It is important for high school students to start looking for college scholarships early. In 2021, student loan debt reached about $1.7 trillion, with the average student loan debt being $37,693. By starting to find ways to save for college, high school students can ensure that they can attend college without worrying about debt.
86.4% of first-time, first-year undergraduate students receive financial aid in some form. While some colleges offer private scholarships and grants, financial aid doesn’t cover the costs of college for everyone, with 58% of 2018 graduates holding student debt. Bold.org is committed to fighting this issue by eliminating the need for student loans in order to make higher education more accessible.
Despite the costs, college is an important step for students to take. College enrollment rates have declined by an average of 1.67% per year since 2010, but higher education offers opportunities to explore what you are passionate about and even allows you to prosper later in life. Employees holding a bachelor's degree, a four-year college degree, take home an average of 66% more income than those with a high school diploma.
For high school students who wish to attend college but don't know how they can afford it, there are plenty of options for you. While there are many federal grants and loans that you can turn to, another option is scholarships.
Over 1.7 million scholarships are awarded annually, but only 7% of college students receive a scholarship. Many scholarships are left unclaimed due to lack of access, but by applying early, high school students can ensure that they are able to get an undergraduate degree without the stress of paying back student loans. Scholarships are a key component of affording college or graduate school and Bold.org is here to help.
On Bold.org, high school students can start early and apply for plenty of scholarships. While a majority of scholarships are for college or graduate students, there are also lots of scholarships for high school students.
To find scholarships on Bold.org, you can go to the list of scholarships and switch the education level to "High School" or you can take a look at this list of exclusive scholarships for highschool students categorized be grade.
If you are a high school freshman, there are some scholarships that can help you start saving for college. Although many high school scholarships cater exclusively to upperclassmen, there are plenty of scholarships for younger high schoolers.
Freshman year can be a great time to start thinking about finding and applying for scholarships for high school students, because freshmen usually have a lighter workload than upperclassmen, making it easier to get a head start on securing financial aid.
By applying for scholarships early, you can guarantee that you are able to apply for scholarships without the additional stress of college applications. There are some scholarships for high school students that allow you to get started early, including the list below.
For more freshman scholarships, you can look at Bold.org's list of 16 Exclusive Scholarships for High School Freshmen
If you are a high school sophomore, there are some scholarships that you can apply for. As noted above, many scholarships cater to high school juniors and seniors, but there are still some scholarships which include underclassmen.
By finding and applying for scholarships early, high school sophomores can guarantee that the college admissions process will be less stressful. Since high school sophomores typically have more free time on their hands than high school seniors and college students, they should start applying for scholarships as soon as possible. You can find some examples of these scholarships below.
For more scholarships, you can also look at Bold.org's list of Exclusive Scholarships for High School Sophomores with Upcoming Deadlines.
If you are a high school junior, you may be just starting to think about college admissions. Juniors have to worry about standardized test scores and challenging honors and AP classes, but with college around the corner, it is also important to think about how you can fund your college education.
By spending the school year applying for scholarship money, high school juniors can guarantee that their senior year and the college application process will be less stressful. While there are more scholarships available for high school seniors, many scholarship awards include high school juniors in their description, including the list below.
For more scholarships, you can also look at this list of 17 Exclusive Scholarships for High School Juniors (2022).
If you are a high school senior, you're in luck! There are many scholarships that cater specifically to high school seniors who are preparing for college and searching for financial aid. In the last year of high school, many students struggle with submitting their college applications and making decisions about their college education while keeping up with challenging classes.
Although high school seniors are extremely busy, it is still important that students take some time to apply for scholarships. There are plenty of scholarships on Bold.org that graduating high school seniors can easily apply for, including some of the scholarships below.
For more scholarships, you can also look at Bold.org's list of Top 23 Scholarships for High School Seniors with Upcoming Deadlines.
There is an abundance of scholarships available to high school students on Bold.org. Many opportunities require scholarship essays or other application materials in order to apply, but there are also plenty of quick and easy no-essay scholarships as well. Simply use the scholarship search to find the perfect scholarship for you.
In addition to filtering scholarships for high school students by education level, you can also browse scholarship categories to find scholarships related to your field of study, such as mental health scholarships, awards for applicants with an entrepreneurial spirit, STEM scholarships, and plenty of other scholarships as well.
Many scholarship opportunities are open to all or most high school students and some have more specific requirements, such as only being open to minority students. In addition to scholarships for high school students with financial need, other opportunities include merit scholarships (e.g., those based on a minimum GPA, etc.). These scholarships are open to students who have demonstrated leadership, strong academic performance, or other skills.
Each scholarship will include eligibility criteria in the description, so be sure to verify that you're eligible before taking the time to apply.
The big question is when can high school students start applying for scholarships? In addition to the extra requirements discussed above, scholarships always require applicants to be at least fourteen years old and in high school or some form of higher education. As soon as you meet these requirements, you can start applying and jump ahead of other students in the search for scholarships. We encourage all high school students, especially current high school seniors, to start applying.
When high school students win a scholarship, we will hold the award money for them until they are enrolled in a college or other higher education institution, at which time we'll send the money to their school!