As you begin to navigate into the next step in your life, there are so many choices to make. Considering your financial future is among those choices. We encourage you to apply for any scholarship that you qualify for to reduce the cost of furthering your education as much as possible. We have provided access to local and national scholarships on this page to further assist you in your journey. The scholarships are organized by deadline month. Click on the link to the left to access the list for each month. Check back frequently as we will continue to add scholarhips as they become available.
"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." -- John Dewey
BestColleges has provided a free tool to assist students with the scholarship journey.
"Scholarships are a pivotal financial aid resource for college students, but finding the right scholarship for your educational goals is a process. The first step for students is to educate themselves on their basic options. Then students need to decide what kinds of scholarships (military, identity-based, etc.) they qualify for? The clearer students are about what they want, the easier it is to figure out their options." Click here to utilize this tool.
Where to look for outside scholarships
- Start with the high school guidance office. School counselors often keep an updated list of local scholarships, either in paper form or on the school's online portal. Compared to national scholarships, local scholarships only attract a small pool of applicants – those eligible students within the region – and are therefore generally easier to win.
- Look for opportunities at work. If you're a student with a summer or part-time job, see if your workplace offers private scholarships for staff members headed to college. And have your parents check with their places of work for private scholarships dedicated to children of employees.
- Seek out professional associations. Are you aspiring to work in a specific career field? Research professional groups related to that vocation. Many offer outside scholarships to students interested in pursuing a job in that line of work.
- Use a search engine. There are several reputable websites that provide scholarship search tools.Cost of private scholarshipsNever pay a fee to apply for a scholarship. Plenty of free online search engines exist, and they have the same private scholarships as those that require a fee.
Cost of private scholarships
- Never pay a fee to apply for a scholarship. Plenty of free online search engines exist , and they have the same private scholarships as those that require a fee.
Tips for earning outside scholarships
- Start searching early. There are private scholarships open to children as young as 5 years old, so don't wait until senior year of high school to start looking.
- Stay organized. As you find private scholarships to apply for, keep a running list of deadlines, scholarship amounts, and requirements. Create a spreadsheet that you can easily reference and update. Add deadlines to your calendar and set notification settings to remind you of pending deadlines.
- Request letters of recommendation early. Some applications require letters of recommendation. Think carefully about who should write these letters and choose people who can speak to your strengths and ability to overcome your weaknesses (letters from family members are generally a no-no).
- Attend a scholarship workshop. The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships holds several workshops thoroughout the scholarship application season to assist students in their scholarship hunt. For help finding and competing for scholarships and tips on how to write essays for scholarships, attend one or both of these sessions.
- Set a weekly goal. You're more likely to earn a scholarship if you submit an application for several, so set a goal to apply to a certain number of scholarships every week.
- Try for scholarships that require an essay. In general, fewer students apply for scholarships with a written requirement, so your odds for winning are a bit higher if you take the time to apply.
- Look for scholarships related to favorite activities. Scholarships are often catered to students with specific interests or talents. Make a list of your extracurricular activities – sports, music, art, clubs, etc. – and search for scholarships that award students with those interests.
- Clean up your online profile. Agencies awarding scholarships may do a quick search to seek out any public information about you online. Make sure your internet presence is professional and mature, and remove any material from your public social media pages that doesn't represent your best self.
- Sing your own praises. Applications will often ask you to talk about what you do with your time. As uncomfortable as this may feel, this is once in your life when it's necessary to brag. Tell them about recognition and awards you've received. Emphasize activities that show your talents and passions, especially things that demonstrate your ability to lead, take initative, persist through adversity, and care for your community. Don't underestimate yourself - employment and family responsibilities can say a lot in your favor as well.