Local Financial Aid Sources
Scholarships and Grants are listed by the thousands on the Internet, but there are many sources of aid that you may not find on the Web. Sometimes these awards are little known or only available to students from particular communities.
This often means that the competition for these funds is less intense. While these awards tend to be worth much less than the more famous ones, it is still worth you time to apply. Don’t scoff at the size of some of these awards. What student couldn’t use an extra $500?
High School Counselors: They should maintain a file of all locally available awards. Even the national scholarship foundations often distribute application materials to counselors nationwide, so there’s no limit to what you may find here. Your counselor may also be able to point you to the scholarships you are most likely to win.
Clubs: Any club you joined in high school is a potential source. Many are tied to national organizations that typically give out a least a few scholarships. If you were particularly active in the club or served as an officer, this can give you a leg up on other students.
Your Job: If you or your parents work for a large company or major corporation, chances are good that there is some scholarship program you may be able to take advantage of. In some cases, even students with average grades receive considerable grants through their employer.
Community Organizations: The Lions, Jaycees, and many other clubs sponsors millions in scholarships every year. You do not necessarily have to be a member to apply.
Unions: You will probably need to have a parent who is a member in order to qualify. On the up side, in many cases you will be competing against a fairly narrow group of candidates.
Professional Associations: The National Press Club, the American Historical Association, and countless others promote their profession with scholarships. Any organization that has ties to your major is worth looking into. Also, if your parents belong to any association, you may be able to take advantage of scholarships reserved exclusively for the children of members.
Advocacy Groups: Numerous foundations exist to promote a particular segment of society. This includes a wide range of possibilities. Disabled students, gays and lesbians, and particular ethnic background grounds are just a few. Basically, anything that sets you apart from others could be turned to your advantage.
Go to page 10: Alternative College Financial Aid