Our scholarship database houses a variety of state scholarships. State scholarships may be offered by state schools, community-based organizations and state-based career initiatives, among others. Students who have lived in one state their entire lives can easily qualify for a state scholarship, and students looking to attend college in a particular state may also be able to win state scholarship awards.
Just like any other scholarships, state scholarships will be both merit and needs-based. Merit scholarships will recognize high school academic achievements and standardized test scores, while needs-based scholarships examine finance and individual ability to pay for college.
State scholarships pay particular attention to applicants pursuing careers in certain high-needs fields. Many states have well-funded nursing and education programs, for example, as they are constantly in need of new recruits, especially in low-income communities where turnover is common. These awards often come with conditions – recipients of state scholarships may be required to work in a certain field or specialty or remain in the state for a certain period of time in the aforementioned high-needs fields post-graduation. The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) Teacher Scholarship, for example, provides financial aid to Kentucky students pursuing their initial teacher certifications at participating Kentucky schools. If recipients don’t complete their Kentucky education programs or take on a job certified by the Kentucky Department of Education post-graduation, any scholarship they received becomes a loan with interest. The same is true for many career-specific state scholarships, so pay close attention to the award’s description and eligibility requirements.
There are ample cost benefits for choosing to attend a public state school. Because the education system is controlled at the state level in the U.S., individual states can choose to offer reduced tuition rates to in-state students as a way to both boost the local economy and keep qualified college applicants local once they have graduated. Attaining these benefits comes with strict guidelines, and to qualify students have to be long-time residents of the state. Public state universities can also be more generous with your financial aid package than out-of-state or private schools. It is essentially a “thank you” for remaining in-state, with future prospect of working in-state after graduation. State schools are typically more eager to award merit-based scholarships to students with exceptional academic qualifications, or reward students based on talents like athletics, music, or science and math skills.
Depending on where in your state you live, there might be community organizations giving back to students from their respective areas and surrounding counties. Many community organizations and memorial funds offer scholarships for students involved in their community with financial need to attend in-state schools. County scholarships will by nature have a smaller applicant pool, so you might have better odds of winning the award. When you create your student profile for our scholarship search, take the time to look up which county you live in. It could introduce you to some specific – and attainable – scholarship opportunities.
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