There are hundreds of scholarships out there, waiting for the right student to take advantage of them, but the sheer number and complexity of requirements and deadlines can be daunting. Knowing where and how to search and apply can make all the difference. Consult as many resources as you can, including financial aid offices, online alerts, social media, and scholarship websites, and don’t be shy in asking for help from a parent, teacher, counselor, or experienced students.
Most students know to start with FAFSA, a government-based resource for grants and low-cost loans; however, those who haven’t yet should start at the official .gov site (and beware of lookalikes). Here are 43 more resources for scholarships, many of them searchable by geographical area, major, degree, group affiliation, award type, or other category:
Scholarship search engines
- FastWeb.com: Students fill in their basic information, along with their GPA and college goals and, in return, they are paired with scholarship opportunities that match their profiles.
- CollegeBoard.org: Students create a profile and can be matched with scholarships that apply to them in a huge online database. This is a great resource for students looking for scholarships that are flexible and not school-specific.
- CareerInfoNet.org: One Stop has long been helping people get employed. In addition to job search services, they help students search thousands of scholarship opportunities. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Scholarships.com: Once students register, they can search through three million (!) scholarship opportunities. This site is helpful to students who are still in the college-search phase of their educational journey.
- Unigo: A scholarship search engine that also offers its own $10,000 scholarship essay-based award to students.
- Cappex.com: Students who fill in complete profiles can search through a massive scholarship database. This company also awards $30,000 in their own unique scholarships.
- Niche.com: A resource-based site that offers students the capability of searching for both colleges and scholarships.
- ScholarshipAmerica.org: Students create a profile and can seek out scholarship opportunities that correspond with their personal details to return the most relevant search results.
- SallieMae: The student loan company offers a website that lets students register and search for scholarships based on need, skills, interests, ethnicity, activities, and more. They also offer searches for graduate students.
- Chegg: Known for its online store selling textbooks, this site also offers resources to help students who have created profiles find over $1 billion in scholarships.
- College Scholarships.org: College scholarship database that doesn’t require registration. Search by eligibility and criteria; website also links to numerous types of grants and awards.
- Scholarship Monkey: Students can search for scholarships and grants by keyword, topical lists, or recent listings. Students can also create a profile to find more accurate results.
- Peterson’s: Once students fill out a survey, they can search out more than $10 billion scholarship opportunities on this website published by the test-preparation giant.
- Horatio Alger Foundation: A foundation dedicated to offering numerous types of need-based scholarships to students.
- Dell Scholars: A foundation dedicated to supporting students in financial need and ensuring that they achieve college degrees.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities: An organization serving the community that also offers student scholarships; applicants must demonstrate financial need, academic excellence, and community service.
- Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: Provides students the opportunity to apply for a full need-based scholarship, as well as advising on selecting a college, navigating financial aid, and transitioning to college. Winners with exemplary academic performance can receive up to $40,000 per year.
Merit- or essay-based scholarships
- Davidson Institute: Awards thousands of dollars annually to a handful of students who have completed a significant piece of work in one of numerous areas of study.
- Veterans of Foreign Wars: Since 1947, the VFW has offered its “Voice of Democracy” awards to high and middle school students (multiple awards given per year).
- Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation: Offers scholarships to 150 high school seniors per year who demonstrate leadership qualities.
- Burger King Scholars: This foundation awards millions of education dollars to students across North America based on GPA, extracurriculars, community service, and work experience.
- Elks National Foundation: A community-based organization that awards a few different types of student scholarships annually as a part of its foundation.
- Microsoft Scholarship: Awarded to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field with a focus on advancing the software industry.
- Engebretson Scholarship Foundation: This foundation awards educational funds each year to high school seniors demonstrating academic achievement and leadership ability.
- Return2College: Students who write a persuasive 3-sentence essay about their desire to go to college can win $1,000. Site allows multiple entries.
Scholarships for athletes
- NCSA Foundation: Awards several different scholarships each year to athletes, including individual awards for minorities, women, and high school students.
- Sports Unlimited: Offers $1,000 annually to an athletically inclined student who writes an inspirational essay on a specified topic.
- Iron Company: Awards $2,000 to a student pursuing a fitness-related degree who shows academic promise and writes a strong essay.
- Yoga Alliance: Offers opportunities for students, business owners, and professionals who seek to advance a career as a yoga teacher.
- Foot Locker: Every year, 20 students have the opportunity to win a financial award for college if they can demonstrate strong academic performance and leadership abilities.
Scholarships for women or minority students
- Gates Millennium Scholars: An organization dedicated to offering opportunities for outstanding minority students who have financial need.
- Society of Women Engineers: Offered to female students seeking to enter STEM fields on the bachelor or master degree level.
- GEM: This organization promotes diversifying STEM fields by offering scholarships and opportunities to students from populations underrepresented in these industries.
- UNCF: The nation’s largest private scholarship provider to minority group members offers $100 million in scholarships each year.
- Jackie Robinson Foundation: Offers mentoring and support services as well as four-year grants to need-based minority students who demonstrate leadership qualities.
Scholarships for adult students
- Executive Women International: Offers scholarship opportunities to adult women and men students who face economic, physical, or social challenges.
- CollegeAmerica: A nonprofit university offering a number of grant opportunities to adult and nontraditional students.
- Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund: A foundation offering millions of dollars each year to low-income women over age 35 who are pursuing a college degree.
Miscellaneous scholarships and resources
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund: This website offers students numerous types of merit- and need-based scholarships, and other types of selected financial aid.
- FinAid.org: A website that hosts content to help students research the credibility of scholarships they find. Also offers resources to help students navigate the processes of applying for financial aid, military aid, and more.
- GoCollege.com: A financial resource guide for all students to help them identify educational resources, including scholarship opportunities.
- Niche.com: No essay, no criteria, no anything. Just create an account and enter for a chance to win a $2,000 scholarship, awarded monthly.
- Google.com: As with searching for anything else, Google is a good resource to find targeted scholarship opportunities that might not show up while searching a scholarship database. Students can also find more targeted opportunities by plugging in relevant keywords, especially for those with unique (or unusual) skills or circumstances.
Be sure to set up profiles on search engine sites to increase your chances of finding good scholarship opportunity matches. And remember to always ask your prospective colleges about any grants or scholarships they offer. Many schools offer financial aid, usually in both need- and merit-based forms.