There are plenty of scholarships out there with long, storied histories: the Rhodes Scholarship; the Truman and Fulbright programs; the National Merit awards, and many others. But these venerable scholarship programs are just a fraction of those available.
There are brand new, often lucrative awards funded every year. You may not yet have encountered these six recently created--or soon-to-be-established--scholarships, but you can stay ahead of the curve by keeping an eye out for them in the coming months.
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One nationwide scholarship program kicks off this week as part of National FFA Week. The National FFA Organization, formerly Future Farmers of America, and Tractor Supply Company have started fundraising for the National FFA Foundation Growing Scholars Program. Customers at the retailer's 1,150 stores can contribute to the new scholarship throughout February.
FFA members who are college-bound high school seniors or college students will be eligible for awards. If you're affiliated with your local FFA, make sure you keep an eye on the program for more information in coming months.
Another new scholarship comes from software giant Adobe. Since 2006, the company behind Photoshop and Flash has operated the Adobe Youth Voices initiative, which provides digital creative tools to students exploring video, web development, animation, and design in underserved communities. According to Adobe, $1 million will be awarded to high school seniors who participate in the Adobe Youth Voices program and who intend to pursue education leading to a career in a creative field through the Adobe Creativity Scholarship. The first applications will be accepted later this spring.
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While these new scholarships haven't yet started to accept applications, there are a few you can apply to now. If you've got a great story about stretching your college dollars, check out The Craziest Thing I Did to Save Money scholarship contest from DoSomething.org and H&R Block. Applying for the award is simple: just connect to DoSomething on Facebook and upload a story and photo detailing the craziest thing you've done to save money. One winner will cash in to the tune of $4,000.
In California, the PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship Program made a huge impact on students when it debuted last year: 90 finalists received $2,500 scholarships, and the top 10 recipients each earned awards of up to $30,000 per year. The program is now accepting its second round of applications; if you're a high school senior or collegiate undergrad living in a county served by PG&E, it's well worth your time to apply by February 28.
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On the opposite coast, high school students in Connecticut can apply now for one of the nation's newest scholarships. The state's recently retired senator established the Joe Lieberman Connecticut Scholarship, which will be awarded to up to five high school seniors who demonstrate leadership potential and community service.
Winners will earn $1,500, and the award is renewable for up to three years as long as the student maintains a 3.0 GPA at an accredited institution. Don't delay--applications for this new award will be accepted through April 1, but only the first 500 applications will be processed.
Lieberman isn't the only government figure connected to a new scholarship. The GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship, an award honoring the late President Reagan, recently ended its 2013 application period. Aspiring GE-Reagan scholars must be high school seniors who "demonstrate the attributes of leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship" in addition to financial need and academic achievement. Current juniors shouldn't miss applying for next year's program; GE-Reagan Scholars earn $10,000 initial awards, which are renewable for up to three more years for a total of $40,000.
Matt Konrad has been with Scholarship America since 2005. He is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota and a former scholarship recipient.
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