We explore emerging trends in financial aid opportunities.



Technology is shaping the landscape of scholarships. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic – along with the recent rise of AI innovation – college applicants might feel overwhelmed by the enormous amount of available online resources.

However, through platforms like Red Kite, access to financial aid has been completely streamlined. We’re here to break down just a few ways the financial aid scene has developed, and how it may look in the future.


Utilizing online scholarship platforms like Red Kite.

Websites and mobile apps have been revolutionizing the scholarship search process for decades. It is now easier than ever for students to discover and apply for scholarships tailored to their interests, qualifications, and unique circumstances.


Red Kite’s Search Engine provides access to over $25 billion in available scholarships and financial aid. Our features include personalized recommendations based on students’ profiles, notifications for new scholarship opportunities, and career connection and advice.

Through our blog, we also explore tips for writing your college essay, and are launching an essay review series, where Kite Writer Jane Cooper will be analyzing successful, scholarship-winning essays. Our blog and social media are informationally diverse – we want to cover all aspects of preparing for college, including informative articles such as this one.


Alternative funding models (GoFundMe).

Crowdfunding platforms allow students to create campaigns to raise funds for their education, tapping into their social networks and beyond. One of the best-known companies is GoFundMe, where users create donation pages on behalf of their own personal causes.

But it’s important to remember that GoFundMe is a for-profit company. It applies a 2.9% payment-processing fee for each donation, and an additional 30 cents per donation. For example, if a campaign raises $1,000 through ten donations of $100 each, GoFundMe would collect approximately $32.

On the other hand, we have also seen a rise of employer-sponsored scholarships, which are offered by companies to support employees and their families. These provide opportunities for career advancement while pursuing higher education.

One specific example on Red Kite is the the Dependent Children of Texas A&M Employee Scholarship, which is designed to recognize the contributions of TAMU employees by rewarding their children based on need and academic achievement.

Then we have community-based initiatives. These involve collaborations between local businesses, organizations, and educational institutions to establish scholarship funds tailored to the needs of the community. Sticking to the Texan theme, the Brian Morris College Gateway Scholarship Fund assists graduating high school seniors from San Antonio, with preference to students who demonstrate good citizenship and community involvement.



Post-COVID impact and innovation

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated financial stresses for students and their families. Job losses, reduced income, and unexpected remote learning expenses have strained household budgets, making scholarships and financial aid more crucial than ever. Many students who might not have considered applying for financial aid before the pandemic now find themselves seeking assistance.

In response to the immediate economic distress caused by the pandemic, many institutions and organizations established emergency funds and relief grants. The HOPE In Action Scholarship was launched to target Louisianan students who have lost a parent or parents to COVID-19.

These days, we’re seeing a rise of non-tuition-related scholarships for this very same reason. The Triangle Community Foundation offers their Student Assistance Fund, which provides one-time cash assistance to eligible students to assist with needs that would otherwise hinder them from completing their academic program, such as dormitories, food pantries, and mental health services that they are unable to access.

Virtual scholarship fairs, online application portals, and remote interview processes have also become more common, allowing students to access scholarship opportunities from anywhere with an internet connection.



Continued focus on diversity and inclusion.

Scholarship programs are increasingly emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a growing number of awards targeting underrepresented minority groups. These include LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, first-generation college students, and much more.

These scholarships aim to address systemic barriers and provide equal access to education and opportunities for all students. The Minority Teaching Fellows Program, intended to encourage talented students to enter the teaching field in Tennessee, awards $5,000 per year for POC (people of color) who pursue a teacher certification at an eligible Tennessee college or university.

Regardless of what adversity or discrimination you may be facing, you can be a part of the most diverse college class of all time.



Future skills and career pathways

Red Kite now offers a comprehensive Career section, where our aim is to continue to assist students beyond college. We help you explore your dream career, discover employment opportunities, and even manage your deadlines.


Scholarships are also increasingly focused on preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow. Fields such as STEM, healthcare, sustainability, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity are experiencing high demand for skilled professionals.

By embracing these future trends, the financial aid sphere is adapting to the evolving needs of students and the workforce, ensuring that education remains accessible and relevant in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.

Your future is bright, and Red Kite is here to help you navigate this complicated, ever-changing world. Students are the most invaluable resource for the world’s future. You don’t have to grow alone.

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