General Outside Scholarship Search Sites
- College Answer* by Sallie Mae
- Fin Aid!*
- Mach 25*
- Scholarship Experts
- Scholarship Hunter
- Student Scholarship Search
- Thomson Peterson’s*
- Next Student*
- College Board
- US Department of Education
- College Funds
- Scholarships for Women
* Many scholarship search sites will require you to create a login name and profile to help find the scholarships that best match your criteria.
Visit City of College Dreams for more helpful hints.
In addition to the organizations on this site, there may be some local organizations that may offer scholarships and grants for your education. Sometimes, it may be easier for you to qualify for a scholarship through these local organizations, especially if they know you personally and/or if you have made a contribution to their cause:
- Your Church
- A/G District Offices
- Community Foundations
- Local Businesses
- You or Your Parent’s Employer
When receiving an outside scholarship, funds are distributed evenly between both semesters unless the donor specifically requests the funds to be used for one semester. If you feel that the funds given to you were meant for one semester only, please contact your donor and have them contact us to make the change.
Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest private student loan provider, offers these tips to help students find more scholarships:
- Start searching for scholarships as early as possible. You can begin as early as ninth or tenth grade, as scholarships for younger students sometimes have less competition. The key is to start early and renew efforts year after year to take advantage of additional opportunities.
- Sign up for a free online scholarship search service. Sallie Mae’s free database lists more than 3 million scholarships worth over $16 billion.
- Expand your search. Not all scholarships will be found online: check with local clubs, religious organizations, employers and your guidance counselor. Local scholarships tend to be less competitive. Also, corporations often award scholarships to their customers or children of employees.
- Don’t be intimidated by the competition. Scholarship judges look for other qualities such as leadership and volunteerism, and many don’t ask for GPA or standardized test scores. Make sure to showcase commitment and depth with involvement in campus clubs or organizations.
- Don’t overlook unusual opportunities. Some organizations offer scholarships to highlight interesting career opportunities, hobbies or products. In fact, there are scholarships such as the Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year Award and the Stuck at Prom Duck Brand Duck Tape Scholarship Contest.
- Search year round. There are many scholarships available all year long and scholarships due in the winter can have less competition. Treat scholarship searching and applying like a part-time job, as many opportunities come up throughout the year.
- Watch out for scholarship scams. Scholarship searches should be simple and free to use.
Don’t Get Scammed!
Did you know that thousands of people are cheated by scholarship scams every year? Hard to believe, isn’t it? But in all reality, it is easy to be scammed since phony scholarships and organizations make their deals sound better and bigger than anyone else.
Here are a few phrases you may see or hear that can hint that it is a scam:
“The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
“You can’t get this information anywhere else.”
“I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.”
“We’ll do all the work.”
“The scholarship will cost money.”
“You’ve been selected” by a “national foundation” to receive a scholarship.
For even more information on scams and how to avoid them, visit the FinAid.org website.
Top 10 Tips for Writing Effective Scholarship Essays
When you start researching scholarship opportunities, you will quickly find out that many of the scholarship programs for which you qualify involve writing a scholarship-worthy essay. A winning scholarship essay is one that truly sets a particular applicant apart from the others. If you tell your story clearly and persuasively, you just might find yourself receiving a congratulatory letter from the scholarship committee! Click here for tips!