If you’re a Nevada resident thinking about heading off to college, you’re in luck. Even though the average student loan debt nationwide is $29,800, graduates of Nevada colleges have some of the lowest loan balances in the nation.
This just doesn’t happen. College is expensive, and students in the Silver State need to find creative ways to cover those costs. These might include financial aid (which you have to repay), work-study programs, grants, or scholarships.
Ideally, you’ll look for solutions that won’t leave you with any debt once you graduate. Here are some tips for finding scholarships in Nevada.
What’s the Difference Between Grants and Nevada Scholarships?
One thing that grants and scholarships have in common is that both are gifts or free aid. This means that they don’t have to be repaid.
Grants are generally awarded based on financial need. An example of this is the Pell Grant for low-income students. These types of need-based grants are awarded at the federal, state, and college level.
Most scholarships are awarded based on merit, although some do have a need-based component. In other words, there are some private scholarships that will give awards based on whether a student is from a low-income family, or if they are a first-generation college student.
What Types of Scholarships are Available?
There are many different types of scholarships. The merit-based ones will be awarded to students that exceed certain standards in academics, sports, or other interests.
Scholarship award amounts can vary from $1,000 up to thousands each year. And you can apply for as many of these programs as you wish in order to accumulate enough awards to pay for your tuition, fees, books, and other expenses.
Scholarship opportunities are available based on certain interests, talents, or traits. Some are geared toward particular groups of people: military families, children of an employee, women, future educators, graduate students—even tall people.
How to Find Scholarships in Nevada
Students in Nevada should begin their search for scholarships at the local level. These are typically less competitive and focus on students that attend school in Nevada. Some are even limited to the Las Vegas area.
You can learn about scholarships by speaking with your school’s college advisor, a Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas advisor if you are at an eligible high school, the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend, your local library, or online. Some of the free resources that have information about scholarships include:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool
- Your state grant agency
- Federal agencies
- Local businesses, foundations, civic groups, or religious organizations
- Ethnicity-based organizations
- Organizations related to a sport, hobby, or field of interest
- Your or your parent’s employer
Applying for Nevada Scholarships
Students should start applying for scholarships early. Many applications will be due in your senior year of high school, but some have open application dates, which are more flexible.
The requirements for these will vary. Read the qualifications list carefully and, if you meet the criteria, follow the instructions to the letter. You might be one of a handful of students that thoroughly completes the application and turns it in by the deadline.
Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas is focused on helping the students of Clark County see the possibilities of higher education. We provide classroom instruction as well as guide students through the steps to accessing a college education.