Finding a great scholarship is a vital step towards having a successful college career. Scholarships (unlike loans) don’t have to be paid back and can give you the extra financial boost you need to obtain your degree.
The search for student scholarships can be a complicated process.
If it is your first time looking for any kind of college financial aid, it can seem impossible to sift through all of the choices to find funds that you can really use. Being able to look through all of the scholarships options out there based on your own criteria can be a big help. In order to help students find the scholarship (or scholarships!) that best suit them, we are always looking for information about scholarships to post here at FinanacialAidFinder. Of course, with all of the scholarships, essay contests, grants and awards out there it can be difficult to find one that meets your needs and is available to you. That’s why we’ve taken all of the great scholarship opportunities out there, and categorized them for you.
The best way to take advantage of these categories is to think about all of the things that make you, you. What are your interests? What do you want to study in college? What special personal characteristics do you possess? Take some time to really think these through, and write them down. Even if you are thinking about two or three majors, you can still use that information to look for scholarships.
Before you get started, there are some important things to remember as you look through the scholarships on this site:
- Most scholarships do not cover everything. While there are some substantial awards out there, very few offer full tuition plus room and board. Applying to a number of scholarships, even some really small ones, is a great way to make sure that all of your expenses are covered.
- Some scholarships are need-based. This is what makes the FAFSA so important. If you fit all of the criteria of a scholarship, but have not determined your financial need by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you may not be eligible for certain scholarships. So make sure you complete all of your federal paperwork as soon as you can!
Start writing. Many scholarships will require an essay or letter of intent as part of the application process. It is a great idea to begin writing even before you have identified specific scholarships. This will get you thinking about the big questions, like “What is your proudest accomplishment from high school?” or “Why do you want to study political science?” since most scholarships will be looking for similar information in essays.
Once you’ve examined these areas of yourself, you can use the categories available on this site to search for student scholarships.
Below you will find links to scholarships in the following categories:
Scholarships by Major & Field of Study: This can be something you are still considering, but if you have even an interest in a particular major, you can still qualify for a scholarship.
Scholarships by Interest, Hobby, Extracurricular Activity: This includes playing an instrument, collecting baseball cards, reading comic books, or playing a sport. There are scholarships available for almost any interest.
Scholarships by Associations & Memberships: Organizations like the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs give our scholarships. In some cases, scholarships are available to children of members, who might not be members themselves.
Scholarships for People with Specific Personal Characteristics: Some scholarships care more about who you are than what you’ve done. Funds are available for people of certain ethnic backgrounds, religions, those who have disabilities and other characteristics.
Now you’re ready to get started looking for a scholarship to pay for your college education!