What Are the Different Kinds of Scholarships Available?

Scholarships are financial awards or grants provided to students to support their education. Unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid, making them a valuable source of funding for students pursuing various levels of education, from high school to college and beyond. Scholarships can come from various sources, including universities, colleges, private foundations, companies, community groups, government agencies, and more. They are typically awarded based on specific criteria, which can vary widely depending on the scholarship provider.

If you are considering applying for a scholarship, don’t miss our Global Scholarships Guide 2022/2023. It contains comprehensive information about international scholarships, including how to find them and tips for applying.

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of scholarships that are available throughout the world. Our list explores scholarships based on criteria as well as the different sources, so keep in mind that scholarships can fall under more than one of these categories.

Academic Scholarships

Awarded based on academic achievements, such as high GPAs, standardized test scores, and class rankings. These scholarships encourage students to excel in their studies.

Example: The Gates Cambridge Scholarship offers full funding for postgraduate study at the. It’s open to students from all countries and covers tuition fees, living expenses, and more. Link:

Merit Scholarships

Recognize students who have demonstrated exceptional skills or accomplishments in areas like academics, arts, athletics, leadership, or community service.

Example: The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious international scholarships. It supports postgraduate study at the University of Oxford and is awarded to exceptional students who demonstrate academic and leadership potential. 

Financial/Need-Based Scholarships

Awarded to students with demonstrated financial need. These scholarships aim to make education accessible to students who might otherwise struggle to afford it.

Athletic Scholarships

Offered to students with exceptional athletic abilities, often for participation in college-level sports programs.

Artistic Scholarships

Awarded to students with outstanding talents in fields like music, visual arts, dance, theater, and other creative disciplines.

Example: Royal College of Music Scholarships – The Royal College of Music in London offers a range of scholarships for talented musicians to support their education and training.

Community Service Scholarships

Recognize students who are actively engaged in volunteer work and community service, demonstrating a commitment to giving back.

Ethnic and Cultural Scholarships

Target students from specific ethnic, racial, or cultural backgrounds to promote diversity and inclusion.

Gender-Based Scholarships

Designed for students of a specific gender, often to encourage participation in fields traditionally dominated by one gender.

Example: “Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship” Adobe Research offers this scholarship to female students pursuing degrees in computer science and related fields, aiming to increase gender diversity in technology.

Field of Study Scholarships

Awarded to students planning to pursue specific fields of study, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), business, healthcare, law, and more.

Example: “Google Women Techmakers Scholarship” Google’s Women Techmakers Scholarship supports women pursuing computer science and technology-related fields.

Corporate Scholarships

Offered by companies to support students interested in careers related to their industry. These scholarships might come with internship opportunities.

Example: “Microsoft Imagine Cup” Microsoft’s Imagine Cup offers scholarships and opportunities for students to showcase their innovative software solutions and gain real-world experience.

Government Scholarships

Provided by national or regional governments to support education and research, such as Fulbright scholarships and Chevening scholarships.

Example: “Chevening Scholarships” The Chevening Scholarships, offered by the UK government, provide financial support to students from various countries to study in the United Kingdom. Image: Chevening.org

International Scholarships

Offered to students from one country who wish to study in another country, promoting cross-cultural exchange.

Example: “Fulbright Program” The Fulbright Program promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries by offering scholarships for international students to study in the U.S. and for U.S. students to study abroad.

Research Scholarships

Support students pursuing research in specific fields, often requiring them to contribute to ongoing projects or conduct independent research.

Foundation Scholarships

Awarded by private foundations, community organizations, and philanthropic groups to support a wide range of educational goals.

Example: “Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship” The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers scholarships to high-achieving students with financial need, helping them access educational opportunities.

Essay-Based Scholarships

Require students to write essays on specified topics, allowing them to demonstrate their writing and critical thinking skills.

Example: “Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest” The Ayn Rand Institute’s annual essay contest asks students to engage with Ayn Rand’s philosophy through their essays.

Leadership Scholarships

Awarded to students who have shown exceptional leadership skills, either in academic, extracurricular, or community settings.

Example: “Coca-Cola Scholars Program” The Coca-Cola Scholars Program recognizes high school seniors who have demonstrated leadership and community service with substantial scholarship awards. Image: Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Vocational and Trade Scholarships

Support students pursuing vocational or trade programs, such as technical schools or apprenticeships.

Full-Ride Scholarships

Cover all educational expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and often room and board, providing a comprehensive funding solution.

Partial Scholarships

Cover a portion of educational costs, requiring students to supplement the remaining expenses.

Renewable Scholarships

Awarded for multiple years, often contingent upon maintaining a certain GPA or meeting specific

Learn More

Scholarships are invaluable opportunities for students worldwide to access quality education and achieve their aspirations without the burden of financial constraints. You should now have a better idea of the various scholarships based on criteria and sources, giving you a glimpse of the diverse study pathways available to international students. While Global Admissions doesn’t offer scholarships directly, our platform serves as a gateway for prospective students like you to explore and apply to a wide range of programs, so click below to get started. You can also get in touch with us to learn how we can assist you for scholarships.


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