6 Organizations Awarding Life-Changing Scholarships

Getting into college and earning a degree is difficult, especially for those who face common socioeconomic obstacles. Fortunately, many organizations are dedicated to supporting students on their paths to higher education, offering financial assistance and other services to help them achieve post-secondary academic success. In no particular order, here are several scholarship opportunities that can make a big difference in a student's life.

Starting off at #1, we have the Carson Scholars Fund, Inc., a non-profit organization founded by Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurosurgeon Benjamin S. Carson and his wife, Candy. This scholarship goes to students in grades four through eleven who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities. Only one student from each school is eligible to apply.

The organization also supports the Ben Carson Reading Project, which provides funding for schools to build and maintain rooms where children can discover the joy of books. The Carson Scholars Fund has awarded over 8,000 scholarships and created more than 200 reading rooms since 1994.

Next, at #2, the Critical Language Scholarship Program is a summer study abroad opportunity that helps American university students master specific foreign languages such as Arabic, Portuguese, and Swahili. The Program covers a majority of the costs to participate in institutions overseas. Scholars are expected to later use these critical skills in their professional careers.

The CLS Program includes intensive instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. The organization is sponsored by the US Department of State, with funding provided by the US Government. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply.

At #3, we have KC Scholars, which provides low-income high school and post-secondary students with scholarships, financial incentives to promote college savings, and support services. KC Scholars aims to make post-secondary education possible for those who likely would not have otherwise attended or completed college.

The organization, which was incubated at the Kauffman Foundation, is intended to support scholars in the greater Kansas City area. Ewing Marion Kauffman, an entrepreneur and humanitarian, strove to ensure a post-secondary education could be accessible for everyone, regardless of income, age, or ethnicity. Most KC Scholars are the first in their families to attend college and complete their degree.

Coming in at #4 is the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. This group manages over 500 scholarship funds for students from Santa Barbara County to partake in college, graduate, and vocational school education. The Foundation also offers support to help students make informed financial decisions regarding their educations.

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara provides financial aid advising in addition to assistance with scholarship applications, complex federal forms, managing student aid, and more. This organization has been supporting students in their higher education goals since 1962.

At #5, we have APIA Scholars, an organization focusing on opportunities for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. In addition to receiving financial assistance, recipients also have access to programs and services designed to support them as they pursue their college degrees; some of these include conferences and webinars.

APIA Scholars hosts an annual higher education summit to advance issues of educational and economic equity for the APIA community. The foundation also has a peer mentorship program that matches students in their early years of college with past recipients who are in their third year or above. These matches are designed to cultivate supportive relationships as recipients transition into college life.

Finally, our #6 spot goes to Unicaf, a British learning platform offering affordable higher education services to under-served communities. The Unicaf Scholarship Programme was founded to give underprivileged students the opportunity to further their educations, by earning internationally recognized college degrees from partner universities at a low cost.

The Unicaf Scholarship Programme has awarded over $100,000,000 worth of scholarships to applicants around the world. Recipients can either do their studies online, or learn at one of a number of global partner colleges such as the University of East London, the University of California, Riverside Extension, and more.