Scholarships are one of the most effective ways that students can pay for college, and recent studies show that they’re often even more helpful to poor students than they are to wealthier ones.
If you qualify as a poor student yourself, keep reading to learn how scholarships can help you afford college.
What Is Considered Poor? For the purposes of this article, we’ll use the term poor to refer to low-income students who must rely on government or other sources of aid to cover the cost of attending college, including subsidized loans, grants, or work-study programs.
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Smaller Amounts of Money Can Help Too
Will scholarships reduce financial aid?
If you’re a poor student, you might need financial aid to help pay for college.
Financial aid includes scholarships, grants, work-study programs and loans.
Because not all scholarships come with strings attached and because they don’t have to be paid back (like loans), they are typically considered an alternative to loans.
So, how do scholarships help poor students afford college? Let’s find out!
As mentioned above, one of the best ways that scholarships can help low-income students is by replacing or reducing their need for other forms of financial aid.
This is especially true if your family income level doesn’t allow you to qualify for any other forms of financial aid (such as federal Pell Grants).
Scholarships that cover 100% of tuition costs eliminate your reliance on other forms of assistance.
Importance of scholarships for low-income students
The importance of scholarships for low-income students cannot be overstated.
About 70 percent of college students who receive federal Pell Grants graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared to 59 percent of students who don’t get one.
And scholars can save thousands in tuition costs, thanks to discounts that can reach 90 percent at some colleges and universities.
Full scholarships for low-income students
At first glance, it might seem that low-income students are most likely to qualify for need-based aid and scholarships.
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While full scholarships for low-income students certainly exist, many programs exist that offer full scholarships specifically for poor students.
Some schools, like City University of New York (CUNY), award full tuition grants to qualified applicants.
Other schools, like The New School in NYC or Western Governors University (WGU), offer full four-year scholarships for low-income students who enroll in their programs.
Scholarship for poor students, 2022
If you’re from a low-income background, but your grades and test scores are in line with those of top students across all income brackets, you might be able to receive a scholarship specifically for poor students.
These scholarships are designed to help bridge that gap between where your family is financially and where you need to be to attend college.
There are two types of aid available to these students: government assistance and private aid.
The government offers various types of loans and grants based on financial need, as well as Pell Grants based on GPA.