Up until the past decade or so, men were earning college degrees at a higher number than their female counterparts. And aside from athletic awards, scholarships specifically for men were not very common.
But a 2010 report by the American Council on Education shows that males account for only 43 percent of students enrolled in postsecondary education. Since the gender gap in college enrollment has swung in the other direction, scholarships for men are now an important way to help males continue to enroll in college and keep earning those degrees.
[Explore the U.S. News scholarships guide.]
Not all scholarships out there for men require you to be an athlete. Here are a handful of scholarships for you men out there who aren't athletic all-stars. (Don't worry, women—we'll have a list of scholarships just for you later this month, so stay tuned!)
The Lax Scholarship Fund for Gay Men awards up to $20,000 in scholarships to help encourage gay men to earn college degrees, especially in careers that will allow them to contribute to society and act as role models for other gay men. If this sounds like you, and you reside in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania, apply before Jan. 16, 2012 for your chance to earn a scholarship.
The Men of Excellence Scholarship from Phi Kappa Si at Iowa State University gives incoming male freshmen or transfer students a chance to win a scholarship if they demonstrate scholastic, extracurricular, and leadership experience and complete an essay on why they are men of excellence. While the fraternity sponsors this scholarship, you don't have to be a member of Phi Kappa Si to win.
[Consider 6 college scholarships that award leadership.]
Is there an Alpha Tau Omega chapter at the school where you are applying? If so, check out the Distinct Advantage Scholarship, which awards a $1,000 scholarship to one male at every campus with an Alpha Tau Omega chapter.
The Balanced Man Scholarship from Sigma Phi Epsilon, which has fraternity chapters at 150 campuses across the country, is available to incoming male freshmen who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, and a commitment to health and well-being. Membership is not required.
Take advantage of your years of hard work as a Boy Scout by applying for one of the two scholarships available to Eagle Scouts from the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA). The Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke Scholarship awards four $20,000 scholarships (payable at $5,000 per year) and one $48,000 scholarship (up to $12,000 payable for four years), plus a varying number of others.
Each Boy Scouts of America region also awards multiple Hall/McElwain Merit Scholarships, which are each worth $1,000. NESA academic scholarship applicants must be Eagle Scouts graduating high school and entering college in the year for which they apply for a scholarship.
Michelle Showalter joined Scholarship America in 2007 and is an alumna of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.