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Scholarships: Information for High School Students, Parents, and Counselors

Here’s the good news: Students considering an Honors program or college are the very people most likely to be eligible for college scholarships. Honors students are the ones colleges and universities recruit most eagerly, and scholarships may be part of this recruitment effort.

So, one of the first things students should do is talk to a financial aid officer or scholarship coordinator at the colleges and universities they’re interested in, as well with the Honors director or dean. Most schools have brochures that list the scholarship opportunities there, including Honors scholarships. Students should also talk to their high school college counselor about less obvious sources of scholarships. For example, parents’ employers may offer scholarships; some financial institutions offer scholarships to their members’ families.

Most basically, a scholarship is a grant of financial aid to eligible students. Some scholarships involve payment directly to the student or parent to be applied to tuition, books, or room and board. Other scholarships come in the form of reductions in tuition or room and board. Typically, a scholarship does not have to be repaid. Scholarships often have criteria that the student must meet, such as a achieving a certain grade point average, carrying a certain number of credits, or matriculating in a particular program.

Generally, there are three categories of scholarship: (1) Need-based, based on family income; (2) merit-based, based on the student’s academic or extra-curricular achievements; and (3) association-based, based on every criterion imaginable, such as parents’ occupation, student’s career choice, or place of residence. Many Honors programs and colleges have merit-based scholarships for their students. Students who are interested in these scholarships should contact the schools to find out about criteria, applications, and deadlines.

A final note. Honors scholarships, like many other scholarships, require students to meet certain criteria not only to receive them but also to keep them. Students (and parents) should make sure they are aware of and understand any such criteria.

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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