Large scholarships are most often awarded by national organizations and large corporations. Local organizations, on the other hand, usually offer scholarships for smaller amounts, but have the benefit of less competition for a student seeking to achieve a scholarship. Start your scholarship search close to home to reduce the size of your competition and to increase your chances of success. Deadlines for consideration may be as early as January for the upcoming fall semester. Here are some suggestions for scholarship opportunities in your community:
Your high school guidance office is the best place to inquire about local scholarship opportunities. Many high school guidance offices can also help you identify national scholarship sources.
The workplace of parent or student
Churches and religious organizations
Civic, charitable, and service organizations(Rotary Club, Lions Club, Elks, etc.)
Local Chamber of Commerce
Local newspapers (check the business and community service sections)
Books such as "The Scholarship Book," "Peterson's Guide," "Barron's Guide to Colleges and Universities" and "Don't Miss Out: The Ambitious Student's Guide to Financial Aid"provide sources to write to for scholarship information.
Be wary of any scholarship search services that charge a fee. Many would like you to believe that there are large amounts of aid going unclaimed and that by paying them a fee, you will be guaranteed some of that money. As the old saying goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Even if they guarantee results "or your money back," experience has taught many families that the results are often negligible and that it is difficult, if not impossible, to get a refund. Most of these services will charge you a fee for tapping into a database that you can do on your own free of charge. The same databases are available to you on the Internet.
Helpful Links for Searching for Scholarships on the Internet: