Niche College Scholarship

High School Scholarships

Applying to college represents the pinnacle of your high school career - but it can also be unbelievably stressful. How do you know which schools to choose? What should you major in? And most importantly, how are you actually going to pay for it all? Thankfully, high school scholarships can reduce the cost of tuition and make it possible to graduate with a degree and minimal student loans. Keep reading to learn more about how these scholarships work, how to qualify and when to apply.

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What are high school scholarships?

A high school scholarship is an award given to a high school student to be used for their college education. High school scholarships can be given for two-year or four-year schools. Both community college and vocational school students can find scholarships.

High school scholarships can be granted by a third-party organization or directly by the school. Some for-profit companies and individual states also provide scholarships and grants to eligible high school students.

Requirements for high school scholarships will vary, but many ask for a transcript, a copy of standardized test scores, an essay and at least one letter of recommendation. Some scholarships will have a portfolio or video component requirement.

How to apply for high school scholarships

If you've never applied for a scholarship before, the process can seem daunting and complicated. The first step is to read through all the information on the scholarship’s website, so you understand if you’re eligible to apply and what you need to submit the application.Most scholarship providers have FAQ pages that you can review if you have questions. If you still need help, there’s usually a scholarship coordinator you can contact.

While many popular high school scholarships are available to most students, others will have a specific niche. For example, the Cards Against Humanity Science Ambassador Scholarship is given to a high school senior or college student who can thoughtfully and concisely explain a STEM topic they care about in a three-minute video.

Many schools that offer scholarships require that students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the federal government's official form that lets students qualify for federal aid, including student loans, grants and work-study. Submitting the FAFSA is the best way to ensure you’ll maximize your financial aid opportunities.

Some states also offer grants for students attending school locally. If you're a high school student, start researching how to qualify for these grants. There may be a minimum high school GPA that you must have. These state grants may have an extra application form to fill out, but sometimes submitting the FAFSA is enough.

What are the best high school scholarships?

The QuestBridge Scholarship program is one of the most generous award programs in the country. Winners will receive a full tuition scholarship to one of 50+ schools, including Yale University, Stanford University and Princeton University. This four-year scholarship is worth more than $200,000. High school juniors and seniors are eligible to apply.

The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship provides a $40,000 award and a guaranteed paid internship at Amazon. High school seniors with a 2.3 GPA or more and an interest in computer science are eligible to apply.

Where can I find high school scholarships?

Our official Scholarship Directory has a general high school scholarship page as well as an exhaustive list of subgroups, where you can find scholarships for all kinds of students.

Make sure to use the filter to discover scholarships that you might be uniquely qualified for. For example, if you play the tuba, look for scholarships for musically inclined students. Pay attention to your teachers if they mention any scholarship opportunities. If you're involved in a local organization, like your church or Girl Scout group, ask if they offer scholarships.

Do I have to be a senior in high school to qualify for a high school scholarship?

High school seniors are usually eligible for most scholarships, but other grade levels can also qualify for significant awards. For example, The Phyliss J. McCarthy Scholarship for Excellence in Writing is open to both high school juniors and seniors. Applicants will have to write a 2,000-word essay to win a $1,000 prize.

Even if you're a high school freshman, you can start looking at scholarship opportunities. Go through the scholarships that you're eligible for and apply for as many as you can. If you find some that you're not old enough for yet, set them aside for later.

Explore more scholarship categories

L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of The Future Contest

  • Amount $5,000
  • Deadline December 31, 2023

L. Ron Hubbard's Illustrators of the Future Contest is an opportunity for new science fiction and fantasy artists worldwide to have their work judged by some of the masters in the field and discovered by a wide audience. Entries in the Illustrators of the Future Contest are judged only by professional artists. Three prizes of $500 are awarded each quarter. From the twelve quarterly winners each ... Read more

Eastern New Mexico University Freshman Academic Scholarship

  • Amount $21,600
  • Deadline January 3, 2024

To be considered for an Undergraduate Admissions Scholarship, the priority deadline is Aug. 1 for the fall semester and Jan. 3 for the spring semester. Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) offers academic scholarships that can total more than $33 thousand over four years of attendance for New Mexico first-time freshmen. We also encourage you to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student ... Read more

University of Tennessee- Chattanooga Provost's Scholars Program

  • Amount $16,000
  • Deadline January 10, 2024

Unique, like you. We have a collection of competitive scholarships with a wide range of criteria. And the best part? They don’t have to be repaid. UTC scholarship funds are limited and the awarding process is competitive. That means, even though you meet all eligibility requirements, you still might not be awarded a scholarship. The best way to improve your chances is to always submit all ... Read more

ARRL Foundation Scholarship Programs

  • Amount $25,000
  • Deadline January 10, 2024

All applicants must be active, FCC-licensed amateur radio operators [Note: Active foreign amateur radio operators are eligible for The ARDC Scholarships.] All applicants must submit a completed online application. Transcripts and additional required documents must be submitted with the application and not emailed separately. A number of scholarships require additional documents, such as a letter ... Read more

The Coolidge Scholarship

  • Amount $120,000
  • Deadline January 18, 2024

The Coolidge Scholarship is a prestigious, full-ride, presidential scholarship for four years of undergraduate study at any accredited U.S. college or university, open to students of all backgrounds and academic disciplines. Scholarship Details Covers tuition, room, board, and expenses for four years of undergraduate study. Applicable at any accredited college or university in the ... Read more

Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program

  • Amount $20,000
  • Deadline January 30, 2024

The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program honors student-athletes who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and strong leadership skills in sports, in their schools, and within their communities. Whether you're the lead scorer or the most spirited team player, we want to hear how you have taken the skills you've cultivated in the locker room and used them to create a powerful, positive impact ... Read more

National Merit Scholarship Corporation Program

  • Amount $2,500
  • Deadline January 31, 2024

National Merit Scholarship Program: How to Qualify and Apply What is the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC)? The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has a long-standing commitment to recognizing and celebrating the academic achievements of U.S. students. Founded in 1955, its primary mission is to highlight the brilliance of young minds and promote a deeper respect for ... Read more

Princeton Prize in Race Relations (PPRR)

  • Amount $1,000
  • Deadline January 31, 2024

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations (PPRR) recognizes and rewards high school students who, through their volunteer activities, have undertaken significant efforts to advance racial equity and understanding in their schools or communities. PPRR operates through 28 Regional Committees and an at-large committee that accepts applications from high school students who live outside the geographic ... Read more

Davidson Fellows Scholarship

  • Amount $50,000
  • Deadline February 14, 2024

The Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards scholarships to extraordinary young people, 18 and under, who have completed a significant piece of work. Application categories are Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and Outside the Box. Davidson Fellows are honored every year in Washington, D.C. with Congressional meetings and a special reception. Applicants must ... Read more

Straight "A" Scholarship

  • Amount $5,000
  • Deadline February 24, 2024

We’ve redefined the meaning of Straight ‘A’s. This scholarship awards high school students who are pursuing Academic Excellence and Athletic Achievement, are Actively serving in the community while possessing strong Ambition, have a winning Attitude, and are able to overcome Adversity. All high school students, freshmen through seniors, with a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average and in the ... Read more

TheDream.US National Scholarship

  • Amount $33,000
  • Deadline February 28, 2024

At Dream.US, we believe in turning dreams into reality, especially for highly motivated undocumented students facing significant financial barriers. Our National Scholarship is more than just a financial aid; it's a pathway for you to overcome challenges, pursue higher education, and make a positive impact on your community. Key Features of the National Scholarship: • Pell Grant ... Read more

Cancer Unwrapped Teen Writing Contest

  • Amount $1,000
  • Deadline March 1, 2024

Learning about a cancer diagnosis – your own or that of a loved one – can cause a storm of emotions, and everyone experiences it differently. We want to know what this experience was like for you. Did you feel angry, sad, lonely, or maybe something you didn’t expect? What happened in your life, and did it change you or your perspectives? We invite you to submit a short essay about your experience ... Read more

National Technical Honor Society Scholarship

  • Amount $1,000
  • Deadline March 1, 2024

The National Technical Honor Society Scholarship is awarded annually to two qualified FCCLA members, who are also current members of the National Technical Honor Society. Recipients will be selected based on their contribution and leadership within Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, as well as the National Technical Honor Society. The scholarship is applied directly to the college ... Read more

Doodle for Google Scholarship

  • Amount $30,000
  • Deadline March 14, 2024

The Doodle for Google Scholarship is a unique contest that awards students for their artistic and creative skills. The scholarship program focuses on a theme and invites participants to express this through their artwork. The contest is judged on artistic skill, creativity and originality, and how well the theme is expressed in the doodle. Scholarship Details National Winner gets a ... Read more

Horatio Alger National Scholarship

  • Amount $25,000
  • Deadline March 15, 2024

To be eligible to apply for the Horatio Alger National Scholarship, applicants must be enrolled full time as a high school junior in the United States; be progressing normally toward graduation in spring/summer with plans to enter a college in the United States no later than the fall following graduation. Applicants must exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a bachelor’s degree at an ... Read more

Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship

  • Amount $5,000
  • Deadline March 31, 2024

The Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship program was established to provide post-secondary scholarship assistance for spouses and dependents of our nation’s fallen or disabled service members. Applicants may be high school students who are concurrently enrolled in college courses or undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll in community college, college or a university. ... Read more

Project Yellow Light Hunter Garner Scholarship

  • Amount $8,000
  • Deadline April 1, 2024

Project Yellow Light is a scholarship competition with a clear mission: to bring about change by discouraging distracted driving, especially the use of phones while driving. The scholarship aims to encourage applicants to create impactful PSAs (Public Service Announcements) to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Scholarship Details Scholarship Name: Project Yellow ... Read more

Joshua L. Anderson Memorial Foundation Scholarship

  • Amount $3,500
  • Deadline April 7, 2024

The Joshua L. Anderson Memorial Foundation was created in 1992 to award scholarships to deserving student/athlete graduates from high schools in Northern Nevada. Since inception 30 years ago, the Foundation has awarded three hundred and fifty three (353) scholarships to students from thirty three different Northern Nevada high schools. The Foundation expects to award 15 additional scholarships ... Read more

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

  • Amount $10,000
  • Deadline April 15, 2024

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes welcomes applications from public-spirited young people and honors outstanding young leaders who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. Their leadership and courage make them true heroes - and inspirations to us all. Applicants must be 8 to 18 years of age and must be permanent residents of the U.S or Canada, and must be ... Read more

Joseph B. Ezhaya Memorial Scholarship

  • Amount $3,000
  • Deadline April 21, 2024

To be eligible for the Joseph B. Ezhaya Memorial Scholarship, applicants must: be currently attending a Mid-Maine Chamber area high school (Lawrence, Winslow, Mt. View, Waterville, Messalonskee, MCI, Erskine, Calvary Temple, Maine Arts Academy or Good Will-Hinckley); have an academic average of at least a "C;" show evidence of community service and involvement; complete a required essay on ... Read more

WGA Celebrate The West High School Art Competition

  • Amount $1,700
  • Deadline April 30, 2024

Students must be in a school in Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming. WGA's panel of art experts will select one finalist from each state and territory. State Winners will receive $200 and compete for overall First ... Read more

Dedman Essay Competition

  • Amount $1,500
  • Deadline April 30, 2024

Dedman Scholars belong to cohorts organized by entering class, with each cohort named after a Dedman virtue: humility, sacrifice, courage, conviction, honor, compassion, integrity, and honesty. These eight virtues also reflect the character attributes that Robert Dedman upheld in his own life and identified as the foundation for his success. The Dedman Distinguished Scholars Program at The ... Read more

Brower Youth Award

  • Amount $3,000
  • Deadline May 1, 2024

Earth Island Institute established the Brower Youth Awards for Environmental Leadership in 2000 to honor renowned environmental advocate David Brower, who said, “I love to see what young people can do, before someone old tells them it’s impossible.” It is with this spirit that we recognize the outstanding leadership efforts of young people who are working for the protection of our shared ... Read more

The Paradigm Challenge

  • Amount $100,000
  • Deadline May 1, 2024

The Paradigm Challenge is an ongoing competition that invites students up to age 18 from around the world to use kindness, creativity, and collaboration to help solve real-life problems and make a difference. Students may enter the Paradigm Challenge individually or as teams of any size. All types of entries are welcome, including posters, videos, inventions, public messages, community events, ... Read more

Hospitality Education Scholarship

  • Amount $8,000
  • Deadline May 25, 2024

To qualify for the Hospitality Education Scholarship, students must have an overall cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 and must enroll to study hospitality at either the University of New Orleans or Delgado Community College. Applicants must be a high school junior or senior in the Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, Iberville, Tangipahoa, ... Read more

Fourth Circuit High School Essay Contest

  • Amount $2,000
  • Deadline May 31, 2024

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is seeking submissions for its essay contest. The contest is open to all students currently in grades 9 through 12 from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Students are invited to consider and share their thoughts on the question: "In light of Meyer and later cases, may a state, consistent with the protections ... Read more

Stuck At Prom Scholarship Contest

  • Amount $10,000
  • Deadline June 7, 2024

We’re giving away $20,000 in cash scholarships to high school students who make the best prom attire out of Duck® Brand Duct Tape! New this year? We want to make sure everyone has a chance to enter and win no matter what prom looks like for you. So, we have removed the requirement to wear your one-of-a-kind creation to prom -- you just need to be enrolled in high school or a home school ... Read more

ConnectHER Film Festival

  • Amount $5,000
  • Deadline June 15, 2024

The ConnectHER Film Festival is an international youth competition that welcomes short films about issues that impact women and girls. Before making a film for submission, please read all of the following entry requirements and FAQs. Films must focus on one of our topic areas listed on our website. Categories include global girls’ education, women and work, ending violence against women, women ... Read more

California Assn. of Collectors Educational Scholarship Foundation

  • Amount $2,500
  • Deadline June 30, 2024

CACESF’s scholarship contest is open to current high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in a California high school and will be attending any accredited public or private college, university, or trade school within 12 months of graduation. Essay prompt: All applicants must write an original essay on the following topic: The importance of establishing and maintaining good financial credit ... Read more

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

  • Amount $20,000
  • Deadline October 2, 2024

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to students in their final year of high school. Recognizing students for their ability to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities, the Foundation has provided over 6,750 Coca-Cola Scholars with more than $81 million in educational support since ... Read more

Students of the Year- Los Angeles

  • Amount $2,500
  • Deadline October 28, 2024

Students of the Year is a seven-week initiative from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where a select group of motivated high school students across Greater Los Angeles participate in a fundraising competition to benefit LLS's life-saving mission, develop their leadership and communication skills, and learn about volunteerism, philanthropy, and how to engage with their communities for a ... Read more

Students of the Year - Middle Tennessee

  • Amount $2,000
  • Deadline October 31, 2024

Formerly the iconic Students of the Year campaign, Student Visionaries of the Year is a groundbreaking philanthropic leadership development program in which highly motivated high-school leaders embark on a journey of professional growth, fostering professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management - all while raising as much funding and awareness as possible to impact ... Read more

VFW Voice of Democracy Competition

  • Amount $35,000
  • Deadline October 31, 2024

Since 1947, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has dedicated itself to fostering patriotism and nurturing the potential of the future generation. The Voice of Democracy audio-essay program, initiated by the VFW, provides a remarkable platform for high school students (grades 9-12) to express their thoughts on democratic and patriotic themes through recorded essays. The national first place winner ... Read more

Marine Band Concerto Competition for High School Musicians

  • Amount $2,500
  • Deadline November 15, 2024

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, in conjunction with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, is pleased to announce its Concerto Competition for High School Musicians is now open. All application materials are due Nov. 15th. The winner will appear as a guest soloist with the Marine Chamber Orchestra during the following concert season and receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Marine ... Read more

National Honor Society Scholarship

  • Amount $25,000
  • Deadline November 30, 2024

For over 75 years, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has been a cornerstone in supporting outstanding National Honor Society (NHS) seniors. Having awarded over $23 million in scholarships, NASSP's steadfast commitment to shaping the futures of young scholars and acknowledging their achievements continues. Scholarship Details NASSP offers $2 million in ... Read more

Military Child of the Year Award

  • Amount $10,000
  • Deadline December 3, 2024

Now in its 16th year, the Military Child of the Year Award reflects the positive impact that these impressive young people have made on their military families, their schools, and their communities. Scholarship Details The annual awards acknowledge outstanding young individuals aged 13 to 18 in military families. Recipients will be selected to represent various branches of the armed ... Read more

VSA International Young Soloists Competition

  • Amount $2,000
  • Deadline Varies

Generous support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Each year, outstanding young musicians from around the world receive the VSA International Young Musicians Award, $2,000, and the opportunity to participate in professional development and performance opportunities provided by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in ... Read more

United States Senate Youth Program

  • Amount $10,000
  • Deadline Varies

The mission of the United States Senate Youth Program is to provide a yearly opportunity for selected students to gain an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government overall as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The program provides a foundation of knowledge and encouragement for those considering a future of ... Read more

Last Reviewed: December 2023