3 Steps to Finding a Scholarship & 5 Scholarships to Get You Started
Step 1. Find Schools You Want to Attend
Most colleges and universities offer fantastic scholarships. So the best way to search for scholarships is to narrow the list to include only those schools you’d most like to attend and then research their awards and financial aid options. Many scholarships from corporations and nonprofits also require detailed information about your academic plans, so it pays to decide where to apply before you ramp up your scholarship search.
Step 2. Search for Scholarships
Many organizations and businesses offer scholarships for Bachelor’s and advanced degrees. Look into the following organizations, both in your area and nationally.
• Professional associations
• Your employer (Employee Based Awards)
• Scholarship-focused nonprofits
• Large corporations (Pepsi, Xerox, etc.)
• Foundations (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, etc.)
• Advocacy and political organizations
• Religious organizations
• Social/community clubs and organizations
• Service organizations (Rotary, Elks, etc.)
Scholarship criteria vary widely. Some scholarships are earmarked for students pursuing specific careers; others may be regional, designated for applicants from a particular state or county. Typically, organizations and schools may offer scholarships to students who meet a set of criteria, which could include:
• Demonstrated commitment to community service or volunteer work
• Commitment to pursue a valued career, academic, or research interest
• Learning or physical disabilities
• Demonstrated commitment to fine arts or performing arts
• Demonstrated athletic achievement and talent
• Economic need
• Underrepresented minority group
• Student is a gender minority in their field of interest (Ex: male nurses)
• Birthplace (for students from a particular city, state, or country)
• Student is the first to go to college in their family
• Contest / essay contest winner
• Going back to school; single parent
• High academic achievement
• High standardized test scores
A good strategy is to determine the types of scholarships you may be eligible for and search specifically for those.
Which area(s) might you qualify under?