What Are The Alternatives For Scholarships?: A Guide 

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Alternatives For Scholarships

The word “scholarship” makes me think of top students, now the question is what happens if you are an excellent student who doesn’t fit the usual outline for scholarships? Dear aspiring individuals, you don’t need to worry about scholarship alternatives. When it comes to getting financial aid, though, alternative funding is only one part of the process of pursuing your higher education by studying abroad. This blog goes over a lot of “Alternatives for Scholarships” to pay for higher education including the cost of living so that you can make your dreams come true.


The Alternatives For Scholarships

  • Grants (FAFSA, SEOG, State Grants, Subject-Specific)
  • Work-Study Scholarships
  • Employer Assistance
  • Military Scholarships
  • Community and Non-Profit Organizations’ Scholarships
  • Creative Contests and Competitions
  • Unique Funding Opportunities

The main difference between grants and scholarships is that grants are less generous than scholarships. People who need financial assistance, do well in academic performance, or meet certain conditions, like going to a certain school or college studying a certain subject, are given these alternative awards.

Top Alternatives For Scholarships

Scholarships are a great way to pay for higher education in study abroad programs, but scholarships are not the only option. These Alternatives for the scholarship table give you more options for getting money for higher education in study abroad programs, from assistance that is based on your needs to one-of-a-kind awarded money that is designed for a specific field. It equips you with the resources you need to close the financial gap and realize your dream of going to study abroad.

Alternative OptionsEligibilityDescription
Federal Grants(Pell Grants & SEOG)Low-income students with exceptional financial need.Need-based funding, awarded based on FAFSA.
State Grants(Varies by State)Varies by programMerit-based or need-based
Subject Specific Grants(STEM, Humanities, Career paths)Varies by programMerit-based on specific academic fields
Work-Study(On-campus or approved employer jobs)Financial need or demonstrated interestHelps offset college costs through part-time work 
Employer Assistance(Tuition reimbursement or scholarships)Varies by the company and often requires a work commitmentOffered by Companies for employees or dependents
Military Scholarships(ROTC programs, Service-specific scholarships)Academic and physical fitness requirements vary by branchProvide full or partial tuition coverage in exchange for military service.
Community Scholarships(Local organizations, trust, foundations)Varies by program, often involve community involvementMerit-based or focused on specific backgrounds
Creative Contests & Competitions(Writing, science fairs, etc.)Varies by competition, and often requires specific skills or project submissionsOffer scholarships as prizes for outstanding talent or achievement
Unique Funding Options(Professional associations, alumni networks, religious organizations.)Varies by program, and often requires specific affiliations or backgroundsNiche scholarships tailored to specific groups or interests

Federal Grants

To get these scholarships, you have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid abbreviated as FAFSA is the most desired funding from the federal government. SEOG known as Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants gives extra amounts to students who need it, while Pell Grants for their education are based on student need.

State Grants

Many states give funds to students who live in their state and do well in school or college. Find out what your state offers and when the dates are.

Subject-Specific Grants

Dive into your chosen field of study and explore grants targeted towards STEM, humanities, or specific career paths.

Work-Study Scholarships

Students can get money to help pay for their college education through work-study programs that let them work on campus or with approved organizations.

  • This program helps students with demonstrated financial need find part-time jobs.
  • Many colleges and universities offer their work-study programs, providing diverse on-campus jobs.

Employer Assistance

Many companies or organizations offer scholarships or tuition assistance for employees or their dependents. 

Military Scholarships

Helping your country may contribute to your higher education. Research the different types of military scholarships available. Each scholarship has its standards for qualifying and advantages. 

Community and Non-Profit Organizations

Local groups and corporations often give scholarships to students based on their academic performance, their participation in the community, or their past.

Unique Funding Options

Research the grant options that professional groups, trust groups, or even your family’s alumni network may offer.

Also Read: 5 Things to Keep in Mind to Apply for an Education Loan


To find the best college or university funding options, it’s important to know the main differences between Grants, Scholarships, and Loans. All three of these choices offer financial help, but they are different in how they work, who they help, and how they expect you to pay them back.


  • Grants are gifts that don’t need to be repaid, unlike loans.
  • Financial need, which can be shown on forms like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA), is the main factor that determines eligibility.
  • The government, colleges, and business groups all give money.
  • Some distributors have rules about what the money can be used for, like paying for education.


  • Scholarships contain outstanding performance in school, sports, and other activities.
  • Qualifications may include GPA, exam results, community service, and personal writing.
  • Like funding, scholarships can come from many places, such as Universities, Businesses, and professional organizations.
  • Scholarships usually don’t have as many expense limits as grants do.


  • Loans, unlike grants and scholarships, need to be repaid with interest.
  • Eligibility requirements are generally less stringent than those for grants and scholarships.
  • Different loan options exist, like federal loans, with subsidized interest rates and private loans with higher interest rates.
  • While helpful, loans add to your future debt and should be considered strategically.

List of Alternative Sources of Funding

The grants and fellowships in this list are grouped by the factors used to choose these individuals. Opportunities that focus on certain countries or areas, general funding for Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and doctoral students, funding for individuals working in Human rights fields, funding for women, funding for professional growth, and funding for media. A lot of these categories require you to have good English skills. Applicants for these alternative scholarships usually need to send in a portfolio of their work and a CV.

Alternative SourceOpen toDescriptions
Country/Region Focus
Asian Cultural CouncilScholars, professionals, graduate/postgraduate students, or non-profit organizationsGrants to scholars, artists, arts and humanities professionals, as well as organizations and educational institutions for research, study, and creative work.
Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship ProgramGraduate studentsAim to provide an opportunity for well-qualified citizens of developing member countries to pursue postgraduate studies in Economics, management, science and technology, and many more.
Palestinian StudiesPost-doctoral scholars, researchers, or full-time doctoral studentsIncluding the humanities, social sciences, economics, law, health, and science.
Scholarships for Arab StudentsUG and PG studentsFor arab students managed by Al-Fanar Media
West African Pre-Doctoral FellowshipsGraduate studentsInvites applications from graduate students for the WARA pre-doctoral fellowship, for research in West Africa during the summer.
AGA KHAN FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPSGraduate studentsPromotes academic collaboration among global scientists and scholars.
ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT FOUNDATIONPostdoctoral students/researchers pursuing study in GermanyOffers significant global scholarships available to highly qualified international students
AvH’S PHILIPP SCHWARTZ INITIATIVEResearch and research-performing institutionsProvide resources for German universities and research institutions
BOND UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPSUG studentsAwards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study graduate courses at universities in the UK
BRITISH CHEVENING SCHOLARSHIPSUG studentsThe main goal of care is to allow scholars to practice, research, and teach in their field
COUNCIL FOR AT-RISK ACADEMICSLecturers and/or researchers in higher educationProviding human rights education to Columbia students
Human Rights
EURO-MEDITERRANEAN FOUNDATION OF SUPPORT TO HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERSHuman Rights DefendersGrants are allocated to human rights defenders in difficulty or at risk.
HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES PROGRAM (HRAP), COLUMBIA UNIVERSITYHuman rights advocatesAims of the Foundation such as ethology, paleontology,archaeology, anthropology, psychology, epistemology, logic and the neurosciences
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH / HELLMAN-HAMMETT GRANTSWritersHammett grant program for writers all around the world 
URGENT ACTION FUND FOR WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTSWomen’s human rights defendersGlobal Women’s Fund is dedicated to protecting, strengthening, and sustaining women and transgender human rights.
ALFRED FRIENDLY PRESS FELLOWSHIPSJournalism applicantsAmerican non-profit, non-governmental organization that gives 10 journalists the opportunity
EDWARD R. MURROW PROGRAM FOR JOURNALISTSJournalism applicantsThe U.S. government and six universities are cooperating on a new program that will bring 100journalists
NIEMAN FELLOWSHIPS FOR JOURNALISTSJournalism applicantsProvide stipends to journalists from the United States, Colombia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates
ROSALYNN CARTER FELLOWSHIPS FOR MENTAL HEALTH JOURNALISMOnly open to Colombians, Emiratis, Qataris, and AmericansNieman Fellowships are awarded to print, broadcast, and online reporters, editors, photographers, producers, editorial writers, etc.
SEAPA ANNUAL JOURNALISM FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMAt least five years of experienceAgricultural Cooperatives and Small-Scale Producer Groups; Community-based organizations (CBOs); and African Intermediary Organizations (AIOs)
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATIONAgricultural Cooperatives and Small-Scale Producer Groups; Community-based organizations (CBOs); and African Intermediary Organizations (AIOs)AWDF funds local, national, sub-regional, and regional organizations in Africa working towards women’s empowerment
AFRICAN WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT FUND (AWDF)Women’s empowerment organizationProvides fully-funded scholarships for master’s degree study to individuals 
GLOBAL FUND FOR WOMENWomen’s empowerment organizationsGrant-making foundation supporting women’s human rights organizations around the world 
Professional Development
CIVIL SOCIETY LEADERSHIP AWARDSBachelor’s degree and professional experienceThe purpose of pursuing in-depth investigative reporting projects and increasing interaction among media professionals
COUNCIL ON LIBRARY AND INFORMATION RESOURCES (CLIR) FELLOWSHIPSBachelor’s degree and professional experienceProvides fully-funded scholarships for master’s degree study to individuals 
ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION FELLOWSHIPSenior, postdoctoral, predoctoral, and graduate student levelsThe Smithsonian Institution offers fellowships for advanced study at SERC
Aims of the Foundation such as ethology, paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, psychology, epistemology, logic, and the neurosciencesPostdoctoral studentOffers several awards and fellowships to students and scholars in the humanities

Benefits of Considering Alternatives of Scholarships

There are several extra benefits to looking at alternatives to scholarships, including the following.

  • Some alternative funding options, such as grants and work-study programs, have fewer restrictions than scholarships, giving students more flexibility in how they use the alternative funds.
  • Students who only get money from grants might feel like they have to maintain a good GPA or do certain things to keep their money. Alternative ways to get money can help ease this pressure.
  • Alternative ways to get financial aid, like specific work-study programs, can help students get work experience that will help them in their future career goals.

Eligibility Criteria to The Alternative of Scholarships

Let’s break down the eligibility criteria for alternative funding options. Remember, eligibility requirements can vary, so always check the specific eligibility program details.

  • Academic achievement is the primary key to getting the funding you need. Polish your academic performance with good grades.
  • A letter of recommendation is the second most important key, ask teachers, mentors, or employers who know your strengths to write letters of recommendation.
  • Essays and personal statements that show your unique story and why you deserve the funding.
  • Financial aid documents are another important key, if applying for need-based funding or work-study, prepare your FAFSA and any other required documents.

Also Read: Types of Education Loans for Indian Students

How to Apply for Alternatives of Scholarships

Filling out alternative scholarship applications might look like climbing Everest in flip-flops, but no problem. We are here to help you with a much smoother process for alternative funding options, just follow these simple steps.

  • First carefully read the directions that contain specific rules and due dates that must be followed for each program.
  • Then highlight your strengths that only focus on your skills and experiences that are relevant to each program in your essays and applications.
  • Now maintain order and meet all deadlines.
  • Watch the due dates carefully so you don’t have to rush at the last minute.
  • Lastly, proofread your application and edit it according to them.

You can reach your goal of going to study abroad for higher education even if you don’t have any scholarships. By being patient, looking into alternative ways to pay for college fees and cost of living, and using your unique skills, you can make your abroad journey through university important and affordable.


What is the easiest type of scholarship to get?

Some colleges, especially private ones, automatically consider every candidate for a scholarship based on academic performance. The scholarship is given during the acceptance process. It’s usually easy to get these kinds of scholarships because you don’t have to fill out a different application form.

Is there any way to get scholarships?

Scholarship sources also put a lot of value on leadership skills. You can show this by taking charge of projects in your recreational activities or community services.

Which type of scholarship is best?

Scholarships based on Merit are the most well-known type of scholarship. It is given to students who have done well in their school or other similar fields.

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Exploring study abroad scholarships? Still, trying to figure out how to go about it? Let the professionals at Leverage Edu take care of your academic journey! You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process to realize your goals. Call us immediately at 1800-572-000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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