The human species is known as the only species which has got complex, yet significantly important social, economic as well as political settings. As a result, mankind has adopted a number of practices that are meant to be of importance to him as well as his fellow humans. Therefore, in connection to this context, we will look at scholarships; their mission as well as their set indicators and targets for the same. In order to understand the above context, we need to define what the terminology “scholarship” really means.

In definition, a scholarship can be said to be an award in form of financial aid, mostly to a student, with the intention of helping him/her further his /her education (Sutton & Levinson, 2001). These scholarships, however, are not awarded to just everyone who requests to be considered for the same. Before an individual is awarded a scholarship especially in higher learning institutions, they have be well vetted for the same. This is because there is a criteria, which is usually followed on determining who qualifies and deserve the scholarship and who does not. This is because there may be an individual who qualifies for a scholarship, but they do not deserve or in need of the same. In most cases the criteria that is used reflects the purpose as well as the values of the founder or the donor of the scholarships in question (Gumport, 2002). A scholarship is not as the same as other forms of financial aids like loans and grants. This is because; unlike loans and grants, scholarship money need not to be repaid once awarded.

There are different categories that are considered when it comes to awarding scholarships. Of course they also have to be in line with the values as well as the purpose of the donor, or the founder of the scholarship. The most common categories present in awarding categories are; need-based scholarships, merit-based scholarships, college-specific, student-specific and career-specific scholarships (Merrill et al, 2011). If we were to look at Need-Based scholarships, these scholarships are mainly awarded in accordance with the financial capabilities of a student’s family. Different countries have different factors to consider when it comes to awarding of scholarships. For instance, when it comes to the United States of America, students looking to seek a federal government scholarship in this category have to fill a document called “Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) (Merrill et al, 2011). When a student applies for this scholarship, the federal government does a calculation that is supposed to determine the financial aid of the student in the intended college as well as the history family expenses. This calculation determines whether the student in question should be awarded the scholarship or not.

When it comes to the category of Merit-based scholarships, several factors are also considered before awarding them too. For instance, this scholarship can be awarded in terms of artistic, academic and athletic abilities among others. These scholarships are commonly offered by the intended college and private donors impressed by the performance of the student on academics or other co curricular activities (Gumport, 2002). However, this money is not paid directly to a student; instead, it is paid directly to the intended college. When it comes to College-Specific scholarships, they are offered by the specific college in which the student is in. this means that a student cannot be in another college under the scholarship of another. Most of these scholarships are also offered on academic performance,, and are mostly clinched by the most qualified individuals in an institution. However, just like the Merit-Based scholarships, they are not directly awarded to a student. In fact, they can be in form of total fee payment, or a reduction of the same by the institution.

When it comes to student specific scholarships, there are student specific factors that are required in order to qualify for the same, and they may range from; family, religion, race, gender, medical history among many other considerations (Smith et al, 2010). For instance, in Canada, there are a number of scholarships that a student can apply regardless of whether they are studying at home or abroad. In the United States of America, there is also the famously known Gates Millennium Scholars program. Under this program, the Latinos, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, African Americans and American Indians can qualify for this scholarship program. When it comes to Career-Specific scholarships, they are usually offered to university and college students who would want to purse a specific career path after their college life (Smith, 2010). This is especially in the so called high-need-areas like nursing and education. This is more so in the field of nursing where the American federal government usually awards full scholarships to student who would want to pursue this path as their career choice. However, this is not necessarily guaranteed by every school in the United States where they offer nursing courses. The most considered nursing students for this scholarship are the ones who may be intending to work in high need communities. These scholarships are awarded by the federal government of the United States through the infamous Nursing Scholarship Program. This program falls under the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and it seeks to awarding student looking to become nurses with monthly stipends (Merrill et al, 2011). This program also seeks to pay the cost of tuition for nurses in America, as well as exchange service offered in a nursing facility for two years of each student especially in cases where there may be nurses’ shortages.

It is significantly evident that the career of nursing and education are taken very seriously in the United States of America. This is especially looking at the fact that serious career-specific scholarships offered by the federal government are not offered for any other career beside the two. In nursing, these scholarships are taken even more seriously bearing in mind that the federal government also takes care of monthly stipends as well as paying the would-be nurses for a period of two year, before they even graduate. In fact, the mission of this Nursing Scholarship Program is to recognize and acknowledge students with potential in the field of nursing, and they are committed to assist needy American when they graduate (Gumport, 2002). Therefore, this Nursing Program Scholarship seeks to offer these committed would-be-nurses with financial support both at the graduate and undergraduate level so that they can get the necessary skills and go out to save American lives. With this program under the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States, the government seeks to make as many nurses available to the American people so there could be enough personnel to assist them in cases of need (Smith et al, 2010).  These scholarships are also intended to recognize the many students who show the initiative and the skills of becoming nurses who would always prioritize on saving lives. As if that was not enough, these scholarships are also intended to foster inclusion for every American who would wish to pursue this profession without having money constrains as a hurdle to their success.

In conclusion, there are many categories of scholarships in the United States of America. There are also different categories and different criteria of awarding them among many other factors. However, in relation to our case study, the Nursing Program Scholarships are taken most seriously in this country for the reasons that I have well stated above. Having keenly analyzed the mission of the scholarship programs that we have in the United States, I have also come to see why the Nursing Scholarship Program remains the most important of all in our country.







Smith, Rhetoric Society of America., M., & Warnick, B. (2010). The responsibilities of rhetoric. Long Grove, Ill: Waveland Press.

Merrill, National Research Council (U.S.)., S. A., & Mazza, A.-M. (2011). Managing university intellectual property in the public interest. Washington, D.C: National Research Council, National Academies Press.

Gumport, P. J. (2002). Academic pathfinders: Knowledge creation and feminist scholarship. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Sutton, M., & Levinson, B. A. (2001). Policy as practice: Toward a comparative sociocultural analysis of educational policy. Westport, Conn: Ablex.


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