The 50 Best Scholarships for High School Seniors

Senior year in high school is a busy, but exciting, year. Between maintaining good grades, taking the SAT or ACT, volunteering, participating in sports or other extracurricular activities, visiting colleges, choosing a college, applying to college — to name a few key events in senior year — applying for scholarships is likely the last thing you want to do.

But college can be expensive. Student loan debt has hit an all-time high of $1.59 trillion in January 2022, with borrowers graduating with an average debt of $28,950

Scholarships are well worth your time and effort. Aside from helping you pay for college, winning a scholarship can help your college application stand out.

And, luckily, there are hundreds of scholarships for high school seniors that you can apply for.

Here is a list of the 50 best scholarships for high school seniors in 2022.

Library

Evans Scholarship

Amount: Full tuition and housing. About: Offered by the Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation, the Evans Scholarship Program covers full…

Read More
Library

Fry Scholarship

Amount: Full tuition, housing, books and supplies. About: The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) is meant for…

Read More

UCT Heaston Scholarship

Amount: Up to $6,000 per year (renewable of each year.). About: Each year, United Commercial Travelers (UCT) awards three separate scholarships…

Read More

Family Fellowship

Amount: Up to $12,000 per year (for up to 5 years). About: Offered by nonprofit Together We Rise, in partnership with…

Read More

HOPE Scholarship TN

Amount: Up to $1,600 for freshmen & sophomores at 2-year institutions; Up to $2,250 for freshmen & sophomores at institutions with…

Read More
Library

Opportunity Scholarship

Amount: Up to $80,000 maximum over 4 years. About: Dream.US, a nonprofit organization, created its Opportunity Scholarship to help undocumented students…

Read More

Gates Scholarship

Amount: Full Cost of Attendance. About: The Gates Scholarship is annually awarded to minority, college-bound high school seniors from low-income households….

Read More

Step Up Scholarship

Amount: Varies. About: Step Up For Students, a Florida nonprofit scholarship funding organization, helps administer four scholarships for Florida schoolchildren, which…

Read More

Hope Scholarship

Amount: $6,519 (Grades K-5), $6,815 (Grades 6-8), $7,112 (Grades 9-12). About: Administered by Step Up For Children, a Florida nonprofit organization,…

Read More
Library

Stamps Scholarship

Amount: $5,400-$75,000. About: Launched in 2006 at the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech, the Stamps Scholars Program is now available…

Read More

Ron Brown Scholar Program

Amount: $40,000 (over 4 years). About: The Ron Brown Scholar Program awards community minded and intellectually gifted African Americans who come…

Read More

The scholarships listed above are just some of the best scholarships we’ve found for you. There are many other scholarships out there for high school seniors.

Use TUN’s Scholarship Search Engine to find more scholarships for you.

To keep on top of new scholarships as they are offered, be sure to join the TUN Community. We will let you know about scholarships that you qualify for. 

When to apply for scholarships 

Each scholarship has a specific deadline. These deadlines occur throughout the year, so you can find one for any time of the year. Keep in mind, however, that some scholarship deadlines may fall months, even a year, before the start of the academic year for which you’re seeking a scholarship.  

So, if you’re a high school senior looking to get a scholarship for your freshman year of college, you should start the search process early.

And when you apply, be sure to meet the deadline for each specific scholarship. 

How to apply for scholarships

Each scholarship has its own unique requirements and qualifications. The first step to successfully applying for any scholarship is reading the details carefully. Make sure that you fit the eligibility criteria and fill out the application completely. 

Pay attention to what’s required of you. For example, if you need a recommendation letter, you should request one way ahead of time so you have one by the time you apply. If an essay is required, start writing weeks before the deadline so you have an essay you can be proud of before the due date.

Aim to send in your application at least a few days before the deadline. This way, you avoid the risk of getting sidelined by technical glitches, tests, heavy homework load, or illness. 

And don’t forget to submit everything required of you as part of your application. 

For more tips on how to apply for scholarships, check here.

How to find scholarships

Colleges may offer either merit-based or need-based scholarships or both. You can usually find most of the information by clicking on their “financial aid” page. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to email or call their financial aid office.

There are also outside scholarships — like the ones listed above — that are sponsored by companies, organizations, foundations, and individuals as a way to give back to their communities. The awards can cover your entire tuition or a portion of it. Some scholarships have a GPA requirement or are based on financial need, while others embrace a cause or emphasize community involvement, athletic achievement, diversity, passion, and much more. 

So, how do you find outside scholarships like these?

Start your search with TUN’s Scholarship Search Engine to find scholarships that are ideal for you. You can search by grade level, GPA, major, state of residency, scholarship name, or deadline month. You can also browse through our featured scholarships, some available only through TUN, and a collated list of scholarships for specific groups of students. 

You should also check with your high school or college to see if they have a list of scholarships. Your guidance counselor may have the list or point you to someone who can help you. They may also be in the know about scholarships sponsored by local stores or organizations.

Your family is yet another good source of scholarships. Your parents or guardians may work for a company that offers scholarships for dependents of employees

If you work while in high school, you may also qualify for an employee scholarship

For more tips on how to find scholarships, check here.

How to get scholarships

Scholarships, especially ones with high awards, can be very competitive. In some cases, you may be competing against thousands of students. 

So, how do you increase your chances of winning a scholarship?

First, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and submit all the information required of you, including recommendation letters, transcripts, and resume.

Second, be sure to distinguish yourself from the other applicants. Your essay, if that’s required, is what makes you unique so let your personality and creativity shine through. How do you do that? 

You can achieve that “by showing instead of telling,” according to Sarah Chomette, an eAdviser with the College Advising Corps. 

“When answering a creative prompt or inputting your personal statement, it’s important to provide the reader with a story instead of just telling them about your goals and accomplishments,” she said. “That can be kind of boring and it makes you get lost in the crowd.”

A successful essay must include four major components, Chomette explained. First, make sure that you convey your personal values. Second, be open and honest to help the reader feel a connection with you. Third, let the reader know why your story is important. Fourth, your writing must show that you put time and effort into it. 

If a scholarship asks for a video or infographic instead of an essay, the same principle applies.

To summarize, always put thought and effort into your whole application and submit your best work. There should be no obvious errors or typos. And if you need to submit a recommendation letter, reflect on who knows you best and whose recommendation would help your application the most. 

Are scholarships taxable?

Typically, scholarships are not taxable. However, it can depend on how the scholarship money is being used, according to federal tax laws. 

Scholarship dollars are tax-exempt if they are going to a degree-seeking candidate and are being used to pay for tuition and fees required for enrollment, books, supplies, and other educational expenses. 

Scholarships are not tax-exempt, and you must report them as “gross income,” if they are used to pay for room and board, travel, or optional equipment. 

If you have additional questions, you should reach out to the financial aid office of your prospective or current college or university. 

Featured Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships listed here, check out our blog article on scholarships for high school seniors.

The University Network