Each year billions of dollars in non-federal scholarships are awarded to students to help pay for college. The size of these awards can range from a few hundred dollars to substantial amounts of money that can easily remove any worry about tuition expenses. Here are helpful tips that might change your thinking about scholarship sources:
- Include everything in your search criteria: Scholarships come in all shapes, sizes and forms. You might think there are only institutional or corporate options, but list out all your hobbies, interests and talents when creating a scholarship search list. There might be a group out there that wants to provide educational opportunities for someone just like you!
- Search far and near: You do not just have to look on a national scale to find scholarships; don’t overlook opportunities right in your own back yard. Many local businesses, organizations, non-profits and religious institutions offer scholarship opportunities that are less competitive than those of the national type.
- Learn more about potential colleges: Some colleges have very generous endowment funds which allow them to offer scholarships to potential students. You might find you have the ability to attend a well-known college based on your academic, athletic or artistic achievements.
- Keep doing well in school: Colleges work to attract students who do well in high school by offering them merit scholarships based on performance, not financial need.
- Look within your major: Some companies want to promote education within their own field, so they offer scholarships to students pursuing specific majors. These can include such opportunities as education, science, programming, math, technology, and engineering.
- Your job might help: You might think it is just a part-time job to earn some pocket money, but there are a surprising number of teenage-oriented employers that offer scholarships to their workers.
- Are you associated with the federal government? If you, your spouse, parents or grandparents, are federal public servants you might be eligible for help through FEEA (Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund). Since 1986, FEEA has awarded almost 11,000 merit-based scholarships to federal public servants and specific family members.
- Your athletic skills could be valuable: It is not just the big football or basketball programs that provide athletic scholarships to students. Many students earn scholarships for spots on the golf, swim, archery or water polo teams.
- Appreciate the arts: Even if you are not athletic or academic, there are plenty of organizations that appreciate students who appreciate the arts. Look for scholarships in music, theater, and creative arts to boost your college funds.
- Ask someone already in the field: If you know someone who has achieved success in your desired field, ask them if they are aware of any scholarships that can help you achieve the same dream.
If you are looking for an organized approach to the scholarship process, start with the three-month CFAA Scholarship Program. We assess your unique background and capabilities, point out up to 60 potential scholarship opportunities, and organize your application approach.