With the states of Georgia and Tennessee looking at funding constraints to their respective Hope Scholarship programs, it is a good idea to have alternatives to consider for scholarship opportunities. Unfortunately, most alternative scholarships are not open and available to all students as they are with the Hope Scholarship. As you know the Hope Scholarship requirements are: residency, in state college attendance, academic requirements meeting the minimum GPA and/or college entrance test (ACT or SAT) scores, and continued GPA minimums once in college. You can review the Hope Scholarship Admissions Requirements here on this site.
Alternative scholarships will have requirements that tend to restrict the available, eligible student population. These are often referred to as niche, specialty, or targeted scholarships. Some of these requirements are:
- Financial Need
- Employer scholarships for students of employees
- Ethnic Background
- Religious Background
- Declared Major
- County of residency
- College Attending
- Club membership
- Youth league membership
- Proficiency in a particular subject (Math, History, etc…)
- Any other unique, specific, personal item related to you
And here are some interesting, unique requirements:
So, how do you find and apply for alternatives to the Hope Scholarship? First, conduct an exhaustive online search using as specific as possible your search filters to find scholarships that are uniquely targeted to you. The key to finding these scholarships is 1) Search early; 2) Follow the instructions and qualification requirements for the scholarship exactly. Do not let paperwork prevent you from receiving a scholarship; 3) Meet all of the schedule deadlines. Do not let a deadline make you ineligible; 4) Apply for as many as you can find. There is no penalty given for applying to multiple scholarship programs; and 5) Use all resources on the Internet to pursue these opportunities. However, be aware, make sure that you find and apply to legitimate scholarship opportunities. DO NOT SEND MONEY to apply for a scholarship. There are NO, repeat NO, legitimate scholarships that would ask recipients and applicants to pay money for an application. Stay away from these scams.
Finally, many of these alternative scholarships do not ask about other funding or scholarships. If you are eligible and receive the scholarship, you may use the money even if you receive funding from other sources such as the Hope Scholarship; therefore, you should research, find, and apply for these unique, niche scholarships even if you already have a Hope Scholarship or other scholarships or aid awarded to you.