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Prestigious Scholarships

There are a few scholarships out there that ring a bell to most students because, not only do they offer big bucks, they also come with a fair amount of prestige. Although they tend to be more competitive than other scholarships, the work invested into lengthier applications can pay off significantly if won, as they come with impressive award amounts.

Prestigious scholarships are known on a national, and, often, on an international level. Winning one of these could do more for you than help cover college costs. Recipients are able to boast that they were chosen among thousands of applicants and display their achievement on their resumes. These awards typically target the best and the brightest youth - grades, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities and community service will matter when it comes to competing. Less tangible criteria will matter as well; scholarship providers for these awards want to see leaders, go-getters, and motivated individuals. As long as you're eligible for one of these prestigious scholarships, you may as well apply and put the effort in to apply to the best of your ability. For more information on prestigious scholarships, check out examples of the kinds of awards available below, or conduct a free scholarship search. We'll match you instantly with prestigious scholarships you may be eligible for.

Academic and Merit Scholarships

Most of the prestigious scholarship providers want to see your academic record; paying attention to your GPA, the kinds of courses you took on in high school, and your level of college preparedness. You may need to be near the top of your class, or have impressive standardized test scores. Many of these awards will spell out in their official rules and requirements the caliber of applicant they'll consider for their scholarship. For example, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program awards 250 scholarships each year ranging up to $20,000. Applicants for that award must have at least a 3.0 GPA to compete. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Program provides up to $30,000 to students in the upper quarter of their junior class. Applicants for this award and many others must also boast an interest in community service and leadership skills, so even if you have a stellar GPA, you may need to get yourself involved in more extracurricular activities to compete for the most prestigious academic and merit scholarships.

Fellowships and Grants

Many of the most prestigious awards come with more than checks sent to your intended college. For example, the more than 100-year-old Rhodes Scholarship offers recipients the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford. About 80 Rhodes Scholars are chosen from a pool of international applicants, with American students typically very well represented among those chosen for the honor. Scholars are chosen based on not only their achievements, but their ability to lead and be involved in a variety of activities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) offers a Graduate Research Fellowship Program for graduate students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Recipients are expected to contribute to research in their field, as is the requirement for many of the fellowships from research organizations out there. If you’re interested in expanding your career opportunities and experiences in your chosen field of study, a fellowship or grant could help you do that.

Prestigious Scholarships for Minorities

Minority scholarships aren't only easy to find due to the large number of awards out there, many of them are also quite prestigious. Those chosen to become Ron Brown Scholars are given $10,000 for four years; at least 10 African-American high school seniors receive the honor annually. Those who do are involved in community service, excel academically, and exhibit leadership potential. As you can see, your funding concerns could be alleviated if you landed one of these scholarships, so make sure to consider minority scholarships when you're on the hunt for money for college.

Augustana College Distinguished Scholar Competition
Application Deadlines: January 25, Annually
Augustana College invites graduating high school seniors who possess strong records of academic achievement and have demonstrated exceptional leadership to their school and community to participate in the Distinguished Scholars Competition, the college's most prestigious scholarship event. Scholarship awards range from $60,000 to full tuition over four years.

Eligibility:
-Possess an ACT [...] More

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Program
Application Deadlines: January 29, Annually
The prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate.

The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by [...] More

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: March 01, Annually
The prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is open to all U.S. citizen undergraduates, in good academic standing, who meet the following criteria:

-The applicant must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant or provide proof that he/she will be receiving a Pell Grant at the time of [...] More

Boren Scholarships
Application Deadlines: February 09, Annually
Boren Scholarships, a prestigious initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of [...] More

Buick Achievers Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: February 28, Annually
Awards of up to $25,000 are renewable up to four years, and one additional year for those entering a five-year engineering program or until a bachelor's degree is earned, whichever occurs first. Renewal is contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 GPA, full-time enrollment & continuing to major in an eligible field of study.

Making a difference today and becoming a leader for tomorrow. If those words [...] More

Catawba College's McCorkle Scholarships
Application Deadlines: March 03, Annually
The McCorkle's Scholarships are the most prestigious scholarship awards at Catawba. Qualified students will be invited to compete for a full-tuition scholarship on the basis of their high school grade point average, the rigor of their coursework and standardized test scores. To be considered, students must have a weighted GPA of 3.7 or greater, an ACT composite score of 25 (or equivalent SAT), [...] More

Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowships
Application Deadlines: November 15, Annually
The prestigious Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, and particularly to help Ph.D. candidates in these fields complete their dissertation work in a timely manner. In addition to topics in religious studies or in ethics (philosophical or [...] More

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship
Application Deadlines: October 31, Annually
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation supports more than 1,400 college students each year, with prestigious annual scholarships of $3.4 million through two nationally recognized programs on behalf of the Coca-Cola System. Scholarship recipients excel academically and in service to others. Most Coca-Cola Scholars share a passion for social justice and many have overcome tremendous challenges to pursue [...] More

Colorado Mesa University's Distinguished Scholar Award
Application Deadlines:
Colorado Mesa University (CMU) offers small class sizes, state-of-the-art facilities, and expert faculty who take an interest in your success. A CMU education is a great value, and we stand by our commitment to keep higher education affordable.

Colorado Mesa University's Distinguished Scholar Award is the most prestigious academic award for incoming freshmen and is valued at full tuition and [...] More

David Geffen Medical Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
The David Geffen Medical Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship that provides four-year financial support to outstanding students entering the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Mr. Geffen, the world-renowned entertainment executive and philanthropist after whom our medical school is named, has once again made a transformative gift to medical education. This time, he has established a [...] More

Davidson Fellows Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 10, Annually
The Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards prestigious 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. [...] More

Don & Sybil Harrington Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 15, Annually
This prestigious scholarship was established for the benefit of truly exceptional students from Lubbock County High Schools who wish to pursue their education in the fields of Mathematics, Physical Sciences, or Engineering.

These are competitive awards with the primary areas of qualifications being:
-Lubbock County high school senior
-Student planning to pursue a degree in the physical [...] More

Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Competition
Application Deadlines: November 30, Annually
The mission of the ENF is to help Elks build stronger communities. We fulfill this pledge by investing in communities where Elks live and work. We provide tomorrow's leaders, our youth, with lifelong skills; honor the Elks' pledge to never forget our veterans; help the state Elks associations accomplish their charitable objectives; and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks [...] More

EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowships
Application Deadlines:
EPA's Science To Achieve Results (STAR) graduate fellowship program supports masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. Each year, students in the United States compete for prestigious STAR fellowships through a rigorous review process. Students can pursue degrees in traditionally recognized environmental disciplines as well as other fields such as social anthropology, urban and [...] More

Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship
Application Deadlines: January 29, Annually
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings (Hollings) scholarship program is designed to: (1) increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities; (2) increase public understanding and support for stewardship of the ocean and atmosphere and improve [...] More

F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarships
Application Deadlines: December 15, Annually
The scholarship was endowed with funds provided by the Belin family and has become a prestigious annual award. The scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to artists of outstanding aptitude and promise in the fine arts. It is intended to aid the recipients in their development into professional artists.

The recipient may use the money for formal or informal study or travel [...] More

Gen. Hugh Shelton National Student Leadership Scholarship
Application Deadlines: October 15, Annually
This is one of the USA'ss most prestigious scholarships for student leaders. It is awarded to an entering freshman, valued at $10,000 per year, renewable upon satisfactory academic progress and leadership involvement.The General Hugh Shelton Leadership Endowment provides:

-$10,000 annual NC State tuition and fees, housing, etc. (can be renewed if criteria is met)
-Annual enrichment funds up [...] More

Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship
Application Deadlines: October 28, Annually
The Hertz Foundation's Graduate Fellowship award, which is based on merit (not need) consists of a cost of education allowance and a personal support stipend.

The cost-of-education allowance is accepted by all of the tenable schools in lieu of all fees and tuition. Therefore, Hertz Fellows have no liability for any ordinary educational costs, regardless of their choice among tenable schools. [...] More

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Application Deadlines:
Each year more than 1,700 student finalists earn the right to attend the prestigious Intel ISEF as a result of winning an Intel ISEF-affiliated fair at a local, regional, or national level. Intel ISEF finalists compete for more than $5 million in awards and prizes and are judged on their creative ability and scientific thought, as well as the thoroughness, skill, and clarity shown in their [...] More

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship
Application Deadlines: November 04, Annually
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program is a prestigious undergraduate scholarship program available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend and graduate from the nation's best four-year colleges and universities. Selected from a nationwide pool of applicants, up to 40 students will become Jack Kent Cooke Scholars and have access to funding [...] More

James & Eunice Doty PTPI/Congressional Award Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
Since the 1980s, PTPI has encouraged recipients of the prestigious Congressional Award to participate in PTPI programs through the James & Eunice Doty Scholarship. In past years, the scholarship has underwritten travel and educational opportunities to develop students' intercultural competence and understanding of global issues.

Typically, to be eligible for the Doty Scholarship, applicants [...] More

James Madison Foundation Graduate Fellowships
Application Deadlines: March 01, Annually
The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offers prestigious James Madison Graduate Fellowships to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the states of their legal residence. As funding permits, the Foundation plans to offer one fellowship per state per [...] More

Jim Funk Scholarship
Application Deadlines: April 22, Annually
Established in 2012, this scholarship is the LRA Education Foundation's most prestigious award. It is named for the former LRA President and CEO Jim Funk who was instrumental in starting this foundation during his 30 years of service to the LRA. This scholarship is renewable on an annual basis for up to four years provided minimum GPA and enrollment standards are met.

Applicants must be [...] More

Kenneth Hugh MacDonald Sr., Broadcasting Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 15, Annually
Founder of MacDonald Broadcasting and flagship station WSAM Saginaw, Kenneth H. MacDonald, Sr. packed a lot of success and many contributions into the Saginaw area in his three decades of business. MacDonald was former president of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Board Member of the National Association of Broadcasters. MacDonald was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award [...] More

Levine Scholars Program
Application Deadlines: October 15, Annually
The Levine Scholars Program is UNC Charlotte's most prestigious merit scholarship program that was established in 2009 by benefactors Sandra and Leon Levine. Levine Scholarships are awarded to extraordinary high school seniors based on scholarship, ethical leadership, and civic engagement.

The Levine Scholarships carry a high honor, one that bestows tremendous opportunities and assumes high [...] More

Luce Scholars Program
Application Deadlines:
The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program. It was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, [...] More

Marshall Scholarship
Application Deadlines: October 03, Annually
Founded by a 1953 Act of Parliament, and named in honour of US Secretary of State George C Marshall, the prestigious scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan and they express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts.

Eligibility:
-Be U.S. citizens
-Hold their first undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or [...] More

Mary J. Szczepanski "Never Give Up" MS Scholarship Foundation
Application Deadlines:
The Mary J. Szczepanski "Never Give Up" MS Scholarship Foundation is starting its 16th year and offers annual scholarships to seniors at Catholic Central, Kenowa Hills, Covenant Christian and Northview High Schools in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area for using their creativity and raising funds for multiple sclerosis. The inaugural year of the program was the fall of 2000. This unique and [...] More

McConnell Scholarship
Application Deadlines: December 15, Annually
The prestigious McConnell Scholarships are reserved for 10 Kentucky graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential. Scholarships are renewable for a total of four years.

Scholarship amounts will be determined by the selections committee, but typically will include full tuition and a stipend for books at the University of Louisville. In addition, each [...] More

Mitchell Scholarship
Application Deadlines: September 30, Annually
The George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program is a prestigious, nationally competitive award for U.S. citizens sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance. Named in honor of the former U.S. Senator's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, the Mitchell Scholarship is designed to introduce and connect future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering [...] More

MMUF Dissertation Grants
Application Deadlines: December 04, Annually
The MMUF Dissertation Grants are available to graduate students who participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. The grants provide graduate students at the critical juncture of completing their graduate degrees with support to spend a year finishing the writing of the dissertation.

The prestigious dissertation grant offers up to $20,000 for a 12-month period. Fellows are [...] More

MMUF Travel & Research Grants
Application Deadlines: March 18, Annually
The MMUF Travel & Research Grants are available to graduate students who participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. The grants provide eligible graduate students with the financial means to complete their research prior to the start of dissertation writing. Funding is for one summer or one semester of travel and/or research support. Awards are based on the scholarly merit [...] More

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship
Application Deadlines: December 18, Annually
As a means of increasing the number of U.S. citizens and nationals trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance, the Department of Defense plans to award approximately 180 new three-year graduate fellowships in April, subject to the availability of funds. The DoD will offer these prestigious fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude [...] More

National Merit Scholarship Corporation Program
Application Deadlines:
The National Merit Scholarship Program is a prestigious academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) - a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year - and by meeting published program [...] More

NDSGC American Indian Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
The prestigious American Indian Scholarships are designed to encourage and support Native American students interesting in pursuing STEM degrees and continuing their education beyond their current enrollment in community college. To assist students in their goals, the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium offers five scholarships, each worth $2,500, to Native American students at five tribal [...] More

NDSGC Lillian Goettler Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 12, Annually
The NDSGC has established the prestigious Lillian Goettler Space Grant Award for a female student at North Dakota State University. Applicants will ideally be involved in a research project of NASA relevance. The award, for $2,500 per year, is given to honor the ideals of scholarship as exemplified by Lillian Goettler. Lillian L. Goettler was a distinguished NDSU professor. Awarded a doctorate in [...] More

NDSGC Pearl I. Young Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 01, Annually
The NDSGC has established the prestigious Pearl I. Young Space Grant Award for a female student at the University of North Dakota. Applicants will ideally be involved in a research project of NASA relevance.

Eligibility:
-Must be female
-Must have a minimum 3.5 GPA
-Must be a U.S. citizen
-On-campus student majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) field at [...] More

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: March 14, Annually
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program offers competitive, prestigious scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research. The program offers:

-Scholarship support
-Paid research training at the NIH during the summer
-Paid employment and training at the [...] More

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Application Deadlines:
The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The prestigious program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based [...] More

Oregon Music Hall of Fame Scholarship
Application Deadlines: February 14, Annually
OMHOF awards yearly scholarships to selected graduating Oregon high school seniors who have exhibited serious pursuit and accomplishment in their personal musicianship - and who are college-bound music majors. Recipients are publicly recognized at an award presentation where each performs onstage, demonstrating mastery of his/her instrument.

Our recipients have been accepted to prestigious [...] More

Overseas Press Club Foundation
Application Deadlines: December 01, Annually
Graduate and undergraduate students, studying at American colleges and universities or Americans studying abroad, who aspire to become foreign correspondents, are invited to apply for one of the scholarships or fellowships to be awarded by the Overseas Press Club Foundation.

From among those chosen for OPC Foundation recognition, the Foundation selects up to 11 fellows and pays travel and [...] More

Ripon College Knop Science Scholars Program
Application Deadlines: March 01, Annually
The Knop Science Scholarship is a prestigious four-year, full tuition scholarship based on the next academic year's tuition figures. The Ripon College Knop Science Scholars Board convenes each year at the beginning of the second semester. The mission of the board is to identify high-achieving students who show the potential to contribute greatly to the science and mathematics departments at Ripon [...] More

Schwarzman Scholars
Application Deadlines:
Designed to prepare the next generation of global leaders, Schwarzman Scholars is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st Century. Whether in politics, business or science, the success of future leaders around the world will depend on an understanding of China's role in global trends.

Enrolling the inaugural class next year, the program will give the [...] More

The Fulbright Program
Application Deadlines:
The Fulbright Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide and has provided approximately 310,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach, or conduct research in each others' countries and exchange ideas. Approximately 8,000 prestigious, competitive, merit-based grants are awarded annually in most academic disciplines and fields of study. The flagship international exchange [...] More

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship For New Americans
Application Deadlines: November 01, Annually
The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans are for up to two years graduate study in the professions and academic disciplines at any institution of higher learning in the United States. The prestigious Fellowships are funded by a trust established by Paul and Daisy Soros and were created in recognition of the contributions of New Americans to American life and in gratitude for the [...] More

The Sikh Education Foundation Scholarship
Application Deadlines:
The Sikh Education Foundation had a natural birth in 2006. The time was right to set up an educational fund to engage Sikh graduates from prestigious universities at a time when the Sikh community faced challenges to their identity. To meet the needs of our advocacy, humanitarian relief and human development projects, UNITED SIKHS set up the Sikh Education Foundation to reach out to the 'brains' [...] More

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program
Application Deadlines: January 15, Annually
Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, the prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program provides undergraduate and graduate students with financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them academically and professionally for a career in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. Women, [...] More

The Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies
Application Deadlines: October 15, Annually
The Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies encourages original and significant research about women that crosses disciplinary, regional, or cultural boundaries. Previous Fellows have explored such topics as transnational religious education for Muslim women, the complex gender dynamics of transidentity management, women's electoral success across racial and institutional [...] More

U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize
Application Deadlines: April 15, Annually
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is the world's most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project. The prize taps into the unlimited potential of today's high school students as they seek to address current and future water challenges.

The competition is open to any high school student in grades 9 through 12, and have reached 15 years of age by August 1st of the [...] More

Udall Undergraduate Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 02, Annually
The Udall Foundation awards prestigious scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or to the environment.

The Udall Foundation will award 60 scholarships of up to $7,000 each, and anticipates that at least 20 scholarships will be awarded in Tribal Public Policy and Native Health Care.

The Udall [...] More

University of Georgia Foundation Fellowship
Application Deadlines: November 01, Annually
The Foundation Fellowship and the Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship are the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships at UGA.

The Fellowship provides an annual stipend of $11,712 for Georgia residents (in addition to the Zell Miller Scholarship, valued at $9,364 per year) and $19,458 for non-residents (plus an out-of-state tuition waiver, currently worth $18,210 per year). Additionally, [...] More

USBC Earl Anthony Memorial Scholarship
Application Deadlines: December 01, Annually
The Earl Anthony Memorial Scholarship annually recognizes a USBC Youth bowler for their community involvement and academic achievements. One winner will be chosen and awarded a $5,000 scholarship. The United States Bowling Congress presents this prestigious scholarship in honor of the late Earl Anthony. Anthony was dedicated to helping youth bowlers and USBC is proud to continue these efforts in [...] More

Vinson & Elkins Scholarship Foundation
Application Deadlines: April 01, Annually
In addition to receiving a $10,000 scholarship, each V&E Scholar is offered summer internships at Vinson & Elkins, mentoring from V&E attorneys (some of whom are themselves V&E Scholars), and reimbursement for an LSAT preparatory course. V&E Scholars have gone on to the nation's most prestigious universities, and many have attended top law schools. Whether our scholars are in law school, the [...] More

Winston Churchill Foundation of the USA Scholarship Program
Application Deadlines: November 08, Annually
The Churchill Scholarship started in 1963 with three awards and has since grown to 14. It provides funding to American students for a year of master's study in science, mathematics, and engineering at the University of Cambridge, based at Churchill College. The prestigious scholarship was set up at the request of Sir Winston Churchill in order to fulfill his vision of US-UK scientific exchange [...] More

Last Edited: August 2016

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