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Where to find scholarships....


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My daughter is a junior right now, and will most likely be attending a state school where they allow stacking of scholarships.  She's free to combine as many little scholarships as she wants.  I wanted to start early looking for scholarships just to get an idea about what is out there.


Where is the best place?


Thanks so much!



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My daughter used Fastweb as well as our state's central scholarship organization.  (Sadly, she received nothing from either!)


Think about any organizations that your daughter and other family members are associated with -- work, 4-H, church, ethnic -- and then research to see what they might offer.




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This type of scholarship is called "outside" money or an "outside" scholarship, as it is given by a person or organization outside of the unversity. "Inside" scholarships, or "inside" money is what comes through the university itself. For more details on scholarships, see post #5 of the thread, "Preparing for College: What Scholarships/Grants to Apply For?".


Also, check out the many helpful past threads on Scholarships and College Financial Aid in the pinned thread at the top of the High School Board: "Transcripts… College Prep/Applications… Scholarships/Financial Aid… links to past threads here!"



For local scholarships and other "outside" scholarships, your best bets are to:


- START EARLY (there are scholarships out there for high school freshman, middle school students -- even elementary-aged students: FinAid list of scholarships for students under 13).


- Apply for LOCAL scholarships with a project attached (most people do not want to put in the time to make a poster, short film, etc.) -- watch out for those that require you to do a project and then be the winner due to voting on Facebook with the most "LIKES" :(.


- Double up time/energy -- Have DD write a few essays geared around popular essay topics for scholarships, and then just tailor the open and close of the essay to match the requirements and connect with the specific organization offering the scholarship.



Where to look for "outside" scholarships:


1. local high school scholarship lists
Go to your local public school guidance office and ask for the list of scholarships. Some schools update the list several times during the spring (peak time for applying), so go in frequently for any new listings. Also, you can do a web search for several of your local high schools for online scholarship lists. Try: "name of school, your city, state" and then the words "guidance", OR,"counseling", OR, "college prep", OR, "scholarship list".


Many of the scholarships on lists from local high school students will say "students of ______ school district". Directly contact the organization offering the scholarship or running the competition and ask if you may apply as a homeschooler.


2. look for local organizations that give out scholarships:
- parent/relative connections: employer, 
work union, club membership

- local branches of fraternal organizations (Elks, Moose, American Legion, etc.)

- local branches of service organizations (Rotary Club, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.)

- corporate scholarships with local competitions or awards
- local banks / credit unions, utility company, businesses

- local minority/ethnic groups (if your student is of that minority/ethnic background)

- local contests

- if your student developed special interest, project, business, etc.
- if your student is involved in any local youth group (church youth group, Awanas, student leadership group, volunteering group etc.)

- if your student is involved in any community or national group (youth theater/arts group, Scouting, sports clubs/leagues, 4-H)

3. specialty scholarships

(think through what might be inherently unique about your student: race, ethnicity, gifted, special need/learning issue, illness, foster/adopted, orphan or loss of a parent, homeschooler…)


Just for homeschoolers

- Homeschool Buyers Co-op list
- Kimball Memorial Scholarship
- College Scholarships website list


Just for foster child/adopted child

- College Scholarships.org: Scholarships for Foster Kids

- Fast Web: Scholarships for Students Who Received Foster Care

- Fast Web: Scholarships for Adopted Students

- Foster Care 2 Success: list of scholarships

- Scholarship Experts.com: Financial Aid Resources for Foster and Adopted Children


Just for students who are cancer survivors, OR, who had a parent who had cancer

- Scholarships.com: Cancer Scholarships

- Cancer for College

- FinAid: Cancer Scholarships

4. check out the "big book of scholarships"
Many public libraries have big books of scholarships that are updated annually. (Example: Kaplan Scholarships: Billions of Dollars of Free Money for College, by Gail Schlachter.) Pay special attention to those with very specific requirements (ex: "children of Polish longshoremen", or, "children of retired military living in North Dakota").

5. search scholarship listings on websites 
Pros: based on the criteria you input, you get a list that matches qualifications. Cons: most are national awards, which drastically reduces your odds of winning. It also puts you on direct mail ad lists. Consider setting up a second email address just for scholarship search and avoid entering phone/postal address.

- FastWeb = http://www.fastweb.com
- Scholarships 4 Students = http://scholarships4...ol_students.htm


CAVEAT: avoid scholarship scams!
NEVER pay money to get money. Beware of seminars you PAY to attend that promise $$ and are a sales pitch in disguise. Beware of "billions in unclaimed money every year" myths; if you have to PAY for info, it's probably a scam. (see article at FinAid website =http://www.finaid.or...ips/scams.phtml)\

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I don't have a comment about outside scholarships, but I encourage your daughter to apply to your state school as early as possible. Son applied to our state flagship early and revived a stats based full tuition scholarship along with invitations to two additional scholarships including a dept specific one.


I know other families in the area have said their children met the stat based scholarship qualifications but they missed out because they waited too long to apply. At our U they are not guaranteed based on stats, rather, they are first come, first served.


Good luck!

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