When a student is working on funding his or her education, it can seem like there’s an endless pile of grant, financial aid and scholarship applications to sort through. Yet it’s important to keep at it, as there are a number of scholarship opportunities that students may not even know they qualify for. Trying to find these programs can be a difficult job, so the experts at Communityforce have put together this list of some scholarship opportunities students may not be aware of:

Athletic scholarships

Many college athletes are awarded scholarships every year, but to say getting one of these is hard would be an understatement. There are certain things students should know when they are looking for an opportunity like an athletic scholarship. The first thing is: Don’t make a Division I school the be-all, end-all of your scholarship hunt. An interesting fact is that there may be more money in smaller private colleges and Division III schools. If you are an athlete who plays a less high-profile sport, such as lacrosse or swimming, then a small school may be able to give you more money. This is because the school probably doesn’t have the funds for something as large as a football team, so they stick to smaller athletic programs.

Students also need to remember that a college coach will most likely not find them. Students looking for athletic scholarships should email schools and coaches in order to improve their chances of getting noticed and being awarded one. Finally,  students can only keep their athletic scholarships if they maintain a high GPA. The important thing is to not lose track of what you came to college to do: Get a degree. Funding your education not only requires hard work on the field but in the classroom.

Scholarships for specific majors

There are many programs available at each school and through private organizations that are designed for students going into a specific major. If you definitely know what field you are going into, it is wise to search out opportunities created for your area. Organizations have thousands of scholarships ready to be awarded to students in a variety of majors. According to Unigo, there are millions of dollars in funds created as scholarships just for specific majors, such as business programs for students studying subjects such as economics, accounting and advertising. When it comes to students in the visual or performing arts sector, there are funds created just for dance, theater and fashion. There is also a ton of money for students majoring in medical areas such as nursing and pharmacy.

Ethnic- and ancestral-based scholarships

The U.S. has such a huge number of different cultures that many universities have created programs to embrace these students of different backgrounds. Multicultural scholarships are usually reserved for people with Native American, Asian, Hispanic or African-American lineage. These programs are all different and it cannot be generalized that they award funds to students simply because of their heritage. They want students that are smart and will work hard. Almost every scholarship requires students to maintain a high GPA and stay on top of their studies throughout their whole college career.

Scholarships based on need

Filling out the FAFSA form is necessary for every student seeking financial aid. The FAFSA analyzes you and your family’s income to determine how much assistance you will need while you are in school. The results of this form can help a student receive financial aid, grants and student loans. There are so many costs of college that do not involve tuition, including computers, room and board and books. Scholarship programs that are based on a student’s needs help them pay for all these things. Scholarships awarded based on needs vary. Some notable programs are ones that give money to students of single or disabled parents, while many others are based on economic factors such as annual income.

For more information on scholarship opportunities, please visit Communityforce website!