Choosing to major in business may not seem glamorous at first, but it is a popular choice. As recently as 2011, business accounted for more than twice the number of undergraduate degrees as any other field, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Part of the appeal is the field's flexibility. As a business major, you have the option to follow a path that fits your personality the best. Creative types can choose to focus on business marketing, whereas analytical minds may prefer accounting or finance.
Whatever you decide, there are plenty of scholarships out there to help you stand out from the crowd and fund your business-related degree.
Check out [scholarship contests for future entrepreneurs.]
If you're interested in business and have a knack for creative writing, consider trying your hand at corporate blogging for a chance to win $1,000 toward college tuition. JW Surety Bonds offers students the chance to select a topic related to surety bonds and write creative content for their blog, which is geared toward business professionals. If your content is accepted and posted, not only will you get some great professional experience, but you'll also be entered to win a $1,000 scholarship.
Women interested in accounting or finance can take advantage of both undergraduate and graduate scholarships offered by the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting . For example, the Michele L. McDonald Memorial scholarship, worth $1,000 for up to two years, is awarded to an undergraduate accounting student, preferably a woman returning to college from the workforce or after raising children. All EFWA scholarships range from $1,000 to $2,000, with applications due April 30.
If you have a passion for math and statistics, think about a career as an actuary and then apply for one of the excellent scholarships offered by The Actuarial Foundation. For example, the Stuart A. Robertson Memorial Scholarship awards $9,000 to a full-time student entering their sophomore, junior or senior year of college, who also holds a 3.0 GPA or higher, and has completed two actuarial exams. Applications are due June 1. Other generous scholarships are also available.
Find out about [STEM scholarships for aspiring scientists.]
Those of you who lean toward the public relations side of business should consider applying for a variety of scholarships from the Public Relations Student Society of America, which are available to student members.
The Stephen D. Pisinski Memorial Scholarship awards $1,500 to a junior or senior college student majoring in journalism, communications or public relations. To apply, make sure you get your application and materials delivered to PRSSA headquarters by June 5.
The Gary Yoshimura Scholarship deadline passed at the end of January, but you'll want to keep this one on your radar for next year. The $2,400 scholarship is available to public relations majors who also demonstrate financial need.
Learn about [additional ways to pay for college]
If you're majoring in business, physical science, technology, engineering or math, and also identify as African American, Hispanic or Native American, check out the scholarship from the American Association of Blacks in Energy. These students have the chance to win $3,000 and $5,000 toward a college education.
AABE is a professional organization of African Americans in the energy industry that seeking to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in energy related fields. You can apply for the $3,000 regional scholarship and the $5,000 national award by finding your local AABE chapter and applying through their website by March 27.
Lastly, pay a visit to your college financial aid office. Many schools will offer their own scholarships for students majoring in business.
Michelle Showalter joined Scholarship America in 2007 and is an alumna of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.