Scholarships are sometimes referred to as "free" money because they do not need to be paid back. Like the definition states, they are based on "academic or other achievement."
But don't let the word "free" fool you - earning a scholarship takes work: it could be the culmination of years of high grades in school, the hours of service you have provided to your community, or as simple as writing an essay about why you deserve the money.
Scholarships come in all shapes and sizes and its up to you to seek out the ones you may qualify for AND to apply.
Scholarships come from many places:
There is no "one right way" to find scholarships for college, but you do need to put some effort and time into your search. It is true that many scholarships value high academics in school, but not all require a high GPA.
Pardon us for using a cliche' regarding your scholarship search, but it fits: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" You can apply for as many scholarships as you want, and don't shrug off the little ones - they add up!
That being said here are some good places to start. Check back regularly as we update this page often - GOOD LUCK!
1. academic study or achievement; learning of a high level. Synonyms: learning, book learning, knowledge, erudition, education, letters, culture, academic study, academic achievement"a center of medieval scholarship"
2. a grant or payment made to support a student's education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement. Synonyms: grant, award, endowment, payment, bursary, "a scholarship of $200 per semester"
Want more one-on-one help in your scholarship search? Make an appointment with Allyson Hanks, our College Advisor and Scholarship Specialist. Stop by her office in the Student Center, send her an email, or give her a call:
Office Hours: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9am-2pm
HELPFUL ARTICLES & TIPS
US News and World Report on Scholarships - A great blog article on how "high schoolers can use the summer before senior year to get a jump on scholarship applications."
Finding Scholarships You Qualify For
You may have heard that there are scholarships out there "with your name on them." Trouble is, you have to go out and find them. Here's how.
It is quite possible that you will get financial aid—including scholarships—from the college you attend. But how do you find college money on your own?
The Best Scholarship Search: Fast, Fruitful, and Free
One easy and productive way to find this money is to use free online scholarship search tools, such as the Scholarship Finder. But before you get started, take a few minutes to think about what makes you unique. For example, did you know there are scholarships for left-handed people? And don't forget your parents. Their residency, heritage, employment, memberships, etc. can all lead to scholarship opportunities.
Below are some search factors that can yield numerous scholarships. If you get too many results, try narrowing down your search using one or more additional factors. The more qualifications you meet, the more likely you are to win the award.
Printed scholarship directories can be helpful. These publications are updated annually, so make sure the edition you are reviewing is a recent one. You can find these directories at bookstores or at your local library.
Clubs, foundations, and associations with which you have some connection or interest may offer scholarships. You can also try government agencies involved in education, such as state education offices.
Local scholarships are often the easiest to get because there is less competition and the scholarship judges may already be familiar with you or your family. Your high school counselor probably has local scholarship information. Local chambers of commerce can also help you connect with community sources that may offer scholarships.
Here are some other local sources you can try:
You can begin your search—and your applications—anytime. Some scholarships are available to high school juniors, or even sophomores and freshmen. It makes sense to start early, since much of your extra time in your senior year will be taken up with college applications.
Pay close attention to the deadlines and requirements for each scholarship. Some ask you not to apply until a certain date. Some are open year-round. Some require a separate application and supporting documents, such as your high school transcript.
Sometimes it's hard to get started, especially if you think the application requires a lot of heavy-duty research. To get motivated, look upon it as a treasure hunt, and you won't be far from the truth.
Top 17 scholarship search engines
Check them out here:
BEWARE OF SCAMS!
Don't let your financial situation hold you back from applying and going to college. Check out the success stories below of students just like you who received financial help and realized they can achieve their dream: