for Federal Pell Grants or other aid from the Federal Government, you'll likely qualify for some need-based scholarship aid.

Additionally, scholarships for financial need may have other non-financial eligibility criteria that you must meet in order to apply. These requirements can include your education level, academic excellence, GPA, first-generation status, or even your state location. 

Every scholarship is different, but you can use scholarship filters and categories to find relevant opportunities. Make sure your profile is completely filled out and accurate so that you know whether or not you should qualify. Once you've double-checked the eligibility requirements, you should be all set to begin applying!




How to Apply for Need-Based Scholarships

The application process for need-based scholarships may vary depending on the scholarship program. However, there are some general steps that students can follow:



Research Scholarship Programs

Start by researching and identifying scholarships that are specifically designed for students with financial need.



Gather Required Documents

Most scholarships require applicants to submit financial documents such as tax returns, income statements, or FAFSA reports. Make sure to gather all the necessary paperwork.



Complete the Application

Carefully fill out the application form, ensuring that all the information is accurate and complete.



Write Compelling Essays

Many scholarships require applicants to write essays that highlight their personal experiences, goals, and aspirations. Take the time to craft well-written essays that effectively communicate your story.



Submit the Application

After reviewing and double-checking all the information, submit your application before the deadline.

It is important to note that in addition to the steps mentioned above, students should also consider reaching out to their school's financial aid office for guidance on need-based scholarships. These offices often have valuable resources and can provide assistance in identifying relevant scholarship opportunities.

Furthermore, when writing essays for need-based scholarships, applicants should not only focus on their financial need but also emphasize how receiving the scholarship would impact their academic and career goals. Demonstrating a clear connection between the scholarship and their aspirations can significantly strengthen their application.




Applying for Scholarships on Bold.org

After checking all eligibility requirements for a scholarship, you can start the application. Scholarships on Bold.org are designed to be quick and easy to apply for, but you will still have to spend some time on each application in order to put your best foot forward. 

Most scholarship opportunities require applicants to submit a short essay in order to apply. These essays typically range from 400 to 600 words, and some can be even shorter. When writing a scholarship essay, there will always be a prompt with one or more questions or topics for you to focus on in your response. Keep reading for our best scholarship essay tips!

Other types of scholarships may require that you submit another type of work, such as videos, photos, or portfolios. These scholarships may require an essay to supplement your creative work, but often, there's no essay requirement for these options.

The final type of scholarship is the easiest and quickest to apply for. These scholarships don't require any type of submission, whether written or creative, but can instead be applied for with just a few clicks! These scholarships may sound too good to be true, but there are plenty of easy, no-essay scholarships available to all students. 

While easy and broad scholarships are good options when you have limited time to spend on your scholarship applications, you should try to apply for a variety of scholarship types. Since no-essay scholarships are so simple to apply for and often have little to no eligibility requirements, they normally receive the most applications. With so many other students applying and no submission allowing you to make a connection with the donor, no-essay scholarships can be very competitive.

Even though many students apply for no-essay scholarships, someone will always win, and it could be you! Since these scholarships take so little effort to apply for, they're low-risk and high-reward.