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12 last-minute scholarships to consider

Apply as late as August 31st to help pick up the slack when other aid falls through.

Updated

While you’ll have the most options when you apply for scholarships during your senior year of high school, you still have options even if the semester is about to start. These likely won’t cover your entire tuition, but they can make a dent if other financial aid falls through and your only other option is student loans.

Our methodology: How we picked these scholarships

When compiling our top picks for last-minute scholarships, we put the most weight on the application deadline and how easy it is to apply. We also took into consideration factors like scholarship amounts and eligibility requirements.

Red Cross Leaders Save Lives Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000 to $2,5000
  • Eligibility requirements: Student in high school, college, technical school, trade school or community college; legal US resident; high school students must plan on attending school directly after their senior year, while other students must have at least one semester left
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

The Red Cross offers this scholarship as an incentive program to bring in more blood donations. To qualify, you have to host a Red Cross blood drive. After the drive, the Red Cross enters your name into a lottery to win one of its 10 scholarships. How much you qualify for depends on how many pints of blood you collected at your drive.

Lower collection amounts are eligible for one of the six $1,000 scholarships, while higher amounts can get you entered for one of the two $1,500 or $2,500 scholarships. Winners are selected on September 8, 2020.

AFSA 2nd Chance Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility requirements: US citizen or legal resident, have a high school diploma or equivalent, plan to attend a Title IV school in Spring 2021, not a relative of an AFSA staff member or national board member, not a past recipient
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

Each year, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) awards five $1,000 scholarships to college students. Unlike other scholarships based on academic merit or need, this award goes to randomly selected applicants.

To apply, all you need to do is fill out a quick online form. You’ll find out if you win within two weeks of the deadline.

SSA scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000 to $3,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Secular Student Alliance (SSA) member; enrolled full time at a US high school, college or university; meet other criteria for the specific scholarship you’re applying for
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

The Secular Student Alliance offers four scholarships to student members who are in college or about to enter. These include:

  • SSA Student Activist Scholarships. Get between $1,000 and $3,000 if you’re involved in secular activism in your school. One of the $1,000 scholarships is reserved for a student attending an Historically Black College or University.
  • Florida Humanist Association Scholarships. In partnership with the SSA, the Florida Humanist Association (FHA) offers two $1,000 scholarships to students enrolled full time at a Florida college or university.
  • Humanists of Sarasota Bay Scholarship. Also in conjunction with the SSA, the Humanists of Sarasota Bay offers one $1,000 scholarship to a student who hails from Sarasota, Tampa or Ft. Meyers.
  • Secular High School Student in California Scholarship. If you haven’t graduated high school yet — or just finished — and you live in the Golden State, you might be eligible for this $1,000 award.

You can apply for all four of these scholarships through the Secular Student Alliance website.

Hasbrouck scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000 to $2,000
  • Eligibility requirements: College student entering their second year or higher. Additional requirements may apply depending on the scholarship.
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

The Hasbrouck Family Association is a historical organization that specializes in Huguenot history in the US. It offers four scholarships to students who are the decedents of or studying Huguenot immigrants to the US. These include:

  • Charles J. Hasbrouck Memorial Scholarship. The Hasbrouck Family Association offers $1,000 to an undergraduate studying historic preservation, architecture, manuscript and artifact conservation or the education of the public about local Huguenot history in the US.
  • Kenneth E. Hasbrouck, Sr. History Scholarship. This $1,000 award goes to one undergraduate or graduate student studying similar fields as the Charles J. Hasbrouck scholarship. You can also qualify if you’re studying the impact of Huguenot immigrants and their descendants on American culture and language or the history of Ulster County, New York between 1600 and 1800. However, unlike the other scholarships available through the Hasbrouck Family Association, this one is only offered every other year.
  • Lucille Stoeppler Baker Scholarship. One junior or senior majoring in historical anthropology receives this $1,500 award each year. You must have an average GPA above 3.5 for the past two years to qualify.
  • Gertrude E. Hasbrouck Memorial Scholarships. Two students of New Paltz Huguenot descent are eligible to receive this $2,000 award.

Pedestrian Education Video Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000 and $2,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Long Island resident, high school junior or senior or college freshman or sophomore
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

Walk Safe Long Island, a pedestrian safety organization, offers two scholarships of $1,000 and $2,000 to students who submit the best short video about New York State traffic laws for pedestrians. It should also describe why pedestrian and traffic safety awareness is important for Long Islanders to understand.

Members of the Walk Safe Long Island coalition will select winners, who will receive their scholarship after attending an award ceremony in September.

K-9 Carts Social Influencer Micro-Scholarship Program

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Undergraduate or graduate student studying veterinary medicine or a related field at any accredited US university or college, 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Deadline: August 31, 2020

K-9 Carts is a company that makes products like wheelchairs and slings for pets with a disability. Each year, it offers one scholarship to an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a degree program related to veterinary medicine. To enter, you must make a short YouTube video highlighting your volunteer work or community service and write an essay on a veterinary-related topic.

    How else can I pay for school at the last minute?

    Didn’t qualify for enough scholarships to cover your full cost of attendance? Here are a few other options to consider:

    • Talk to the financial aid office. If your financial situation suddenly changed before the beginning of the semester, your school might be willing to adjust your package — and offer more grants. Read our guide to appealing your financial aid award for advice on how to go about this.
    • Get a part-time job. Don’t have work-study as part of your financial aid package? Check your school’s career center to find an on- or off-campus job to cover your personal expenses during the semester.
    • Apply for federal aid. If you’re about to start the semester — or have already started — you can still fill out the FAFSA to apply for federal student aid, which includes loans, grants and work-study.
    • Take out a private student loan. After you’ve maxed out federal funding and free aid, you can take out a student loan from a private lender to cover your remaining cost of attendance.

    Compare private student loan providers

    Data indicated here is updated regularly
    Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
    SoFi Student Loans
    680
    Full cost of attendance
    1.90% to 11.76% with autopay
    Undergraduate financing with no late fees to US citizens with good credit.
    Earnest Student Loans
    650
    Cost of attendance
    Starting at 1.24%
    Undergrad and graduate financing with a nine-month grace period.
    EDvestinU Private Student Loans
    675
    $200,000
    4.092% to 8.609% with autopay
    Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
    CommonBond Private Student Loans
    700
    $500,000
    3.31% to 9.74%
    Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
    Edvisors Private Student Loan Marketplace
    Varies by lender
    Varies by lender
    Varies by lender
    Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
    loading

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    A last-minute scholarship probably won’t cover your entire cost of attendance. But it can help reduce how much you have to borrow if you suddenly need more funding when classes are about to start. You can find more free aid by reading our A-to-Z list of college scholarships.

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