Everyone wants help paying for college. So what's out there?
Many of the best scholarships are those given by the schools themselves, see previous post.
Are there other resources out there? Definitely.
Outside scholarships are given by businesses, charitable organizations, individuals, and philanthropic groups. Some are well-known like the Gates Millennium (1,000 awards which fully cover financial need) and Coca Cola (150 awards, $20,000 each), while others are lesser known like the “Voice for Cats,” ($1,000 for students who have worked in animal rescue).
Reality check, the statistics show that students tend to get only one out of every ten outside scholarships they apply for. So keep that in mind. The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chance.
Many of the “scholarships” are popularity contests which involves the student getting as many people as possible to vote for their application. Others like the “no essay” ones on Fastweb, Cappex, and Unigo are basically marketing tools enticing students to sign up with the prize given to one lucky student. The odds of receiving these types of prizes are not good because so many students apply for them.
What to do? Research, research, research, and apply to as many scholarships that fit your personal profile as possible. Suggestion: Go for the low hanging fruit, this means, apply for the scholarships starting at $250-$1,000. These add up over time. The majority of these types of scholarships are for one year, but every bit helps. Apply for the big money scholarships if you qualify, but realize that many others are also applying.
BEWARE of scams. There are no fees associated with applying for a legitimate scholarship. If they ask for money, ignore them. Scholarships are created to give money to students, not take it from them.
You can start with a Google search for scholarships. What should you look for: Ethnicity, interests, talents, life experiences, family origin and ancestry, career goals, academic studies, religion, personal traits (left handed, physical or educational disability, perseverance), intended major, military affiliation, gender identity, artistic or musical ability, sports participation, any thing else you can think of.
When to apply?
You can start applying for scholarships when you are 13 years old. Many are limited to specific grades, but others are open. Any scholarship that you win will be held by the organization until you accept and are enrolled in a college or community college. Some will send the money directly to the student, while others will send it to the college.
The Best Scholarship Resources:
Culver City School Resources: Naviance Use the Scholarship Resource in Naviance to search for scholarships.
Culver City Community Scholarships. Make sure to pay attention to the deadlines for the Culver City Community Scholarships. Contact the College and Career Center to find out the application deadlines.
College Board: The same site where you apply for your SAT tests has both a college and scholarship search option. The scholarships listed there are all legitimate and worth pursuing. Big Future
Phone App: Scholly for both Apple and other phones. They have both a free and a low cost ($3/month) version. Allows you to fill out a profile with your traits. It’s on your phone, so you can check it easily.
For students with financial need who are from under-represented populations (based on racial, gender identity, immigrant status, and other factors):
College Greenlight. Student create an account, but there are no sales. College Greenlight is a legitimate organization dedicated to serving under-represented populations. The site has college and scholarship searches as well as information on fly-in programs and other college related issues.
Scholar Match: based in San Francisco offers both college and scholarship searches for students with good academic records, but low or moderate income. Qualified students can sign up for free college counseling from professional volunteers. https://scholarmatch.org/
Scholarships.com and Careeronestop.org (US Dept of Labor) https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx are both good legitimate resources.
Sources with contests and marketing tie ins:
Fast Web https://www.fastweb.com/