There are several benefits to students who take the time and energy to search for scholarships outside the university. The first benefit of receiving a scholarship is obvious, the student receives funding to assist them in financing their college education. Other benefits in searching and receiving scholarship funds are the experience students gain in researching scholarship resources, the networking opportunities (meeting the scholarship committees, donors and other scholarship participants), the written skills generally attached to scholarship applications, and finally the benefit to the student’s employment search. Employers look favorably upon resumes’ that indicate scholarship(s) because they understand the value and the process of scholarship funding.
Local civics groups, corporate organizations, and church groups are very good sources for scholarship funding. Contact your High School Guidance Counselor as well as members from the different organizations in your area about possible opportunities for scholarship funding.
Scholarship Search Engines
fastweb.com and finaid.org are excellent resources students may use free of charge for scholarship searches and information.
Note About Scholarship Resources
Please be aware, although there are many legitimate scholarship search sites on the internet, there are also many sites that could be referred to as “scams." A good rule of thumb to follow: if a scholarship site requires a payment or a commitment that will result in charges later on, search for a new site. There are many companies promising students and their families funding grants, scholarships and low-interest loans for a minimal payment of $30 to $100. In return for the payment, the family receives the FAFSA application. The first letter in FAFSA stands for FREE. Don’t pay for an application you can (and probably already did) fill out for free. If you are uncertain about what search engine to use, or have received a mailing from a scholarship search company (or any company promising to assist you with financing your student’s college education) contact your financial aid office immediately.