Undergraduate scholarships are available to prospective students pursuing an associate or bachelor's degree. An undergraduate degree in almost any subject is an important step toward a career with higher earning potential. However, earning a bachelor's degree alone can take at least four years, which is a costly undertaking. Undergraduate scholarships can help ease pain of paying for college and reduce the amount of debt to repay after college.

Eligibility Requirements

Scholarships at this level are often geared toward students with specific backgrounds or cultural affiliations, those pursuing a major in a relevant field or industry, or students with stellar academic records. For example, a student planning to pursue a degree in chemical engineering might be eligible for a scholarship from a professional organization for chemical engineers. Undergraduate scholarships are available to virtually any type of student, from returning or adult students to traditional students entering college right out of high school. Eligibility requirements for undergraduate scholarships can vary considerably, but generally include some of the following requirements:

  • Are pursuing a high school diploma or GED, or already hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Are affiliated with a cultural or ethnic community related to the scholarship
  • Meet specific GPA, SAT or ACT score, or other academic requirements
  • Are pursuing a major related to the scholarship, such as Engineering or Design
  • Participate in activities related to the scholarship, such as FFA (Future Farmers of America)
  • Eligible to attend a two- or four-year university
  • Be a legal U.S. resident
  • Participate in activities related to the scholarship, such as FFA (Future Farmers of America)
  • Participate in community service or volunteer activities

The above list of requirements are not all-inclusive and each undergraduate scholarship will come with a different set of eligibility criteria. Undergraduate scholarships in particular are quite diverse in terms of subject matter and monetary reward. Below are just a few undergraduate scholarships to demonstrate spectrum of scholarships available at this level:

Types of Undergraduate Scholarships

  • AXA Achievement Scholarship: One winner from every state, D.C., and Puerto Rico receives a $10,000 scholarship and becomes eligible for one of 10 additional $15,000 awards. These "AXA Achievers" are ambitious, determined, and primed for college success.
  • Barry Goldwater Scholarship: Rising high school juniors and seniors who are planning careers in STEM research are eligible for one of about 300 merit-based scholarships with a max value of $7,500.
  • Buick Achievers Scholarship: The automaker awarded 100 renewable scholarships of $25,000 each in 2014, plus 1,000 smaller scholarships, to students who impact their communities and classrooms.
  • Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway: Less a scholarship and more a prize contest, students submit a video explaining how they plan to improve the world for a chance at $2,500 and a $100,000 grand prize opportunity.
  • GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation teams with GE to offer $10,000 scholarships to high school students who emulate the late president's leadership, character, and drive.
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship: College juniors and seniors who plan to pursue an advanced degree and work in a public service capacity may apply to be one of about 60 Truman Scholars chosen each year.
  • Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship: Administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this scholarship goes to college sophomores and juniors majoring in a field related to the NOAA's work.
  • Intel Science Talent Search: High school seniors present their original STEM research projects in the hopes of receiving a share of the $1.25 million in scholarships doled out by the tech company each year.
  • Jim McKay Scholarship: This NCAA program awards one male and one female athlete each year a $10,000 scholarship for academic achievement and plans to enter sports communications.
  • National Merit Scholarship: A prestigious academic scholarship, National Merit Scholars often garner additional scholarship offers from handfuls of schools hoping to attract them to their campus.
  • NIH Undergraduate Scholarship: Needy students who desire to conduct biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related may apply for this scholarship from the National Institutes of Health that pays up to $20,000 of college expenses.
  • Nordstrom Scholarship: This undergraduate scholarship from the luxury retailer awards up to $10,000 over four years to high school juniors who participate in extracurricular activities, plan to attend an accredited institution for four years, and plan to apply for financial assistance.
  • Rent-A-Center Make A Difference Scholarship: For nearly 10 years the company has awarded $60,000 annually in scholarships to the children of its customers and employees.
  • RMHC U.S. Scholarships: Ronald McDonald House Charity offers four undergraduate scholarships, including one general scholarship program and three heritage scholarships.
  • Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships: Rotary International offers scholarships and grants in various amounts to undergraduate and graduate students who plan to study abroad.
  • Siemens Competition: This national math, science, and technology competition rewards individual and team winners with college scholarships ranging from $10,000-$100,000.
  • Udall Scholarship: Fifty scholarships of $5,000 max go to college sophomores and juniors who are either interested in a career related to the environment, or are Native American and plan on careers in tribal public policy or tribal health care.
  • Vista Health Solutions Scholarship: Tell them how you plan to stay healthy in college in a 1,000-1,500-word essay and you could win a $500 scholarship.
  • Varsity Tutors Scholarship: Varsity Tutors holds a monthly scholarship contest in which students must write an essay in response to a monthly prompt. Visitors to the Varsity Tutors scholarship webpage are able to vote via social media for submitted entries. The top five entries with the most votes are reviewed by Varsity Tutors at the end of the month and one winner is subsequently chosen to receive the $1,000 college scholarship.