National scholarships typically have more applicants and tougher competition than local, state, and major- or organization-specific scholarships. Generally, its a good idea to fill out a personalized scholarship profile or search for scholarships using keywords and phrases that describe the student’s unique characteristics, but these national scholarships can often offer awards that are much higher and the winners attract a lot more attention and publicity. Winning a large national award can help you with more than just a huge chunk of free money for college, it can also be a great way to get accepted into the college or graduate program – or even job – that you want most of all.
Anyway, with that said, let’s get to some of the big national scholarships with applications due in January 2009:
- Gates Millennium Scholars – Due January 12, 2009The Gates Millennium Scholars program was established in 1999 to provide a college education for minority students with strong academic scores and significant financial need. Students who will be entering college in fall 2009 will need to apply before January 19, 2009 to be considered. The award will pay for an undergraduate degree in any major – and it can even be extended to fund a graduate degree, in full, if the student pursues one of the listed majors.
- CampusDiscovery.com – Due January 15, 2009
One student will win up to $10,000 – and all you have to do is fill out a survey about your experience on campus. As a side benefit to future students, CampusDiscovery will anonymously use the data to provide information about the schools online.
- Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholarship Program – Due January 15, 2009The Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholarship provides funding for students in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $7,500. Current college sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply, and applicants must submit: “an essay of 500 to 750 words describing their backgrounds, career objectives and scope of participation in leadership activities promoting freedom, American values and constitutional principles.” Selection is primarily merit-based, but financial need may be considered as well. Make sure to read all the details at the sponsor’s site!
- Sam Walton Community Scholarship – Due January 31, 2009This award is available for current high school students graduating during the 2008 – 2009 academic year. Selected scholars will receive a one-time cash payment of $3,000 to apply toward college expenses as needed – unless another source of funding completely pays the students’ costs or the student becomes ineligible due to a business / employment relationship with WalMart stores.