Need money for college?

Scholarships and Grants
Credit: Creative commons flicker 401K

Big money for college

Saving money for college is one of the biggest challenges any student (and their family) face in today’s world. However, there are several great opportunities to get someone else to pay for a large chunk of your college education. These five scholarships and grants are some of the best opportunities out there! Remember, the time to start planning for college is yesterday!

Federal Pell Grant:

Competitiveness: Economic need based

Grant Amount: Up to $5550 per year

Deadline June 30

The Federal Pell Grant is probably the single best opportunity for students struggling to pay for college. It is awarded based on income, the price of your school, if you attending full or part time, as well as factors such as your family’s contributions. To apply, you must complete a FAFSA form, which will asses your eligibility. If you are from a low-mid income family, you should almost certainly apply for this grant!

Note: If you have a parent or guardian who died in military service in Afghanistan or Iraq and are eligible for this grant, you are automatically awarded the full $5550.

Coca-Cola Scholarship:

Competitiveness: High

Grant Amount: $10,000-$20,000

Deadline: October 31st

Every year Coca-Cola gives away 250 scholarships in a competitive process. You will have to fill out an application containing your biographical information as well as jobs held and activities you participate in, both at school and in your community. Finally you will have to submit your class ranking, courses taken and grades received. In December, Semifinalists will be selected and will complete a more thorough application, including letters of recommendation. While this is quite a competitive scholarship, the award is very high!

The Gates Millennium Scholarship:

Competitiveness: Varies

Grant Amount: Varies (Very high)

Deadline: January 11

This scholarship is for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian Pacific Islander American students. To be eligible you must be in one of these groups, have a 3.3 (or higher) GPA, be a citizen or permanent resident of the US and show your facility for leadership. You will have to get someone from your school to “Nominate” you, as well as a recomendation that speaks to your leadership abilities

Sweet Diggity Dawg Scholarship:

Competitiveness: High

Scholarship Amount: $20,000


Deadline: January 15th

This is a bit of an unusual scholarship, as it is based on the college assistance website Zinch. The site tries to match students with scholarships, but this particular award is given via a voting process to the student with the best profile! Sure, you must have a minimum 2.0 GPA, but the Zinch philosophy is that you are “more than a test score” and it shows with this little gem of an award!

The most important thing when looking for funding is that every little bit counts! Even smaller scholarships will help ease the burden on you and your family, so if you can’t land one of these biggies, panic not! Keep trying and take a look at some of the smaller (and stranger) awards out there!