I’m In, Now What? Finding Outside College Scholarships
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.
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 http://www.collegescholarships.org/scholarships/subject-specific.htm
Athletics. There are typically local scholarships sponsored by your high school’s booster club for athletes.
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.
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.
Juniors, now is a good time to also think about some major outside scholarships whose deadlines are more closely aligned with the college application deadlines, so fall or January 1 or senior year. Some of the big ones include The Coca Cola Scholarship, The Microsoft Scholarship, and The Gates Millennium Scholarship.
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For a more comprehensive listing of scholarships, check out The College Bound Mentor Website under resources. My colleague, Susan Dabbar from Admissions Smarts, wrote a great post called Outside Scholarships-What You Need to Know.