A college education is expensive. Most parents save for years so that their children can experience one. Financial aid is always welcome at this stage in the student’s life and a number of them will apply for scholarships that they are eligible for. How about if your child is homeschooled? Do homeschool students get scholarships? Yes they do.

What Types of Scholarships are There?

There are need based scholarships which are usually awarded by the government to students from the financially weak sections of society. Then there are merit based scholarships which are earned by students based on the marks that they have scored. These scholarships can be bestowed by the school, the state, private institutions, or organizations. Student specific scholarships are created for individuals who meet a specific set of criterion, such as those with specific disabilities, or religious affiliations, or students of particular ethnicity and even students of military parents. Then there are career specific scholarships that may be awarded by leading corporate companies in a specific industry, for students who are studying to join that industry. These can be in healthcare, engineering, or even teaching.

Where Can Homeschoolers Find Scholarships?

Specialized search engines such as the College Board’s BigFuture search or FastWeb are a good place to start. If you come across a specific scholarship that doesn’t state the eligibility of homeschooled students, you may want to get in touch with the organization and ask them. Often the scholarship may be available, but they don’t mention homeschool students in the description. Some homeschool curriculum publishers such as Sonlight, offer scholarships to students who are using their curriculum. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) offers scholarships to students who are active athletes. Go through their eligibility criterion on the website, call to clarify any questions. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) offers four annual scholarships. They also carry a list of scholarships that homeschool students can apply for on their website.

It’s a good idea to search through the scholarships that your homeschool student may be eligible for and keep all requirements ready at least a year before you plan to apply for the scholarship.