Finding College Scholarships

Written by Lisa Bleich

Outside College Scholarships

Seniors, once the elation of getting accepted into school wears off, the financial reality may start to set in.  If you do not qualify for need based financial aid and your school does not offer merit aid, then the best way to look for outside funding is through local scholarships or scholarships aimed at your academic interest, talent, or personal background.

A recent PBS article outlines several private scholarships opportunities and who tends to get them and this Patch post lists several New Jersey based scholarships.

Another good place to start is to speak with your guidance counselor at your high school.  You can also sign up for Fastweb , which will cull scholarships that meet your criteria.

Scholarships generally fall into several categories:

Local Community Organizations including The College Women’s/Men’s Club, the Rotary Club, The Lion’s Club, Your high school, etc.

Faith Based Organizations often offer scholarships to its members, so find out if your church or synagogue has any scholarships.

Academic Major/Interest specific majors.  Music, History, Library Science, Creative Writing, Society of Women Engineers (often available after you are freshman in college), etc. may have associations that offer scholarships.

Link to the Society of Women Engineers Scholarship.

The best thing to do is Google specific majors to see if there are any related scholarships. This link is a good starting point

Medical Condition Related Scholarships.  If you have a medical condition like Diabetes, Depression, Hearing Impaired, Cancer, Epilepsy, etc., there are often scholarships available for students who have successfully managed these diseases.  This site lists available scholarships by condition

Learning Differences Here is a link for several scholarships for students with learning differences. 

Westfield also offers the Katherine E. Cuthbertson Memorial Achievement Award for students with learning differences.

Professional Association and Company Sponsored Scholarships.  One of my students received a $10,000 per year scholarship for the Association of Footwear Retailers because his parents owned a tennis shop that sold a lot of footwear.  Look into your parents/your industry associations or Companies and see if they offer any college scholarships.

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