It is important to research scholarship opportunities outside the university as well. There are many options out there, many groups that offer funds independent of colleges and universities. Use FASTap to find the private scholarships that you are eligible for. It's free!
Parents' place of employment.
If your parents work for a company or are members of a labor union, have them check on the scholarship opportunities available. Many companies and unions have some type of program to help employees' children defray the cost of a college education.
In nearly every community, there are organizations and civic groups that offer college scholarships.
Check with your local church, temple, mosque or other religious institution about scholarship opportunities.
Scholarships offered by religious organizations do not always require that you be of that particular faith. Some might require a high standing in your high school class; others may be interested in your dedication and involvement within the religious community; and some are based solely on financial need.
Ethnic or racial organizations.
There is a plethora of organizations offering help to members of a particular ethnic or racial group.
Large corporations such as Chevron, Bank of America, and Westinghouse all offer college scholarships, as do many smaller companies.
Requirements for corporate scholarships vary. Some ask that you pursue a certain area of study in college or show promise in leadership.
The Armed Forces of the United States will offer to fully or partially fund your college education for a commitment to serve in the military for a period after graduation. You will also be required to serve as a reserve officer while in college. Contact your high school guidance counselor or local military recruiter to find out more.
Merit scholarships are given by colleges to students on the basis of academic performance without regard for financial need. These scholarships are usually granted to the "upper crust" of entering students, academically speaking.
Currently, more than 1,000 colleges in the country offer this type of aid. In choosing merit scholars, a college usually looks at one or more of the following criteria:
Always check with the colleges you wish to attend to see what factors they consider in awarding these scholarships.
Remember, the more attractive you are to a college, the better the chance you have of receiving such a scholarship.
- Class standing in high school
- Grade point average
- SAT or ACT scores
- Depending on the college, some merit scholarships may also take into account the financial need of a student.
Major Specific Awards
At some colleges, scholarships may be awarded to students who have performed particularly well in a certain field.
For instance, a student who has shown an aptitude for mathematics might be awarded a scholarship through that department at the university, provided they plan to pursue mathematics as a major course of study.
Some students may be granted fellowship money to pursue certain projects while at the university. For example, a student interested in performing research in chemistry may be awarded a fellowship. The university will grant funds for such a student to carry out research under the supervision of a faculty member.
Most colleges and universities offer scholarships to attract excellent athletes. The biggest scholarships usually go to athletes in major sports such as football, basketball or baseball.
Scholarships are offered in other sports as well. If you show promise as a high school athlete, you may be eligible for an athletic scholarship.
Athletic scholarships are rarely based on academic performance.