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Big Ticket Scholarships: What are they, and how much can I earn?

Scholarships can make a significant impact on how students decide which college to attend, and they can make their dream school with bad financial aid a reality. Big ticket scholarships in particular offer over $20,000 dollars to students in order to assist them in their academic journeys. Though these scholarships can be extremely competitive and tend to require a lot of work, they definitely pay off and tend to provide more to their winners than just money.

The following list of big ticket scholarships are solely available to high school seniors, and many of them look for specific types of students (FGLI, POC, etc.). As this is not an exhaustive list of scholarships, students should continue to search for scholarships on other websites and to apply to as many as they can!

QuestBridge. National College Match recipients are granted admission into one of QuestBridge’s college partners with a full, four-year scholarship worth over $250,000. Although the scholarship does not come directly from QuestBridge, college partners utilize their own funds to fund their scholars. The scholarship covers everything, including tuition, room and board, books, and travel expenses. To learn more about QuestBridge and to see if you are eligible for the program, read our “What is QuestBridge?” article!

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Cooke Scholars receive up to $40,000 per year to attend university. Students also receive personal advising and are connected to a vast network of Cooke Scholars. As the application for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship is hosted through Common App, it is very accessible and easy to complete.

Gates Scholarship. This scholarship for low-income students of color guarantees that their recipients will graduate from a four-year institution with no debt. The Gates Scholarship covers the full cost of attendance that is not already covered by other financial aid and relieves families from their expected family contributions.

Cameron Impact Scholarship. This is a four-year, full-tuition, merit-based scholarship awkward to students who demonstrate excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, leadership, and community service. The application for this scholarship opens up in spring of junior year and closes in fall of senior year, giving applicants plenty of time to perfect their applications.

Dell Scholars. Open to students who participated in a select list of college readiness programs in their junior and senior year, Dell awards $20,000, a laptop, and textbook credits to Pell-eligible high school seniors in order to help them overcome barriers limiting their collegiate success.

GE-Reagan Foundation. This scholarship awards students with renewable $10,000 awards given that they exhibit leadership in their communities and are active citizens.

Jackie Robinson Scholarship. This scholarship awards up to $30,000 to students of color who demonstrate leadership potential and financial need. Students must demonstrate a dedication to community service and must be pursuing a four-year degree.

Coca-Cola Scholars. This competitive scholarship awards 150 high school seniors with $20,000 scholarships. Students must demonstrate excellence in all areas and must have made sizable contributions to their community.

Horatio Alger National Scholarship. This scholarship awards recipients with $25,000 as well as an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. during spring break of their senior year. This scholarship is open to high school seniors who demonstrate critical financial need and are involved in their community.

Foot Locker Scholarship. This $20,000 scholarship is open to high school seniors who are currently involved in high school, intramural, or community-based sports and demonstrate academic excellence.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund. This merit-based scholarship awards high school seniors of Hispanic heritage who demonstrate academic interest. Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $5,000 and are based on relative need.

Point Foundation. A last provider scholarship, the Point Foundation fills in gaps and provides funds not provided by other scholarships, grants, loans, work study programs, and other sources of funding. Students apply in their senior year and must demonstrate leadership skills, community involvement, academic achievement, and be an active supporter and/or member of the LGBTQ+ community.

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