What is a Need-Based Scholarship?

Rising costs of education has prompted college students to look for scholarships to provide some relief for the financial burden brought by college. There are a lot of sources for scholarship grants. Colleges and universities often offer these to prospective students, while other scholarships may be sponsored by local organizations or foundations. Scholarships are sometimes based only on academic performance. Ethnic background can also be taken into consideration by sponsoring organizations and foundations. Scholarships based on financial circumstances can also be granted. This type of scholarship is often referred to as need-based scholarship.

The funds for need-based scholarships can be provided by the college or university, a private endowment, an organization, or a business. Some of these types of scholarships do take academic records into consideration, but most just focus on deciding if the applicant fulfills the primary criterion for eligibility: financial need. Students from families belonging to the lower-middle income bracket are unlikely to have enough money to fund their college education, but government grants usually favor students whose families are near or below the poverty level.

Need-based scholarships exist in order to provide funds for college students who are either too poor to fund their education by themselves or too rich to qualify for federal programs. The scholarship sponsor can have the option of paying for the student’s tuition in part or in full, as well as assist in housing costs and, in some cases, students will be given allowances for books.

If you’re interested in applying for a scholarship, the first step is to consult your guidance counselor to get information about need-based scholarships that you may qualify for. He or she will probably encourage you to fill out a FAFSA, a form submitted to the government containing your basic information and the financial status of the family. While these forms are primarily geared towards looking for students eligible for federal grants, many schools also use the form as the basis for evaluating the financial circumstances of the student. It should be filled out together with the students’ parents in case the form asks for attached copies of income tax returns or other documents that will serve as proof of their income.

Other than financial need, other criteria that the student may need to fulfill are academic performance and, in some cases, degree program chosen. For example, a scholarship can be granted to a student whose parents only earn fewer than 50,000 dollars, and he or she must have and maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0, and he or she must be enrolled in a teaching course in his or her chosen college. However, the criteria of financial need should be fulfilled before all.

Need-based scholarship information is often available at the school’s office for financial aid. These offices are usually aware of scholarships that escape public knowledge. Additionally, the student can consult other resources such as the internet or books. A need-based scholarship may be all the student needs to become a stellar contributor to his or her field.