Find Money for Certain Studies
While most grant and scholarship money gets awarded to students for who they are or what they have done, there also exist pools of money available on the basis of what a student plans to do. Specifically, students with set plans to major in certain fields can look for money from organizations hoping to encourage certain career paths.
Grants and scholarships exist for almost every area of study, especially for those fields experiencing severe shortages of qualified graduates available for hire. In particular, students seeking to major in any of the so-called STEM studies (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) will find several grants reserved for them.
If you’re dead set on a certain major or career path be sure to dig around in the scholarship listing pages and books, and use search engines to find these types of study-specific funds.
One big caveat is in order, however, for those somewhat unsure of their career path: often this form of grant/scholarship money comes with strings. If the recipient does not go on to work in a related career field they may owe the money back to the grantor organization. Often organizations offer these grants in the form of a contract, and students who do not then fulfill the terms therein may find themselves repaying the funds. Thus, students considering this avenue of funding may want to think of their grant as “free IF” money and take their initial educational and career pursuit decisions much more seriously than other grant recipients. Such grants might seem like more of a gotcha than a gift in the midst of a change of majors.