There are a variety of scholarships available to financially challenged high school students. However, financially challenged students also often qualify for a variety of government grants and subsidized loans. You will have to pay back loans but the government can offer low interest rates and a delayed payment schedule. These are often a more reliable source of college funding compared to scholarships. Talk to your school guidance counselor about any need-based grants and loans through your local, state and federal government.

Local Scholarships

Local organizations often allocate funds to students in their communities. Because they're dedicated to the success of local residents, they'll grant scholarships to local high school students planning to enroll in a university. Most of these organizations consider financial need very strongly when allocating funds. Reach out to local Elks, Lions and Kiwanis organizations and inquire about their scholarship programs. Although these scholarship committees may gift smaller awards, you typically have a better chance of winning because there is a smaller pool of eligible applicants.

National Scholarships

There are a number of national scholarship committees dedicated to providing funds to financially strapped high school students. One example is the Horatio Alger Association Scholarship. This scholarship seeks out high school applicants that have overcome adversity and demonstrated strong moral values. This provides a great opportunity for financially challenged students to demonstrate how far they've come despite lack of financial support. Seek out nationwide scholarships by researching large company foundation webpages. Large corporations generally don't place geographical restrictions in their scholarship requirements.

Scholarships through Employers

Many employers offer scholarships to eligible employees or the children of eligible employees. Ask your parents to inquire about any scholarship opportunities. Typically, the employer's human resources representative has the most information about it. If you work a part-time job, you may also be able to partake in employer-sponsored scholarships. For example, KFC employees can apply for the REACH-KFC scholarship of up to $5,000 annually for undergraduate studies. These scholarship committees generally value students that have a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Scholarships through Universities

Many scholarship foundations only make their funds available to students at particular universities. Usually these funders are former students or dedicated to the community in the surrounding geographic region. Once you've been accepted to an undergraduate program, inquire about their need-based scholarships. Most universities have sophisticated scholarship search engines that allow students to find scholarships based on their particular major or interests.