Applying for scholarships can seem daunting. Hunting them down, filling out applications, and awaiting the response is but one part of the grueling process of paying for college. As a student with a less-than-stellar academic record, you may wonder if you can apply for scholarships before or after you get into college. The good news is yes.
Can you get a scholarship with a 3.0 GPA or lower?
Thankfully, yes. And here’s why.
Although many scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, not all of them are.
Some scholarships are designed to give students a fighting chance to pay for college, regardless of their academic record. Scholarships.com provides a long list of scholarships sorted by grade point average. The offerings for “under a 3.0 GPA” show what you can do to earn scholarships, even if you didn’t earn enough A’s in school.
For example, the Arnold W. Fritz Scholarship requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 and is awarded to students who seek to dedicate themselves to the environmental sciences. For some awards, it’s not about your grades, but what you plan to do once you’ve gotten into college.
Similarly, the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation Scholarship is awarded to students who plan to become police officers or fire fighters. The Serena D. Dalton Scholarship is offered for residents of Forsyth County, NC, and applicants only need a minimum GPA of 2.0. The Seth Okin scholarship focuses on community service, rather than grades. Some of the scholarships require an essay, while others do not.
Fortunately, there are multiple types of scholarships available, and they are not all based on academics. There are several types of scholarships to help students pay for college. The scholarships award various amounts of money, from smaller values to higher amounts.
Academic and merit-based scholarships are most likely to focus on GPA and what program you, as a student, intend to pursue. While grades often matter, extracurricular activities and clubs from inside and out of school are also potential strong points of an academic scholarship.
Need-based scholarships focus on the student’s financial need. For those with poorer academic performance, who for various reasons, are unable to pursue school clubs or programs, these sorts of scholarships are excellent options. They may seem a bit like asking for a handout, but free money is always welcome, especially when it comes to paying for college.
Other scholarships focus on personal background, community service, race/ethnicity, gender and hobbies. If you’re a member of a Native-American tribe or any of the thousand possible other ethnic, cultural, gender, and religious differences in the country, there’s likely a scholarship for you.
Academic performance isn’t everything. The real world is more than just books and studying, and the scholarship providers are aware of this. You don’t need a 4.0 GPA or even a 3.0 GPA to qualify for a scholarship. There are scholarships for students who want to study environmental science, who live in specific regions, who struggled with gender identity through high school and want to make a difference, or who just need the money to pay for college. The right scholarship for you is out there. You just have to find it.