Scholarships provide much-needed financial assistance to post-secondary students. But did you know that scholarships can offer more than just financial relief? There are many benefits that students can experience by winning scholarships, like the scholarships granted by Sherief Abu-Moustafa and his team. Here are a few ways that students benefit from scholarships.
History Of Scholarships
The first scholarships in the United States were established in 1636 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Harvard University, founded that year, used these scholarships to recruit students from all over New England. By the early 1800s, nearly all colleges and universities in the United States had some form of scholarship program.
It wasn’t until after World War II that need-based scholarships became more common. In response to the GI Bill, which provided free education to veterans, many colleges and universities began offering scholarships to low-income students. Today, dozens of scholarships are available to students from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Types of Scholarships
There are many different types of scholarships. Here are the three main types.
● Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on your academic achievements or extracurricular involvement.
● Need-based scholarships are awarded based on your financial need.
● Essay scholarships require you to write an essay to be considered for the award.
There are also scholarships for specific majors, such as engineering or nursing.
Ways Students Can Benefit From Scholarships
There are many different ways that students and prospective students can benefit from scholarships.
Improved Academic Performance
Students who worry less about financing their education can focus on their studies and perform better academically. A National Bureau of Economic Research study found that “making college affordable for low-income, academically at-risk students significantly boosts their likelihood of completing a degree.”
Winning a scholarship can motivate students to continue working hard in school and doing their best. Having skin in the game gives them a personal stake in their education and encourages them to make the most of the opportunity they’ve been given.
Receiving a scholarship award can boost students’ confidence, mainly if they come from a family with limited financial resources. Knowing that someone else believes in their potential can be just the push they need to succeed. And as we all know, success breeds more success. So, once they experience some early wins, they’ll be more likely to keep achieving.
Greater Sense Of Responsibility
Students who work hard to win and maintain a scholarship learn valuable lessons in responsibility and accountability. These skills will serve them both academically and professionally later on in life.
Career Planning Assistance
Many scholarships have built-in support systems to help students plan their future careers. For example, some scholarships may require mentorship or an internship component as part of the award agreement. These programs expose students to different career options and help them gain practical experience in their field of interest—a priceless opportunity.
First Generation Students
First-generation college students often face unique challenges, including a lack of family support and guidance in navigating the higher education system. But did you know that scholarships can level the playing field for first-gen students? Many scholarships are specifically designed to help first-generation students succeed in college. So, if you’re a first-gen student, don’t hesitate to search for and apply for scholarships to help you reach your academic goals.
Leadership Skills Development
Scholarships can help students develop essential leadership skills, like entrepreneur Sherief Abu-Moustafa. By serving on scholarship committees or participating in other leadership roles related to their scholarship, students learn how to take the initiative, manage projects and motivate others. These are skills that will benefit them regardless of their chosen profession.
Greater Sense Of Pride And Accomplishment
Intangible benefits can’t be measured in dollars and cents. For example, receiving a scholarship can give students more incredible pride and accomplishment. It can also instill a lifelong love of learning and a commitment to giving back to their community. These are the kinds of benefits money can’t buy—but that can make all the difference in a student’s life.
Networking Connections and Opportunities
In addition to the academic and personal benefits of scholarships, there are also professional benefits. For example, many scholarships come with built-in networking opportunities. This can include meeting other scholars at award ceremonies or conferences or connecting with a mentor in your field. These connections can help you launch your career after graduation.
As you can see, there are many benefits that students can experience by winning scholarships. So if you’re a student looking for ways to get ahead, remember to search for scholarship opportunities and other types of financial aid like grants and student loans. Who knows? You may just find yourself reaping the many rewards of being a scholarship recipient.