College and university tuition costs continue to skyrocket and competition is fierce for what scholarship money is available. There is a wide variety of scholarships; some awards are for those with demonstrated financial need, other awards are specifically for those who belong to a specific ethnic minority. It may be less known that there is also scholarship money for which children of middle-class families are eligible.
While middle class students are not eligible for scholarships based upon financial need, they are eligible for merit-based scholarships. According to the University of Southern Maine, it is a myth that only "A" students can win merit-based scholarships. Students who are considered "B" or even "C" students who are actively involved in extracurricular and community-based activities stand a chance at receiving merit-based scholarships. Holding a volunteer job in the community is a good way to increase the chance of receiving a scholarship, as is playing a musical instrument or being actively involved in student politics.
States and Schools
According to "The Wall Street Journal," states give over half of their college scholarship money based upon merit, not financial need. And colleges and universities give out merit-based scholarships as well. School merit scholarships are usually based upon academic merit, sports ability or musical talent. Students from middle class families are well advised to apply for scholarships and not assume that their financial status will render them ineligible.
Some colleges and universities have scholarship money specifically for the children of employees and faculty members. The requirements for eligibility may include that the parent be a full-time employee or that the child be enrolled as a full-time student.
Some colleges and universities award scholarships specifically to children of veterans. The University of Illinois, for example, awards six scholarships or tuition waivers each year to children of veterans. Children may be biological or legally adopted. Students who apply must submit their ACT scores and priority is given to high scores.