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Scholarships by State

Some of the most common scholarships you’ll find through either a scholarship search or be urged to apply for by your college admissions office or high school guidance counselor will be state scholarships, awarded either directly by your college through state-based programs or via local scholarships you’ll have to seek out more independently. State scholarships will be both merit- and need-based. Merit scholarships will recognize your academic achievements in high school, a high GPA and impressive standardized test scores, while need-based scholarships look at your finances and ability to pay for your college education.

State Assistance to Start Your Career

State scholarships pay particular attention to applicants pursuing certain high need fields. Many states have well-funded nursing and education programs, for example, as these two fields are constantly in need of new recruits, especially in high-need or low-income communities where turnover is commonplace. But these awards often come with a caveat – those who are awarded state scholarships to work in a certain field or specialty must often either remain in the state for a certain period of time or spend some of that time working in the above-mentioned high-need areas. 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 receive becomes a loan, with interest attached. The same is true for many career-specific state scholarships, so make sure you read the award’s description and eligibility requirements carefully.

A Cost-Effective Decision

A big perk of attending college in your home state is the cost benefits. State scholarships and grants are common, but often only go to long-time residents of that state as a way to both boost the local economy and keep qualified college applicants in high-need fields from leaving their home states. You probably already know in-state tuitions differ greatly from tuitions paid by out-of-state applicants, but public state universities can also be more generous with your financial aid package than out-of-state or private schools. Take it as their "thank you" for staying in state, and hopefully starting your career there when you’re done with your degree. State schools are also often more eager to award merit-based scholarships to students with exceptional academic qualifications, or reward students based on talents in fields like athletics, music, or science and math skills, as another way to repay students for their hard work in their home state.

Scholarships by State

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