National Scholarship Programs

The question of how to pay for college remains at the forefront of many students’ minds, especially as the rise in tuition costs continues to outpace inflation. According to CNN, the cost of attending college rose an average of 3.8% last year. Fortunately, students have options. Hundreds of private organizations throughout the country award scholarships. Here we have compiled a list of a few private organizations that offer students awards of $10,000 or more. While many of these programs are fiercely competitive, they all offer great opportunities to accepted scholars.

Air Force ROTC

  • Offers scholarships to high school seniors, primarily those pursuing education in the STEM fields or foreign language, with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Awards three different types of scholarships, two of which are full ride, and one of which will provide up to the equivalent of in-state tuition. All offer a $900 allowance for books, and two of them provide allowances for other academic fees.
  • Requires scholars to enroll in ROTC courses. Most scholars are required to enlist in the Air Force, and may have a 4, 6, or 10 year commitment depending on their intended career path.

Army ROTC

  • Offers scholarships to high school seniors, graduates, and college undergraduates with a minimum 2.5 high school GPA.
  • Awards full ride scholarships, yearly stipends of up to $5,000, and book allowances.
  • Requires scholars to enroll in ROTC courses, and, upon graduation, enlist in the Army for 4 years, where they will be commissioned as Second Lieutenants.

Coca-Cola Scholarship Foundation

  • Offers achievement-based scholarships to high school seniors and graduates with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Invites 250 finalists to Atlanta for “Scholars Weekend.” Of these 250, 50 are awarded $20,000 scholarships, and 100 are awarded $10,000 scholarships.
  • Allows scholars to use awarded funds to pay for tuition, housing, textbooks, computers, and other academic expenses.

Davidson Fellow Scholarship

  • Offers scholarships to students under the age of 18 who have completed “a significant piece of work” in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, music, philosophy, or “outside the box.” This work is expected to be at the level of that of a college graduate.
  • Rewards scholarships of $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000.

HSF/Colgate-Palmolive Haz La U

  • Offers scholarships to Hispanic high school seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Awards one $15,000 scholarship and 14 $2,500 scholarships annually.

HSF/Clorox Sueña Sin Límites Freshman Scholarship 

  • Offers scholarships to Hispanic high school seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Awards six $10,000 scholarships annually.

Intel Science Talent Search

  • Offers scholarships to high school seniors who submit a science research project for consideration.
  • Invites 40 finalists to Washington, D.C. to present their projects and meet with distinguished scientists and government officials.
  • Awards a minimum of $7,500 to all finalists, with the grand prizewinner receiving a $100,000 scholarship.

Gates Millennium Scholarship

  • Offers scholarships to African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American high school seniors and graduates pursuing education in the fields of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, and science, with a minimum 3.3 GPA.
  • Offers awards based on financial need, which are good through graduation. The average annual award for the 2001-2012 academic years was $12,227.
  • Accepts 1,000 scholars per year.

Microsoft University

  • Offers scholarships to currently enrolled undergraduate students pursuing education in the fields of computer science, computer engineering, or related disciplines, with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Awards one year of tuition to scholars.
  • Features General Scholarships, Women’s Scholarships, Minority Scholarships (available to African-American, Hispanic, and Native American applicants), and Scholarships for Students with Disabilities.
  • Requires applicants to apply to a 12-week summer internship program.

Navy ROTC

  • Offers scholarships to high school seniors, graduates, and college undergraduates pursuing education in the STEM fields or foreign language.
  • Awards full ride scholarships, text book allowances, and a monthly stipend of $250 to $400.
  • Provides three options for training – Navy, Navy Nurse, and Marine Corps.
  • Requires scholars enroll in ROTC courses, and, upon graduation, enlist in either the Navy or Marine Corps, where they will be commissioned as Midshipmen or Second Lieutenants, respectively. Navy officers are required to spend 5 years in active duty, whereas Marine officers and Navy Nurses are required to spend 4 years.

Nordstrom Scholarship Program

  • Offers scholarships to high school juniors who have participated in community service projects or other extracurricular activities, with a minimum GPA of 2.7.
  • Awards $10,000 scholarships to 80 scholars annually.

Ronald McDonald House Charities U.S. Scholarship

  • Offers scholarship to high school seniors who show a high level of community commitment and academic excellence.
  • Features a Scholars program, open to all; an Asia program, open to those of Asian-Pacific heritage; an African-American Future Achievers program, open to African-American students; and the HACER program, open to Hispanic students.
  • Awards one $100,000 scholarship annually in each program.

Ron Brown Scholar Program

  • Offers scholarships to African American high school seniors.
  • Invites finalists to interviews in Washington, D.C.
  • Awards ten to twenty $40,000 scholarships annually.

Siemens Competition Scholarship

  • Offers scholarships to high school students who submit a science research project for consideration, either individually or as part of a team.
  • Awards vary from $1,000 for regional finalists to a maximum of $100,000 for national finalists.

SMART Scholarship

  • Offers scholarships to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM fields, with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Awards full ride scholarships, yearly stipends of $25,000 to $38,000, textbook allowances, and health insurance allowances.
  • Requires scholars both to participate in summer internships and accept post-graduate employment with the Department of Defense.

Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

  • Offers scholarship to currently enrolled undergraduates and graduate students pursuing degrees in the field of nursing.
  • Awards ten $10,000 scholarships and 30 $5,000 scholarships annually.

UNCF/Merck Science Initiative

  • Offers scholarships to currently enrolled African American college juniors pursuing degrees in the life sciences, the physical sciences, or engineering, with a minimum 3.3 GPA.
  • Awards scholarships of up to $30,000, which can be used for tuition, housing, and other fees.
  • Requires scholars apply to an internship at a Merck facility.
  • Accepts at least 15 scholars annually.

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