13 Scholarships for High School Juniors (And Sooner)
Fact: You don’t need to wait until senior year of high school to start applying for college scholarships. Many students are surprised to learn that there are scholarships for all ages and grade levels.
It’s true. You can start applying for scholarships as a high school junior and even before that.
If you can find scholarships that let you apply early you should. While there are thousands of scholarships out there, it takes time to find appropriate ones for you. It also takes a good amount of time to put together your scholarship applications.
The earlier you apply, the more relevant scholarships you’ll find and the more time you’ll have to apply to them.
When Should you Start Applying for Scholarships
Most students start looking into college scholarships once the reality of college costs settle in. This is typically when they start applying to college or even after they’ve been accepted and have to start paying the bills.
While you may not find many scholarships for freshman or sophomore year students, it can be helpful to start doing research at this stage. Even if you won’t be applying to many of these scholarships for some time, it’s good to get a sense of what’s out there.
If you know the kinds of scholarships out there, you have more time to prepare. For example, many merit scholarships ask students to take certain classes or meet a volunteer requirement. By learning of these requirements early on, you have more time to organize your class schedule. This way, you can be sure to meet requirements.
And while there aren’t many scholarships available for the young high school students, if you find them you should absolutely apply for three reasons:
- Since less people know about them, the competition will be easier.
- Applying for scholarships early on gives you more time (and practice) applying to scholarships (rather than doing it all at the last minute)
- Applying to more scholarships gives you more chances to win more scholarships (duh!)
In the next section we’ll look more specifically at applying for scholarships as a Junior.
Can you Apply for Scholarships as a Junior?
Of course you can! You probably have a lot going on this year, but things aren’t going to get any easier next year.
Applying for scholarships takes a lot of time. You will likely be spending the first half of your senior year applying to colleges and filing your FAFSA. This alone will take up a lot of your time and energy.
Why not get a head start so you can free up some time during a crucial senior year? Junior year is when you start to become eligible for more scholarships. It’s the perfect time to start really getting into your scholarship search and organizing your application materials.
You don’t need to completely throw yourself into your scholarship search at this point. But, it is a good idea to set aside a few hours every week to work on scholarship applications.
Many scholarships have fall deadlines. If you aren’t heavily into your scholarship search by the summer after your junior year, then it’s an absolute must to start working on it. You don’t want to scramble to get your apps done during the fall when you’re already overwhelmed by college applications.
In the next section we’ll look at a few scholarships that Juniors (and in some cases freshmen and sophomores) can already apply for.
Scholarships for High School Juniors (and some even for freshmen and sophomores)
Junior students have some pretty awesome and prestigious scholarships they can apply to. Here are some of the top scholarships:
High school juniors may apply to the Alexander Hamilton Scholars program. The program grants students $500. Scholars who win the award are also admitted into the Alexander Hamilton Scholars Empowerment Program.
To be eligible, students must be high-achieving and have volunteer experience. They also must show a financial need. Winners commit to attending the New York Leader Week which takes place during the summer.
The Coolidge Scholarship is a full-ride, presidential scholarship. It awards students who demonstrate academic excellence. Students should also show an interest in public policy.
The scholarship covers a student’s tuition, room, board, and expenses for four years of undergraduate study. Students may use the scholarship toward any accredited college or university.
Students apply for the Scholarship during their junior year of high school. Winners are notified late in their junior year. Finalists who are not named Coolidge Scholars may win a smaller, one-time, college scholarship.
High school juniors who attend the current session of the American Legion Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program may apply. The must be a direct descendant or a legally adopted child of a wartime U.S. military veteran who served on active duty during one of the periods of war. Applicants who are direct descendants of Korean War Era Veterans receive 3 bonus points.
Winners may receive up to $10,000. The scholarship money can be used towards undergraduate studies. Winners are chosen based on academic record, school involvement and community service.
High school juniors may apply to the Niche $500 lottery scholarship. The application is very simple and requires filling out personal information.
15 high school juniors living in Iowa may apply to win up to $11,500. To apply, students must fill out an application and submit a project plan. Their project must be of their own choosing and design. Students aren’t judged on grades, test scores, or their financial state.
There are tons of scholarships that junior students, and high school students in other grades, may apply to. When doing your scholarship search, make sure you read the eligibility requirements. Here are some scholarships that all students in high school may apply to.
Students ages 8-25 are eligible to apply. There is one winner in each of the grade categories, except for seniors who have two prizes. High school juniors can apply to win a prize in the high school grade level. This is for students in grades 9, 10, or 11.
Students must create a film under 3 minutes on one of the suggested topics. Examples are waste, food, and transportation.
High school freshman through seniors can apply to win up to $10,000. Students must submit an essay between 700-1,000 words. In the essay, they must describe and analyze an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917.
High school and undergraduate students may apply to win up to $5,000. Students must be under 25-years-old.
They may submit up to two films in separate topics. Topics must address critical issues which impact women and girls. The films must be between 3-6 minutes.
High school and college students of all grade levels may apply to win $1,000. They must submit an online application and answer the following 140-character statement:
Students between 14 to 19 years old can apply to win up to $5,000. They must submit a 500-800 word essay answering the question “What are the essential qualities of a citizen in your community in 21st century America?”
Students planning to enroll in college within 24 months may apply to win $500. To apply, students submit a short application.
Students in 10th-12th grade may apply to win $1,000. They must be planning to attend an accredited school. They must submit an online application and write a personal statement of 250 words or less.
Students in their junior or senior year of high school may apply to win $2,500. They must be United States Bowling Congress Youth members. They should also have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have volunteer experience and academic excellence. To apply, students must fill out an online application and submit an essay. Submit: An online application form + essay.
Scholarships are an excellent way to pay for college. Instead of waiting until your senior year to apply, start applying for scholarships early on in high school. This is a great way to increase your chances of winning scholarships.
There are tons of scholarships out there for every type of student. Don’t give up on applying and keep searching for the scholarships that are right for you.
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