Scholarships for average students prove that financial aid isn’t reserved only for valedictorians ranking at the top of their class with perfectly straight As. Ample funds have been created by companies and nonprofits to celebrate the worthy talents of learners who perhaps aren’t book-smart, high academic achievers.
The U.S. News reports that the average high school GPA is 3.1 for females and 2.9 for males. While average grades likely won’t get you accepted at Ivy League universities, many colleges conditionally accept a 2.0-2.5 GPA.
We believe that everyone deserves opportunity, so we’ve outlined the following 25 scholarships for average students that accept lower GPA ranges or forgo judging applicants by their grades entirely.
1. Anthony Garcia Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: April 7th
Named after the 18-year-old Brawley Union High School senior who lost his three-month battle with an aggressive cancer on Easter in 2011, the Anthony Garcia Foundation has awarded 170 scholarships for $35,000 total. Average students with a minimum passing GPA of 2.0 who are finishing high school in California’s Imperial Valley, including Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, El Centro, Holtville, and San Pasqual, can apply. Please submit a one-page essay outlining your future goals and educational plans.
Anthony Garcia Foundation Scholarships
417 W. Allen Street
Brawley, CA 92227
2. AWeber Developing Futures Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
Founded by CEO Tom Kulzer in 1998, AWeber Communications is a Pennsylvania-based email marketing firm that’s awarding the Developing Futures Scholarship for $2,500 annually without a GPA requirement. Full-time undergrads at accredited U.S. colleges who are majoring in business, marketing, advertising, communications, or related fields with average grades should consider applying. The easy application involves writing a 500-word essay or recording a three-minute video about the corporate importance of digital media.
AWeber Developing Futures Scholarship
1100 Manor Drive
Chalfront, PA 18914
3. Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: September 8th
The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) funds seven scholarships with average criteria, such as the $1,000 Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship that honors the fifth-generation nurseyman who was President of Herman Losely & Son, Inc. Suitable applicants must be enrolled full-time at Ohio colleges, attain sophomore to senior standing, major in landscape architecture or related horticultural fields, meet the minimum 2.25 GPA, and pursue careers working in the green industry.
Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship
2130 Stella Court
Columbus, OH 43215
4. Chickasaw Nation Higher Education Grant
Deadline: September 1st or February 1st
Located in Ada, the Chickasaw Nation Education Division offers the Higher Education Grant starting at $500 to financially bolster citizens of the federally recognized tribe. Eligible Native Americans must be matriculated for three or more credits at an accredited U.S. college or tribal school with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. Average students could also claim the Textbook Grant, Degree Completion Incentive Award, or Johnson O’ Malley Scholarship.
Chickasaw Nation Higher Education Grant
300 Rosedale Road
Ada, OK 74820
5. Conrad N. Hilton Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation allocates $518,000 total each year for its 16 school-nominated scholarships. Unlike the other funds, the Conrad M. Hilton Memorial Scholarship will select average students with a minimum 2.0 GPA who are enrolled full-time in undergraduate hospitality management degrees. Recipients can earn $500 to $6,000 toward tuition at AHLEF-related schools, such as Michigan State, Niagara, Virginia Tech, Robert Morris, and Purdue.
Conrad N. Hilton Memorial Scholarship
1250 Eye Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
6. David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship
Deadline: April 4th
Ranked the 45th “Greatest TV Star of All Time” by TV Guide, David Letterman honors his alma mater, Ball State University, by providing this Telecommunications Scholarship to three students for $10,000, $5,000, and $3,333 apiece. Full-time sophomores and juniors with 30 to 102 credits completed for the TCOM major may apply. Grades aren’t considered; instead, judges review a creative audio, video, film, or interactive media project showing students’ promise in telecommunications.
David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship
201 Ball Communication Building
Muncie, IN 47306
7. Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarships
Deadline: April 14th
Launched in 2011, the Denny’s Hungry for Education initiative has awarded nearly $1 million total to graduating high school seniors or college undergrads who legally reside in the United States and Puerto Rico. Average students with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better can win $3,000 for tuition, books, and supplies at accredited two- or four-year institutions. Applying will require writing 300 to 500 words about how Denny’s can help combat childhood hunger.
Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarships
203 East Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29319
9. Frame My Future Scholarship Contest
Deadline: March 1st
Church Hill Classics hosts the Frame My Future Scholarship Contest annually to bestow $1,000 upon five college-bound high school seniors regardless of their GPA. Average students can get creative by crafting a creative photograph, collage, drawing, poem, or painting that artistically conveys their future aspirations. Interested legal U.S. residents who will attend college full-time this Fall must also attach a brief image description of 500 characters or less.
Frame My Future Scholarship Contest
594 Pepper Street
Monroe, CT 06468
10. Gilbert G. Pompa Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: July 3rd
The Gilbert G. Pompa Memorial Scholarship is one of the merit-based options only requiring a cumulative GPA above 2.5 for young Latino students through the ¡Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund. Qualified candidates must be attending a public or private college in Texas, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, hold 90+ credits, follow a pre-law curriculum in any major, actively engage in nonprofit community service, and submit one recommendation.
Gilbert G. Pompa Memorial Scholarship
8415 Datapoint Drive, Suite 400
San Antonio, TX 78229
11. Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Without a minimum GPA requirement, the Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship has honored the 45th Governor of New York since 1964 by gifting $2,000 per year or $8,000 total from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Eligibility criteria only mandates being a U.S. citizen, enrolling or transferring to an accredited four-year college, displaying financial need, engaging in volunteer activities, and being committed to public service careers.
Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship
99 Hudson Street, Suite 16
New York, NY 10013
12. Horatio Alger Career & Technical Scholarships
Deadline: June 15th
The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. confers 1,020 Career & Technical Scholarships for $2,500 apiece to average students with any passing GPA who are entering a vocational certificate or degree program. Interested learners must have U.S. citizenship, be under age 30, finish a high school diploma or GED, receive the Federal Pell Grant, report family income below $55,000 and display resolve in overcoming adversity.
Horatio Alger Career & Technical Scholarships
99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 320
Alexandria, VA 22314
13. Louis F. Bulechek Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend (CFGRB) administers nearly $400,000 yearly through over 35 funds, including scholarships for average students like the Louis F. Bulechek Memorial Scholarship. Offering up to $4,000, this program suits graduating high school seniors in a 17-county service area of Iowa and Illinois who are entering an accredited college full-time for a bachelor’s degree with a 2.0 GPA or greater.
Louis F. Bulechek Memorial Scholarship
852 Middle Road, Suite 100
Bettendorf, IA 52722
14. Lowe’s Gap Scholarship Program
Deadline: June 30th
Each summer, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund helps average students cover outstanding tuition balances with $500 to $3,100 from the Lowe’s Gap Scholarship Program. Eligible undergrads must be graduating college seniors, attend one of the 47 TMCF-member institutions, surpass the low GPA threshold of 2.0, and present a resume showing leadership abilities. Accepted colleges include Savannah State, Langston, Howard, Fort Valley State, Tuskegee, and more.
Lowe’s Gap Scholarship Program
901 F Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20004
15. National Junior Angus Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: May 1st
The National Junior Angus Foundation (NJAA) sponsors scholarships for average students ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 apiece based on their background in the beef cattle industry. Chosen Junior members must be graduating high school seniors or college undergrads, attend an accredited U.S. institution full-time, be 25 years old or younger, and possess a cumulative GPA over 2.0. Preference is given to students undertaking agricultural-related bachelor’s study.
National Junior Angus Foundation Scholarships
3201 Frederick Avenue
St. Joseph, MO 64506
16. Odenza Vacations College Scholarship
Deadline: June 1st
Odenza Vacations, a California-based, Carnival Pinnacle Club Award-winning travel agency founded in 1998, sponsors a $500 scholarship annually to support the collegiate dreams of young adults between 17 and 24 years old. Average students studying at accredited, two- or four-year colleges in the United States or Canada with a 2.5 GPA or better could apply. Writing an original, coherent essay with less than 1,000 words about the benefits of college is required.
Odenza Vacations College Scholarship
4445 Eastgate Mall, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92121
17. Paula E. Waters-Diamond in the Rough Scholarship
Deadline: May 25th
Since 2004, the Paula E. Waters-Diamond in the Rough Scholarship has been administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services (ISTS) to present $1,000 to three African-American male high school seniors. Funding is intended for low-income, colored men with average GPAs between 2.0 and 2.9 who are entering higher education. Applications are only accepted from Montgomery, Prince George’s, Arlington, and Fairfax counties of the District of Columbia.
Paula E. Waters-Diamond in the Rough Scholarship
1321 Murfreesboro Pike, Suite 800
Nashville, TN 37217
18. Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
The National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park has earned sponsors like Wells Fargo to fund the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship in honor of The Real World star who tragically died from an AIDS-related illness in 1994. Without a GPA requirement, $5,000 awards are gifted to college students under age 28 who write a 1,500-word essay about their public service efforts to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship
P.O. Box 2270
San Francisco, CA 94126
19. Raymond Anthony Brown Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
Named after the New Jersey attorney who defended African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, the Raymond Anthony Brown Memorial Scholarship presents at least $1,000 to financially needy minority students. To qualify, candidates must register full-time at an accredited two- or four-year college, have 20+ documented hours of volunteer service, sustain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better, demonstrate leadership skills, receive the Pell Grant, and type a 100-word personal statement.
Raymond Anthony Brown Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 2724
Washington, DC 20013
20. Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships
Deadline: January 18th
Since 1985, the 322 Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in 57 global countries have delivered college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 per year to deserving students with significant financial need. Four U.S. scholarships are available for African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian-American, and citizens of any ethnicity. General qualifications include being a high school senior, being younger than 21 years old, and documenting a minimum unweighted GPA of 2.7.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships
One Kroc Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523
21. Simon Youth Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: March 1st
Another of the scholarships for average students managed by ISTS is the Simon Youth Foundation Scholarships, which have already awarded $16 million to over 4,500 graduating high school seniors in 42 states. Receiving up to $10,000 requires attending the Simon Youth Academy, being a legal U.S. resident, enrolling full-time at an accredited college or vocational school, being under 23 years old, and showing academic promise, but there isn’t a minimum GPA requirement.
Simon Youth Foundation Scholarships
225 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
22. State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarships
Deadline: March 2nd
Scholarship America receives up to 700 applications each year from 12th graders with average GPAs between 2.5 and 3.2 for the State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarships, which gift $5,000 maximum. Getting chosen among the 50 recipients requires being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, gaining admission at an accredited college or technical school, needing financial aid, and giving back in community service. Also consider the ThanksUSA Scholarship and Alfa Foundation Scholarship.
State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarships
One Scholarship Way
Saint Peter, MN 56082
23. The VILLA “I Matter” Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 31st
The emerging urban lifestyle retailer VILLA started the “I Matter” Scholarship Program to provide $1,000 to $5,000 to average students living in metropolitan areas near their 120 stores in 10 states nationwide. Accepted applicants must anticipate completion of a high school diploma or GED, intend to study full-time in accredited U.S. undergrad programs, hold a cumulative GPA around 2.5, demonstrate financial need, and write a 500-word essay embracing self-love about their strengths.
The VILLA “I Matter” Scholarship Program
926 Arch Street, Floor 3R
Philadelphia, PA 19103
24. Tupelo Elvis Presley Fan Club Scholarships
Deadline: February 14th
Funded by Diane Whitt, the Tupelo Elvis Presley Fan Club awards scholarships of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 annually to graduating high school seniors in Mississippi who will be entering musical programs. There’s no GPA requirement, so average students can wow judges by singing, dancing, or instrumentally playing any song by the “King of Rock and Roll.” After submitted YouTube and MP4 videos are reviewed, semi-finalists are selected for a live performance.
Tupelo Elvis Presley Fan Club Scholarships
101 S. Front Street
Tupelo, MS 38801
25. Waterlogic World Water Issue Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
Approximately 2.7 billion people are affected by water scarcity globally, so Waterlogic created the World Water Issue Scholarship for $1,500 to generate strategies for water preservation. Regardless of GPA, average students who are entering or continuing at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution with 12+ months remaining can apply. Please submit an original, 500-word typed essay outlining one specific solution to our planet’s water scarcity crisis.
Waterlogic World Water Issue Scholarship
11710 Stonegate Circle
Omaha, NE 68164
The NCES reports that 37.7 percent of undergrads in the United States receive non-federal scholarships and grants for a mean amount of $6,000. Although the statistic drops to 34 percent for average students with Bs and Cs, there’s plentiful opportunity for those who do their homework searching for scholarships. Along with these 25 scholarships for average students, look for more programs that award money based on your major, hobbies, service participation, essay writing, or religion rather than grades.