By Shannon Elward, Indiana Commission for Higher Education

November is National Scholarship Month! That means it’s time to talk about the importance of scholarships when it comes to funding a college education. There’s a lot of talk about the rising costs of college, but scholarships are a great way to keep those costs low. From $500 to $30,000 – and everything in between – there are thousands of local and national scholarships out there for the taking.

If you’re not too familiar with scholarships, let’s first take a look at the different kinds of scholarships, like:

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Academic scholarships, which are usually based on your GPA,

Athletic scholarships, which consider your achievement in sports,

Arts scholarships, which focus on creative areas like band, choir and visual arts,

Service scholarships, which consider volunteerism and community service, and

Personal scholarships, which are based on personal or identity traits like gender, race, ethnicity or income.

Let’s take a look at a couple Hoosier students who used scholarships to help fund their college education and are now working in careers they love.

Jenny Keith

Jenny Keith is an educator in Howard County, Indiana. She received the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, which is an academic scholarship that provides up to $30,000 in funding for students who are planning to teach in Indiana after college. Jenny says, “This scholarship allowed me to pursue my calling at an amazing university.” Thanks to the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, she was able to attend her dream college – Taylor University – and she’s now working a in career she loves. If you’re interested in going into education, learn more about the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship here.

Jim Yates

Jim Yates is working on his master’s degree in human services. But before that, he was a 21st Century Scholar from South Bend, Indiana who attended Indiana State University. Thanks to the 21st Century Scholarship, which is a personal scholarship that provides students with up to 100% of tuition costs for up to four years, he was able to graduate with his bachelor’s degree without worrying about racking up too much debt. He says, “Due to my participation in the 21st Century Scholars program… behind me is infinite power, before me is endless possibility and around me is boundless opportunity.” Learn more about the 21st Century Scholars program here.

These are just two out of thousands of students who benefit from scholarships every year. There’s money out there – you just have to be willing to search it out. Ready to start searching for scholarships? Check back next week for our blog all about how to find scholarships.

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