Niche College Scholarship

Scholarships for High School Seniors

If you’re going to college, your senior year of high school will be filled with a pretty intimidating to-do list. You’ll have to apply to college, sort through the financial aid information and decide where to go - on top of finishing out your high school education. In the midst of all that chaos, applying for scholarships can get lost in the shuffle. But while they may seem like an afterthought, scholarships are absolutely crucial if you want to reduce the cost of attendance. Read below to learn how scholarships for high school seniors work, where to find them and how to apply.

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What are scholarships for high school seniors?

A scholarship for a high school senior is an award given to a student in their final year of high school. Some scholarships only allow high school seniors to apply, while others will accept students from other school years. For example, the Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholarship is only given to high school seniors who can submit original scientific research solving a major world problem.

Scholarships for high school seniors may be given on the basis of academic, athletic and artistic merit. Some scholarships may have a community service component or only be granted to those who come from a marginalized group.

The Dell Scholars Program offers not only a $20,000 scholarship to high school seniors who have participated in a Dell-approved college readiness program, but all Dell Scholars also receive a free laptop computer and non-monetary support, such as personal support on financial and emotional issues, among other things.

Scholarships for seniors can usually be used to pay for tuition, room and board, textbooks, laptops and more. These scholarships can be given for multiple years or just for one year. Some scholarships require that students maintain a certain Grade Point Average (GPA) or are committed to a specific academic major, while others are more lenient.

How to apply for scholarships for high school seniors

It's best to start looking for scholarships as soon as possible, even before your senior year officially begins. That's because deadlines for scholarships may be different from deadlines for college applications. For example, some may be due the summer before senior year, months before college applications are due. As reported by undergraduate students, this is a very common activity to do prior to the start of your senior year.

Think of applying for scholarships as an extracurricular activity that you must dedicate time to on a regular basis. Set aside a few hours a week to search for college scholarships and organize the required materials.

High School Seniors can create an account on, where they can input their demographic information as well as information about their skills, interests, extracurricular activities and more. Once you create an account, you’ll be matched with scholarships that are eligible for.

Should I only apply for scholarships as a high school senior?

While many students may assume that senior year is their only chance to apply for scholarships, this is incorrect. You can start applying for scholarships at almost any point in your academic career. There are some scholarships available for virtually all school years, including scholarships for high school juniors, sophomores and even freshmen.

Some students and parents also think that students aren’t eligible for awards once they’re enrolled in college. But current college students may still qualify for scholarships and other types of financial aid. In short, you should start applying for scholarships as soon as possible and never stop until you graduate.

What are the best scholarships for high school seniors?

The Gates Scholarship (TGS) is a highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households. Winners of the scholarship will receive a four-year scholarship that will pay for the full cost of attendance that is not already covered by other financial aid and the expected family contribution. Only students with demonstrated financial need are eligible for this award.

Another great scholarship is offered by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. It is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to students in their final year of high school. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship.

Do high school seniors need to fill out the FAFSA?

If you're attending college next year, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) during your senior year of high school. The FAFSA is the official form that students must complete to receive federal student loans and grants.

Many students may not realize that completing the FAFSA can grant them access to scholarships they would not receive otherwise. Most schools require that students submit the FAFSA to receive their own grants and scholarships. Even if you don't think you'll qualify for need-based aid, you may still need to fill out the FAFSA to receive merit scholarships. What you also may not realize is that you should still fill out the FAFSA even after you're enrolled in college. It has to be completed every year that you want to receive financial aid.

Do I need a letter of recommendation when applying for scholarships?

When applying for scholarships as a high school senior, letters of recommendation play a pivotal role in your success. These recommendation letters are more than just a formality; they provide insight into your character, achievements, and potential. A well-crafted letter of recommendation can make your application stand out, showcasing your qualifications and unique attributes to scholarship committees. It's essential to choose recommenders who can offer a genuine and compelling perspective on your capabilities. These letters of recommendation hold the power to bolster your application, increasing your chances of securing the financial support you need to pursue your higher education dreams. Carefully selected, heartfelt letters of recommendation can serve as a persuasive testament to your qualifications and character, making a significant difference in your scholarship journey.

Community Engagement for High School Senior Scholarships

In the competitive landscape of scholarships for high school seniors, the importance of communities cannot be overstated. Scholarship committees are not just looking for academic excellence but also seek individuals who demonstrate a commitment to community service, active community involvement, and meaningful community engagement.

High school seniors engaged in community service exemplify their dedication to making a positive impact on the world, showcasing qualities like empathy and responsibility. Community involvement, on the other hand, shows a genuine passion and a willingness to be an active contributor to local organizations and clubs. Meanwhile, community engagement goes beyond the present, signaling a long-term commitment and often involving leadership roles. When high school seniors actively participate in these community-related endeavors, they not only enrich their scholarship applications but also foster personal growth and leadership skills, all of which are instrumental in securing financial aid for their higher education journey.

Senior Scholarship Applications as a Permanent Resident

High school seniors who are permanent residents or legal residents often find themselves in a unique position when seeking scholarships. In this journey towards higher education, the support of local residents can be a valuable asset. While some scholarships may have specific eligibility requirements for permanent residents, the engagement and endorsement of your local community can be instrumental.

Residents who have witnessed your dedication, contributions, and potential can provide powerful letters of recommendation, underscoring your qualifications and character. These recommendations serve as a testament to your worthiness of financial aid, and their local perspective can offer a unique and relatable dimension to your scholarship applications. As a permanent resident, engaging with your community and tapping into the support of residents can significantly enhance your chances of securing the scholarships needed to pursue your higher education dreams.

The Path To Getting Senior Year Scholarships

For high school seniors with aspirations of attaining a college degree or pursuing an education degree, scholarships present a pathway to success. These scholarships are more than just financial aid; they are the stepping stones towards realizing one's academic dreams. Scholarships for high school seniors open doors to a variety of degree programs, including undergraduate degrees, empowering students to embark on their higher education journeys with financial support.

Whether you're aiming for a traditional college degree or an education degree, scholarships offer a lifeline, relieving the burden of tuition costs and enabling students to focus on their studies. They serve as a bridge to a brighter future, providing opportunities for high school seniors to access degree programs that would otherwise be financially challenging. With the right scholarships in hand, the road to achieving your undergraduate degrees becomes clearer and more attainable.

Senior Year Leadership Experience

In the competitive landscape of scholarships for high school seniors, leadership skills are often the distinguishing factor that sets outstanding candidates apart. Possessing leadership ability is not just about holding leadership positions; it's about the capacity to inspire, guide, and create positive change.

Scholarship committees seek individuals with the potential to make a meaningful impact on their community and the world at large. Earning leadership positions in school clubs, organizations, or community initiatives not only highlights a high school senior's leadership ability but also fosters the development of these critical skills.

Scholarships for high school seniors recognize and reward those who exemplify exceptional leadership, as they are seen as the leaders of tomorrow, poised to make a significant difference in their chosen fields and communities. By honing their leadership skills and actively participating in leadership positions, students not only enhance their scholarship applications but also pave the way for a brighter, more promising future.

Eligibility Requirements for High School Seniors

Understanding the eligibility criteria and requirements is a crucial first step in the pursuit of scholarships for high school seniors. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria that candidates must meet to be considered. These eligibility requirements vary, encompassing factors like academic achievements, community involvement, social action and extracurricular activities.

To improve your chances of securing a scholarship, it's essential to carefully review the eligibility criteria for each opportunity and ensure that you meet or exceed the requirements. Pay close attention to deadlines and documentation needed, as they play a pivotal role in determining eligibility. By diligently assessing and meeting these eligibility criteria, high school seniors can position themselves as strong candidates and increase their chances of obtaining the financial support needed to pursue their higher education dreams.

Considerations for Future Career Success

High school seniors who aspire to build thriving career goals often find themselves on the hunt for scholarships that can help them pursue their dreams. Whether you're passionate about a career in business, career in dentistry, or engineering, scholarships can be a pivotal stepping stone towards achieving your ambitions. These financial aids provide the essential support needed to access higher education and specialized training, allowing you to chart your course towards a successful career.

With scholarships, you can invest in the education and training required for these specific career paths, setting the stage for a prosperous future in your chosen field. These scholarships are more than just monetary support; they are investments in your career and your journey towards becoming a business leader, a dental professional, or an engineering expert.

Cards Against Humanity Science Ambassador Scholarship

  • Amount $160,000
  • Deadline December 13, 2023

The Science Ambassador Scholarship aims to empower and recognize the academic contributions of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). To apply, prospective candidates are required to create a three-minute educational video showcasing their passion for a STEM topic. The scholarship emphasizes creativity, accuracy, and a demonstrable enthusiasm for the chosen subject. ... Read more

Burger King Scholars

  • Amount $60,000
  • Deadline December 15, 2023

The Burger King Scholars Program is a beacon of educational support, providing financial assistance to a diverse range of students. This comprehensive program offers opportunities for both high school seniors and employees, emphasizing accessibility and inclusivity. Scholarship Details Burger King General High School Senior Track: Available to all high school seniors who meet the ... Read more

Taco Bell Live Más Scholarship

  • Amount $25,000
  • Deadline January 3, 2024

The Live Más Scholarship is for students who are pursuing higher education, preparing for the workforce, or channeling their passion into transformative changes in their communities and beyond. Our belief in your potential is unwavering and we support you at every stage of your journey, whether you're just beginning to recognize your strengths, or you're already making strides in bringing your ... Read more

GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program

  • Amount $40,000
  • Deadline January 4, 2024

The GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program, in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, offers significant financial aid to high school seniors across the nation who exemplify leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship. This program aims to support a diverse group of over 200 student leaders in various fields, contributing a significant amount of $8.2 million to students ... Read more

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

  • Amount $10,000
  • Deadline January 12, 2024

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The Kennedy Library Foundation is not a grant-making foundation. Through its Board of Directors, its committees and staff, the Foundation assists the Library in the planning and establishment of its long-term ... Read more

TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship

  • Amount $80,000
  • Deadline January 31, 2024

We believe in breaking down barriers to education, especially for those who face challenges due to their immigration status. Our Opportunity Scholarship is designed for undocumented students living in locked-out states, where accessing higher education seems like an insurmountable obstacle. If you find yourself in such a situation, we are here to open doors for you. Key Features of the ... Read more

John Lennon Scholarships

  • Amount $20,000
  • Deadline February 3, 2024

The John Lennon Scholarships are an annual competition open to student songwriters and composers of contemporary musical genres including alternative, pop, rock, indie, electronica, R&B, and experimental. Over the past twenty years, more than $400,000 in scholarships has been awarded to talented young musicians from colleges and universities throughout the United States, making this award one of ... Read more

McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship

  • Amount $100,000
  • Deadline February 6, 2024

McDonald's is giving away scholarships worth up to $100,000 to as many as 30 students with at least one parent of Hispanic heritage. Check out the requirements below to find out if the McDonald’s® HACER® National Scholarship is right for you: Applicants must be a high school senior, legal U.S. resident who is younger than 21 years old. You must carry a minimum 2.8 GPA, be eligible to attend a ... 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

HBCU Week x NFL Scholarship

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

The mission of HBCU Week is to encourage high-school aged youth to enroll into HBCU’s, provide scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustain a pipeline for employment from undergraduate school to corporate America. This scholarship is open to students entering an HBCU and working towards a bachelor’s degree. Applicants will have to provide proof of acceptance into a Historically Black College ... Read more

Ceiba Diversity Scholarship

  • Amount $5,000
  • Deadline March 1, 2024

The Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit international conservation organization committed to fostering and supporting diversity in environmental science. Our Diversity Scholarship enables minority students of limited financial means to travel to the tropics and gain international experience in biological research and conservation on Ceiba’s “Tropical Conservation ... 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

911 Promise Scholarship

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

The 9/11 Promise Run is dedicated to offering scholarships to deserving children of first responders and military service members who have endured loss or injury, rendering them unable to pursue employment. Our mission is to make a positive impact on the lives of these children and families by providing financial support for their education. Scholarship Details: • Scholarship amounts ... Read more

Women in Cyber Scholarship Program

  • Amount $10,000
  • Deadline March 17, 2024

A diverse talent pool is fast becoming a business imperative. We need a wide variety of different experiences, skillsets, and ways of thinking in order to stay ahead of nimble and innovative cyber criminals as the financial system evolves. Scholarship Details Financial Award: $10,000 USD Mentorship: Academic year mentorship from a financial services firm. Conference ... Read more

Girl Up Sports Fellowship

  • Amount $2,500
  • Deadline April 3, 2024

Girl Up is committed to bridging the gender gap in sports and breaking down barriers everywhere they exist. Supported by partners and donors, the new Girl Up Sports Fellowship honors young leaders’ unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for every girl, everywhere. From youth sports teams and professional athletes, to the back-end business of sports, girls and women face ... Read more

Organization of Latino Actuaries Scholarship Program

  • Amount $7,500
  • Deadline April 15, 2024

The Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA) is on a mission to increase the representation of Latine actuaries. To further this vision, we proudly offer academic scholarships to Latinos who will be entering a U.S. college or university in the upcoming academic year and have a keen interest in the actuarial profession. Our scholarship application window is open from November 1st, through April ... Read more

Exceptional Youth Scholarship

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

The Exceptional Youth Scholarship, sponsored by the Foundation for Global Sports Development, stands as a beacon of recognition for high school seniors who embody excellence in academics and a profound commitment to community service. This scholarship program is designed to empower the future leaders who have not only excelled academically but have also made a significant impact through their ... 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

Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation

  • Amount $20,000
  • Deadline May 1, 2024

Attention high school seniors and post-secondary students! If you're passionate about a career in printing technology, printing management, graphic communication, packaging, or publishing, the PGSF Scholarship is your key to advancing your education and future in this dynamic field. Here are the essential details you need to know: Eligibility: To be considered for this prestigious ... 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

Victoria Soto Memorial Scholarship

  • Amount $48,000
  • Deadline May 1, 2024

The Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship, based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a significant opportunity that awards a renewable four-year scholarship worth $12,000. Each year, a dedicated scholarship committee selects four deserving recipients. Scholarship Details: • Two of the scholarships are exclusively allocated to our local high schools in Stratford, CT. • Furthermore, The Vicki Soto ... Read more

Earl Warren Scholarship

  • Amount $45,000
  • Deadline May 1, 2024

LDF’s Earl Warren Scholarship awards are $15,000 per year for three years (as long as scholars remain in good academic standing and continue to meet the scholarship criteria) for a total of $45,000. In addition to financial assistance, Earl Warren scholars are given two unique opportunities: (1) an LDF internship, externship, or guided research project—competitive positions that are sought out by ... Read more

Cure Cancer Support Scholarship

  • Amount $5,000
  • Deadline June 1, 2024

The scholarship is designated for students who were diagnosed with cancer and whose disease and related treatments placed a significant financial burden on them and their families. Scholarship recipients must furnish a letter of confirmation by a licensed physician as proof of their cancer diagnosis. Please note that this documentation will be required following the award notification and ... 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

Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway

  • Amount $100,000
  • Deadline October 11, 2024

Attention, students! Get ready to elevate your educational journey with the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway. If you're aged between 18 and 24, this is your chance to step onto the field at a Conference Champ Game and turn your dreams into reality. Sponsored by the iconic soft drink company Dr Pepper, this renowned scholarship program is not just about winning; it's about making an impact on your ... Read more

Annual Sphinx Competition

  • Amount $50,000
  • Deadline October 23, 2024

The Sphinx Competition is a national competition offering young Black and Latinx classical string players (violin, viola, cello, or double bass) a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges, and to perform with and receive mentorship from established professional musicians. Application requirements include a video audition (please refer to the audition ... 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

Prudential Emerging Visionaries

  • Amount $15,000
  • Deadline November 2, 2024

At Prudential, we believe in recognizing and empowering young visionaries who are committed to finding innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities. If you are between the ages of 14 and 18 and have a transformative idea, the Emerging Visionaries Scholarship is an opportunity to turn your vision into reality. Key Features: • Age Group: Open to young ... Read more

Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholarship

  • Amount $250,000
  • Deadline November 8, 2024

Each year, nearly 1,900 students enter the Regeneron STS, submitting original research in critically important scientific fields of study. Unique among high school competitions, the Regeneron STS focuses on identifying, inspiring, and engaging the most promising scientists among the nation’s high school seniors. All Regeneron STS entrants must follow the official rules of entry, which outline ... Read more

Colgate-Palmolive Haz La U Scholarship

  • Amount $10,000
  • Deadline November 13, 2024

At Colgate, we believe that a higher education is a path to a brighter future and are dedicated to helping students get there. That’s why, in partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and as part of the Foundation’s Youth Awards, we sponsor “Haz La U” (Make the U), a college grant program for high school seniors of Hispanic heritage. Have you focused on academic excellence, dedicated ... Read more

Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award

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

To be eligible to apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Artist Award, applicants must: be classical instrumentalists, vocalists and composers who are full-time high school students (ages 13-18) and have not yet entered college; have strong musical ability and a willingness to participate in the Learning and Media Lab Fellowship; demonstrate financial need; demonstrate a strong commitment ... Read more

Dell Scholars Program

  • Amount $20,000
  • Deadline December 1, 2024

The Dell Scholars program recognizes that achieving college graduation involves more than just financial support. It was intricately designed to offer a comprehensive support system that addresses the challenges students commonly encounter during their pursuit of a degree. Acknowledging the significant burden of college costs on students and their families, the program annually selects 500 Dell ... Read more

Hagan Scholarship Foundation

  • Amount $60,000
  • Deadline December 1, 2024

The Hagan Scholarship stands as a nationwide beacon, a need-based merit scholarship specifically designed for high-achieving rural students. This scholarship opportunity is tailored for those who graduate from public high schools situated in over twenty eligible states, specifically in counties with fewer than 50,000 residents. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens, residents of an eligible ... Read more

Last Reviewed: December 2023