18 Types of Scholarships You’ll Find on Going Merry

 A lot of students assume that if you’re not a straight-A, gold-star, super athlete, you won’t qualify for college scholarships. Fortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Colleges need all kinds of students — which means there are scholarship opportunities that cater to a vast range of interests and backgrounds. 

Going Merry is one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly scholarship platforms out there. One thing that sets us apart is the vast array of different types of scholarships our platform offers. To give you a sense of that variety, we’ve put together this guide to the 18 different types of scholarships we offer. We have academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, easy scholarships, and everything in between. There’s a lot of free money available for higher education. Read on to learn how you could win it. 

18 Types of scholarships available on Going Merry  

We’ve got scholarships to fit every type of student — no matter your academic achievement levels, financial needs, or hobbies. Check out this list to get a sense of all the different types of scholarships out there.

1. Weird and unique scholarships

Not all scholarship underwriters care about serious qualifications like your GPA or FAFSA® report. Some just want to hear about your hobbies — and reward you for doing cool stuff like making a prom dress out of duct tape. For all of the wackiest, weirdest scholarship opportunities you can dream up, check out this list of unique scholarships. Here are just a few good examples:

  • Stuck at Prom Scholarship: Duck Brand, a popular maker of duct tape, created this wacky scholarship contest to find out just how creative its fans could be. To apply, you’ll have to create prom attire entirely from duct tape. The winner of the tux category and dress category will each receive $10,000, and eight runners-up will each receive a $500 award. 
  • Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship: Calling all overactive imaginations: For this fun essay contest, you’ll have to write about how you’d escape a fleet of zombies taking over your high school. Sponsored by Unigo, the $1,000 scholarship provides an opportunity to demonstrate raw creativity without imposing many eligibility requirements.

2. Summer scholarships

School might be out, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your scholarship search on pause. While most scholarship deadlines land within the spring or fall semester, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities you can apply for during the summer (you know, when you actually have the extra time). Here’s a list of scholarships with summer deadlines, including these:

  • Reef2Leaf Aquatic Scholarship: If summer leaves you dreaming of the beach, channel that inspiration into a compelling essay about ocean conservation. The sponsor of this $1,000 scholarship is Seaview 180, a manufacturer of snorkeling gear. The selection committee is looking for a thoughtful, climate-conscious student who can demonstrate a passion for protecting undersea habitats.
  • Delete Cyberbullying Scholarship Award: These days, students can face bullying even when school’s out (thanks, Internet). Delete Cyberbullying, a nonprofit organization, encourages students to make the web a safer space all year-round. To apply, write about your passion for ending cyberbullying and explain how you’ll influence your classmates to get on board.

3. STEM scholarships

In our increasingly digital world, employees with degrees in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) are in higher demand than ever before. And the high number of scholarship funds directly targeting STEM students reflects that. If you’re passionate about computer science, particle physics, or anything else in the world of STEM, you can find a ton of great opportunities on this comprehensive list. A few of them include:

  • Simplr Artificial Intelligence and Technology Scholarship: Sponsored by Simplr, a company that developed an AI chatbot to help companies scale, this $7,500 scholarship award is just for STEM students. To win it, write an essay about artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IOT), blockchain technology, and intellectual property law. Feel free to speculate about the future of the field, and don’t be afraid to dream big.
  • ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship: The League of United Latin American Citizens sponsors the ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship for high-achieving Latinx students. This $20,000 scholarship is open to STEM students from the following places: Oxnard, CA; San Diego, CA; Colorado Springs, CO; Miami, FL; Kansas City, MO; Albuquerque, NM; Philadelphia, PA; Bayamon, PR; Austin, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Houston, TX; Dallas, TX; El Paso, TX; San Antonio, TX; and Vancouver, WA.

4. Easy scholarships

Let’s face it — filling out scholarship applications and writing long essays can get tedious. But there are a ton of scholarship funds you can access without much work at all. For each of these easy scholarships, you’ll find simple applications, minimal requirements, short essays, and straightforward deadlines.

  • Burger King James W. McLamore Whopper Scholarship Award: If your GPA is 2.5 or higher, you’ll qualify for this easy scholarship. You can win between $1,000 and $50,000 simply by filling out the online application and outlining your previous work experience and community service.
  • The Earnest Scholarship: Earnest provides low-interest loans to students of all kinds. To further help those students succeed, the company created this $5,000 scholarship, which takes easy to a whole new level. All you have to do to enter is sign up with your email, mailing address, and college or university name.

5. Scholarships with no GPA requirement

There’s more to a good student than just grades and test scores alone. That’s why Going Merry likes to highlight scholarships with no GPA requirement. If your high school GPA doesn’t quite reflect your potential — or if you’re more of an experiential learner — there plenty of scholarship opportunities that don’t require a transcript or minimum GPA.

  • Doodle for Google Scholarship: If you thrive more in the art studio than the classroom, this scholarship opportunity is for you. Every academic year, Google awards students up to $30,000 of free money without any GPA requirement. All you have to do is create an original Google Doodle using the medium of your choice. 
  • RealtyHop Scholarship: RealtyHop is a group of entrepreneurial folks who want to help other young innovators pay for college. They award their $1,000 scholarship twice a year to students who best answer a creative essay prompt about their future. As an added bonus, this scholarship comes with an internship (either full- or part-time). 

6. Community service scholarships 

Giving back to the community is an important part of being a well-rounded and thoughtful citizen. Fortunately, plenty of scholarship funds exist to reward a passion for making the world a better place. Check out this list of great community service scholarships, which includes these:

  • Going Merry Community Service Scholarship: As part of Going Merry’s mission to support students, we created this need-blind, $1,000 scholarship award. To apply, you’ll need to write one short essay detailing your commitment to community service.
  • Americorps Vista Community Service Scholarship: Americorps is one of the nation’s largest collectives of volunteers. So, perhaps it’s not surprising that its Vista scholarship connects students with volunteer projects that tackle some of the biggest challenges in our society today. In exchange for work in the field, students will receive a $6,000 scholarship to help pay for college (or a $1,800 cash stipend). 

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7. Merit-based scholarships

A lot of merit scholarships target students with high academic achievement, excellent test scores, top-notch athletic skills, or extracurricular activities that help them stand out. If any of these things sound like you, look no further: We’ve created an extensive list of merit-based scholarships to help you cash in on all your hard work.

  • Cameron Impact Scholarship: Funded by a private family foundation, this merit-based scholarship covers the entirety of a student’s tuition and fees — which could help you avoid taking out student loans altogether. It requires that applicants have a 3.7 GPA or higher. You’ll also need to submit details about your leadership roles, awards, and community service experience. 
  • ASCO Engineering Scholarship Program: This $5,000 merit-based award is specific to students who are studying engineering and have at least a 3.2 GPA. To apply, you’ll need to have completed your first year of college and be able to demonstrate your desire to make significant contributions to the engineering industry. If you win, your school’s engineering department will also receive a $1,000 grant. 

8. Scholarships for transfer students 

If you’re in the middle of transferring universities, you already have plenty of hoops to jump through — you shouldn’t also have to worry about piecing together various types of aid on top of that. To help ease your burden, we curated this list of scholarships just for transfer students. Here are a few of them:

  • Tau Sigma Honor Society Scholarship: An honor society just for transfer students, Tau Sigma created this $5,000 merit-based scholarship to reward new transfers who maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher. 
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship: This scholarship supports community college students who are transferring to continue their studies at a four-year institution. It covers up to $55,000 of tuition for the remainder of a student’s studies. Winners also gain access to one-on-one college support and planning. 

9. Athletic scholarships 

Even if you’re not actively recruited to play a sport at your college or university, you can still receive an athletic scholarship. There are a number of independent, athlete-focused awards that make a great supplement to student loans or other types of aid. Start by taking a look at these athletic scholarships. A couple of examples: 

  • Heisman High School Scholarship: Underwritten by the same group that awards the Heisman trophy to college football players, this $10,000 scholarship recognizes academically talented and community-minded athletes. Performance on the field is key, but so is your leadership record in the classroom. 
  • Sara Scholarship: Every year, 12 female high-school golfers take home this $2,000 scholarship. To be eligible, you’ll need to have at least a 3.3 GPA and be able to demonstrate financial need. Passion matters to this selection committee just as much as skill, so apply even if you think your game has room for improvement. 

10. Scholarships for average students 

Standing out in the classroom can be tough, especially if you go to a competitive high school. Fortunately, colleges and universities need all types of students, so average academic performance shouldn’t keep you from pursuing your educational goals. If extracurricular activities are where you really shine, check out this list of scholarships for average students.

  • HOTH SEO Scholarship Program: Grades and test scores don’t matter for this $1,000 award; in fact, the only application requirements are a college acceptance letter and an essay. You’ll need to do some research on digital marketing and write about how companies can capitalize on online advertising. 
  • “Create Real Impact” Contest: This $3,000 scholarship award will be given to nine students (from ages 14 to 22) who create the most compelling strategies to end reckless and distracted driving. Your submission can include creative writing, video, graphic design, or musical components. 

11. Scholarships for Black students 

College students who identify as Black or African American make up only 12.7% of the undergraduate student population.These scholarship providers want to see that number rise. If you’re a Black student in need of financial support, we’ve found a number of lucrative scholarship opportunities for students like you.

  • The Gates Scholarship: This award is for academically-minded students of color who are Pell Grant-eligible. It covers the full cost of attendance (i.e., all your tuition and fees), which makes it one of the more generous scholarships on our list. It’s highly selective, but it’s an amazing opportunity for gifted Black and African American college students.
  • TMCF and ETS Presidential Scholarship for HBCU Students: This award from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund is another full-tuition scholarship for Black and African American students. You’ll need to prove your enrollment in a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and have at least a 3.5 GPA to be eligible. 

12. Scholarships for Hispanic students 

According to a 2019 report by the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, Hispanic students received the lowest financial aid amount of any ethnic group during the 2015-2016 school year, the last year for which data was available. Fortunately, there are many scholarships specifically for Hispanic students. These opportunities could help supplement your federal aid, work-study benefits, or other student loans. 

  • McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship: If you have one parent of Hispanic heritage and at least a 2.8 GPA, you’re eligible to apply for this $100,000 college scholarship. The selection committee of this prestigious award takes many things into consideration, including financial need and a personal interview. 
  • El Cafe Del Futuro Scholarship: To be eligible for this $5,000 award, students must be attending or planning to attend a Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) member institution. The application includes an essay about how your heritage has influenced you.

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13. Scholarships for Asian American students 

These scholarship programs can be a great option for Asian American college students looking to supplement their student loans. Here are a few awards that cater specifically to Asian American and Pacific Islanders. (Find our full list of Asian American scholarships here.) 

  • The OTEFE Foundation Scholarship: Created by the OTEFE Foundation, an organization that supports Korean and Korean American students, this award varies in dollar amount based on a student’s financial need. You’ll need to write an essay about your love for your Korean community and your community service experience. 
  • Sports Task Force Journalism Scholarship: Funded by the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), this $2,000 award goes to aspiring Asian American journalists. Students with an interest in sports are particularly encouraged to apply. 

14. Scholarships for women

Today, more women pursue higher education than men, which can make the field feel a little competitive. Fortunately, there are plenty of different types of scholarships to go around. Whether you’re a female graduate student pursuing a STEM degree, a female undergraduate, or a woman getting her teaching degree, we have scholarship opportunities for you. These are two of our favorites, but you can find our full list here.

  • ABC Humane Wildlife Academic Scholarship – Women In STEM: ABC Humane Wildlife recognizes that STEM fields are largely dominated by men — and wants to help the women fighting for parity. To apply, you’ll need to write an essay about your passion for your particular STEM degree and explain how investment in your field will help improve our planet. Each winner receives a $1,000 scholarship. 
  • Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship: Sponsored by a groundbreaking tech company called Palantir, this annual scholarship awards $7,000 each to 10 women studying technology-related fields. Winners are also invited to attend a special development workshop. 

15. Graduate school scholarships

A lot of scholarship opportunities target undergraduate students, but graduate students aren’t immune to student debt, either. Luckily, there are plenty of merit scholarships and degree-specific scholarships for graduate students. Be sure to scan our list of graduate scholarships, which includes these two high-dollar awards:

  • MS Engineering and Science Fellowship Programs: This multi-year award helps up-and-coming scientists from underrepresented backgrounds pursue graduate degrees in engineering and science. It covers the entirety of each winner’s tuition and fees and provides them with a $16,000 stipend. 
  • Sidney B. Williams Jr. Scholarship: This scholarship provides up to $30,000 of support to Black and African American law students, prioritizing students interested in pursuing patent law. The selection committee takes many things into consideration, including financial need and academic performance. 

16. Scholarships for children of single parents

Because single-parent households often rely on a single income, they’re often more burdened by the prospect of paying for college. Fortunately, a ton of scholarship programs have stepped up to help fill the gap. Whether you’ve lost a parent to divorce, illness, or a tragic accident, our list of scholarships for children raised by single parents has you covered.

  • ReWritten Scholarship: Statistically, fatherless kids are more likely to drop out of school than children from two-parent homes. Rewritten, a nonprofit organization, exists to help fatherless children beat those odds and write their own futures.  If you were raised by a single mother, consider applying for the organization’s ReWritten Scholarship, which could provide up to $5,000 to help you attend college. You’ll just need to write an essay about your plans for your future and demonstrate your financial need.
  • Life Lessons Scholarship Program: If you’ve had to deal with the loss of a parent while keeping up your studies, you’ve had to fight a battle most students will never comprehend. This scholarship award, which varies based on financial need, wants to recognize your efforts. Applicants must submit either a written essay or a video detailing how the death of a parent impacted their life and future plans.

17. First generation scholarships

Becoming the first in your family to pursue higher education is a huge and exciting step. However, figuring out financial aid, federal loans, and college scholarships can feel overwhelming if you don’t have help from family members familiar with the process. Fortunately, there are lots of scholarship opportunities for students just like you. Check out our full list of scholarships for first-generation college students, which includes these two awards:

  • Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program: Sponsored by a long-haul trucking company, this $5,000 scholarship exists to support students from underrepresented backgrounds. Fontana Transport Inc. awards it annually to first-generation college students interested in either transportation or STEM fields. Applicants will need to maintain a 3.5 minimum GPA to be eligible.
  • First in Family Scholarship: If you’re from North or South Carolina and you’re the first in your family to go to college, you should consider applying for this need-based scholarship. Endowed by the George Rogers Foundation, which was created to support first-generation college students, this award is open to students with a 3.0 minimum GPA. To apply, write an essay about what being a first-generation college student means to you. 

18. State-specific scholarships 

Many state governments provide scholarship and grant opportunities specifically for their constituents. Among them, you’ll find numerous outside scholarships for particular schools, as well as broader scholarships for different types of students. You might even find scholarships specific to your city or county. 

Find your state from our alphabetized list below to start learning about scholarships near you. 

Get more scholarships delivered to you with Going Merry

You don’t have to fit a certain mold to be eligible for incredible scholarships. From passionate athletes to average test-takers, from full-time undergraduate students to part-time graduate students, there’s something out there for everyone.

Going Merry makes it easy to both find and apply for those scholarships. All you have to do is create a profile on our platform and let us do the rest. We’ll search our database and match you with scholarships that fit your customized eligibility parameters. We can also help with other aspects of the college search, like making sense of financial aid or figuring out how to write the perfect essay. To access to all those resources and more, sign up for Going Merry today. 

Disclaimer: This blog post provides personal finance educational information, and it is not intended to provide legal, financial, or tax advice.


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