What Is the Best Way to Get an Academic Scholarship in the USA?

What Is the Best Way to Get an Academic Scholarship in the USA?
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Everybody goes to school with the hope of qualifying for a dream career that will later bring them success and joy in life.

However, when it comes to higher education, financial challenges, and high tuition fees can be an obstacle for many students. This is where academic scholarships come in.

Various private and government-sponsored initiatives issue about 1.7 million scholarships annually, helping 58% of U.S. families to fund their college education.

If you’re interested in an academic scholarship in the U.S., let’s take a look at the different types of programs available to you and their eligibility requirements.

3 Types of Academic Scholarships to Keep an Eye On

You’re likely to qualify for one or a combination of the following main types of U.S. academic scholarships: 

  1. Merit-Based Programs: Most universities and colleges are actively looking to enroll students with unique academic gifts. They regularly issue merit-based scholarships to attract talented students to their academic programs. You may qualify for such a sponsorship if you excelled in a particular subject in high school or have superior scores for your GPA or other eligibility tests.
  2. Need-Based Programs: Need-based scholarships are another excellent option for students who need financial help to pay for college in the U.S. Instead of basing eligibility on academic merit; these programs prioritize your personal financial situation. They’re the biggest type of scholarship, although they have decreased with time as colleges start to focus more on merit-based financial assistance.
  3. Athletic Scholarships: Are you an athlete that excels at what you do? If so, you may have a chance of qualifying for an athletic scholarship. The popularity of college sports in the U.S. makes it a massive economy that top colleges don’t want to miss out on. To boost their sports programs, many institutions of higher learning recruit and award scholarships to student-athletes that are exceptionally talented in areas like basketball, soccer, football, or baseball.

Read Also: Top 7 Hybrid Learning Challenges for Students and Possible Solutions

Best Ways to Get an Academic Scholarship in the USA

Scholarship programs can have a competitive or strict evaluation process. To boost your chances, apply a strategy and explore as many opportunities as possible. The best U.S. academic scholarship options include:

1. Your Target College

Your prospective college is an excellent place to seek out a scholarship. In some cases, you automatically qualify for consideration based on merit during the acceptance process, provided you meet the college admission criteria.

2. Online Scholarship Databases

If you don’t have a specific program or school in mind, consider looking up academic sponsorship opportunities on the internet. There are a ton of online databases that list local, state, or nationwide organizations sponsoring eligible students for higher education.

You can even create a personal profile on some college scholarship sites to increase your chances of finding the right program for you.  

3. Explore Local Programs

If you know where to look, there are many local religious or non-profit organizations looking to empower community members through college scholarships.

These opportunities are worth the shot because they often have a relatively higher chance of success.

If necessary, start by visiting prospective sponsors’ websites, getting some important contacts, and trying to connect with people in leadership in these local organizations. 

4. Consider Your Unique Circumstances

If you have any special personal circumstances or background, keep everything in mind as you explore scholarship opportunities.

Some programs accept students based on special eligibility, such as identifying as an LGBTQ+ community member, undocumented college student, or enrollment into a specialized field like social work.  

How to Get a Full International Scholarship in the USA

If you’re looking for 100% academic sponsorship as an international student, consider applying for government scholarships and grants.

Programs such as Fulbright and the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship may be realistic options for foreign students like you. Also, there are universities with undergraduate and graduate scholarships designed for international students. 

Eligibility criteria vary widely by program and may include requirements such as:

  • Your need for financial assistance
  • Your citizenship 
  • Qualification for and enrollment in a U.S. university degree program
  • Proficiency in English
  • Enrollment in an online degree program

Read Also: 

Steven Cochran, Our GMR Transcription Scholarship Winner from Delgado Community College

The GMR Transcription Academic Scholarship Program

We at GMR Transcription Services, Inc. award a $500 academic scholarship to eligible full-time students who are enrolled in a U.S. university or college twice a year. It’s one of the various ways our organization gives back to the community.

You must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for our scholarly sponsorship. We also sponsor eligible students for an optional transcription course valued at $499 at www.transcriptioncertificationinstitute.org.

Academic Transcription Services for Students

Academic transcription offers an optimal solution for modern-day students, researchers, and professors seeking to review, comprehend, and recollect the content of audio recordings utilized in research.

This is especially helpful when managing busy academic schedules and multiple projects simultaneously. Additionally, transcribed academic lectures serve as an excellent study aid for all students.

Research indicates that reading enhances memory retention as information is more easily absorbed in written form. The ability to recall information obtained through reading can be considerably higher than in other learning formats.

For almost 20 years, GMR Transcription Services, Inc. has been the preferred choice for both students and professors.

Our user-friendly transcription service, coupled with our highly skilled academic transcriptionists, enables us to handle diverse projects while maintaining high levels of accuracy and fast turnaround times - a crucial requirement for students.


With higher education increasingly adopting virtual classrooms, chances are some of your college lessons will be delivered in live or recorded video or audio format. However, having to always go back to virtual recordings to revise lecture notes can be time-consuming. 

So, having a reliable academic transcription provider like GMR Transcription Services, Inc. can be a cost-effective way to convert your online classes into better-organized study texts for future reference. Why wait? Register today to transcribe your lecture notes and deliver the documents in your preferred academic format.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.