We explain the different types of targeted scholarships and how you can find and apply for them using Red Kite.


Financial aid awards occupy a diverse spectrum of specificity. General scholarships are open to a broad pool of applicants, and targeted scholarships are designed for students who meet certain criteria, including ethnicity, gender, field of study, location, or other unique circumstances. Targeted scholarships limit their eligibility requirements in order to support underrepresented or disadvantaged groups.

Like all other financial aid, targeted scholarships are offered by various sources, including government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, universities, and private foundations. They often cover tuition fees, books, living expenses, or other educational costs, helping students pursue higher education in order to achieve their academic and career goals.

Types of Targeted Scholarships

  1. Minority Scholarships

Minority scholarships are aimed at students from racial and ethnic minority groups. These include individuals from African American descent, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and more.

They may also include scholarships for disabled students, LGBTQ+ POC (people of color), or other students belonging to marginalized communities.

The intention behind these scholarships is to promote on-campus diversity and inclusion. The Union University Minority Scholarship is available to students who are Black, American Indian, Asian, or Hispanic, but this is just one scholarship for one particular university. There are many nationwide minority scholarships, such as the Hubertus W. V. Willems Scholarship by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).


  1. Gender-Based Scholarships

These scholarships focus on addressing gender imbalances in certain fields. Gender-based scholarships are financial aid opportunities specifically aimed at supporting individuals of a particular gender, including and especially female-identifying and/or transgender students.

Such scholarships may be designed to address historical inequalities and underrepresentation, or to encourage more participation from a specific gender in certain academic disciplines and professions.

Gender-based targeted scholarships can encompass a wide range of criteria, including scholarships for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, which is traditionally a male-dominated sphere. One example is the Bradley University Women in Engineering Scholarship, which recognizes women who enroll in the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology.

We have also seen an explosion of scholarships for transgender or non-binary individuals, such as the LEAGUE Foundation Scholarship, which is a nationwide financial resource for LGBTQ+ students.

  1. Field of Study Scholarships

Designed for students pursuing specific fields, Field of Study Scholarships encourage expertise and innovation in various disciplines. Whether it’s STEM, humanities, business, or the arts, these scholarships provide a pathway for individuals to pursue their academic aspirations with financial support.

Field of study scholarships fuel innovation by providing resources and support to budding researchers, scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs. They enable students to delve deep into their chosen fields, pursue groundbreaking research, and develop solutions to complex challenges.

On the rise right now are AI-based scholarships, a new and evolving technology field. Spokeo (a search website) offers a $5,000 scholarship to a winning student who submits an essay on the topic of artificial intelligence.


  1. Special Circumstances Scholarships

These scholarships cater to students with unique backgrounds or experiences, such as veterans, first-generation college students, or individuals with disabilities.

Diversity does not only encompass race, ethnicity, or gender. It also includes a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and circumstances. Special circumstances scholarships promote diversity and inclusion by recognizing the unique challenges faced by students from diverse backgrounds and providing targeted support to address their needs.

The Study.com Scholarship for First Generation Students and the Children of Veterans Tuition Grant are both excellent examples of special circumstances scholarships.


How to Find and Apply for Targeted Scholarships

  1. Research Thoroughly: Start by exploring scholarship databases and online resources. Our website, www.myredkite.com, offers comprehensive, step-by-step assistance for connecting you to financial aid opportunities. Red Kite provides instant access to over $25 billion in financial aid.
  2. Recommendations: Reach out to school counselors, community organizations, and professional associations related to your field of interest. They often have information about scholarships that might not be widely advertised, which is also our main goal here at Red Kite.
  3. Tailor Your Application: Ensure that your application materials – including essays and recommendation letters -align with the specific criteria of the targeted scholarship. Highlight your unique qualifications and experiences that make you an ideal candidate. Our blog has an essay analysis series to help give you tips for writing your essays.
  4. Seek Feedback: Before submitting your application, ask your mentors, teachers, or peers to review your essay. Constructive feedback can help increase your chances of success.


Targeted scholarships are a powerful tool in creating equitable educational opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds. By helping our students understand the various types of targeted scholarships – and showing them how to find and apply for financial aid – Red Kite aims to help students unlock the support they need to pursue their academic dreams.

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