Top 5 Scholarship Opportunities For Students


Nick Youngson

Writing tools, glasses, and the word ‘Scholarship’ written on a chalkboard.

By Razina Ahmed, Academics Editor

With the school year winding down, many rising juniors and seniors have begun researching the colleges/universities they are interested in attending or other options. To help out these students with the financial aspect of their post-high school plans, Niles West and different organizations have worked to organize lists of scholarships that are available to students. With the many opportunities available, students can find scholarships to apply for that will best fit their needs. Here is a list of scholarship websites you can use to help with the process:

  1. Niles West Scholarship Website

Niles West provides a list of many scholarships that are put together by the counselors and College Career Resource Center that are trusted and available to different grade levels. On the site, the scholarships are separated by categories: Senior Scholarships, Local Scholarships, Junior Scholarships, Scholarships for all students, and Scholarship Resources & Handouts. Students can find ones that are need-based, athletic, academic/merit-based, scholarships for different extracurricular activities, identity-based, and many more. The deadlines for these scholarships are listed after the scholarship title. The scholarships will be posted early on so students will have time to apply and meet the deadlines, as well as complete any requirements such as filling out a form with a list of questions or writing an essay.

2. The CollegeBoard Opportunity Scholarships

Many students are familiar with The Collegeboard, the organization that creates the Advanced Placement exams that students can take. The organization offers seven scholarships to students at the beginning of their junior year: Build Your College List, Practice for the SAT, Improve Your Score, Strengthen Your College List, and Complete the FAFSA, Apply to Colleges, and Complete Your Journey. These scholarships require creating a CollegeBoard account and are focused on the college application process as well as helping students improve their SAT scores. Each scholarship offers awards between $500-$2000, and if students complete five out of the six steps, they are eligible for a $40,000 scholarship.

3. Niche

Niche is a college search engine that provides scholarships and also allows students to view the rankings of different colleges/universities as well as what different schools have to offer. Niche connects students with scholarships across the country from different organizations and lists the requirements for each. The website lists scholarships by categories such as New Scholarships, Popular Scholarships, Niche Scholarships, and many others. A Niche account is needed for some of the scholarships, while others will link you directly to the organization the scholarship is coming from.

4. Scholarship America

Similar to Niche, Scholarship America connects students with various foundations and organizations in the United States. Many of the scholarships are available to high school seniors and are centered around a student’s background and identity or their career pursuits. They also look to see if students are involved in their communities and participating in extracurriculars, and some require essays as part of the application. The amount awarded for each scholarship can be found on the site or by going to the link attached to the scholarship.

5. The CocaCola Scholars Foundation

One of the most popular and competitive scholarships at a national level, the CocaCola Scholars Foundation provides 150 graduating seniors across the United States with $20,000 that they can use at the institution they attend. The application asks for students to highlight their leadership experience in high school and any community service, clubs, awards, etc. The scholarship also requires students to submit their academic records. If a student advances to the semifinals, they will be a part of the 250 students who will go through the interview process to hopefully advance to the final round.

When applying for any scholarships, being on the lookout for any scholarship scams can save students a headache. Some tips for spotting these scams include being wary of organizations that make you pay money to apply and double-checking with the College Career Resource Center to see if a certain scholarship organization or website is legitimate. One can find some tips on the Niles West Scholarship website by clicking here. By doing the proper research, students will find that there are a lot of opportunities available to help them in their post-high school journey!