What are scholarships?
Since time immemorial, mankind has always had an inborn urge to seek, to explore and to find and in the process, to constantly further the limits of learning. But, the fact remains that unless one’s basic needs of food, shelter, and security are met, one doesn’t normally turn towards learning. We live in a time when learning opportunities are at their peak. There are literally, millions of educational institutes, worldwide that offer opportunities for generalized and highly specific learning. While this is surely an essential aspect in the growth and sustenance of any civilized society, the fact also remains that there are millions across the world, who, despite possessing an above average intelligence and aptitude as well, are unable to fulfill their educational aspirations, owing to their impoverished circumstances. Many youngsters are forced to earn a living to support themselves and/or family and so are deprived of opportunities for education.
This is where scholarships become relevant. Scholarships are typically trust funds built by individual philanthropists, by the federal agencies, educational institutions or by corporates with a sufficient Corporate Social Responsibility budget, to provide equal opportunities for various socially and economically underprivileged children and adults, to receive an education at Hallmark institutes. This system of establishing scholarship funds has proven to be a boon to so many youngsters, wishing to further their horizons but who are unable to afford such an education.
Student financial aid specifically in the country is usually available to deserving students who seek post-secondary education. Such scholarships usually cover the costs of tuition in the student’s chosen center of learning.
Scholarships are usually offered to the student to facilitate his or her education and do not need to be repaid. However, since most scholarships only cover tuition costs, the students may have to take up some kind of part-time employment to support number of criteria including financial status of parent/guardian, nationality, ethnicity, medical history and health status, meritorious achievements in sports, arts, athletics or other extra-curricular activities, consistent meritorious performance in high school and so on. Again, the criteria may vary across institutions. Statistics show that every year millions of students from diverse backgrounds receive partial or full scholarships to study in educational institutes, not only in America but the world over.
However, while there are surely a very large number of institutions offering genuine scholarships and financial support to deserving students, there are equally a large number of fraudulent scholarship scams. So a student seeking financial aid would be best advised to research thoroughly before applying for a scholarship.