Scholarships are academic financial aid awards given to students (or to colleges or universities on the student’s behalf) to offset some or all costs associated with schooling. Many public and private organizations fund scholarships, from state and local governments and nonprofits to private companies and individuals. Some schools even offer their own scholarships to qualifying students.
A scholarship may be awarded for many reasons. Most people know that excellent academics and athletic achievements earn scholarships, but these are far from the only options. In addition to these, scholarships are awarded for things as varied as community service, hobbies, extracurricular activities, group identities (especially those that are underprivileged or less represented), employers, family or personal military membership, low socioeconomic status, and more!
Keep in mind that not all schools accept all scholarships. When considering schools and scholarships, be sure to check with each school you are interested in to discern whether or not specific scholarships are available.