A scholarship is a financial award based on merit, skill, or unique characteristic. For example, some have GPA requirements, while others may have community service requirements, etc. They do NOT have to be paid back. There are several different avenues to obtaining scholarships, which are detailed below. The best piece of advice for any student searching for scholarships is to BE PROACTIVE! YOU need to spend time searching for scholarships and filling out applications. It should also be noted that a lot of scholarships will ask that you file a FAFSA, and some may even ask to see your confirmation page to ensure you have done so.
**You should NEVER pay to apply to a scholarship or to be part of a scholarship site. That most likely means it is a scam.**
THE SCHOOL: It is essential to check with the school you are applying to (two-year, four-year, or technical school) to see how they award scholarships. Some schools consider their general application for admission as your scholarship application, while other schools have a separate scholarship application. These separate scholarships applications often have early deadlines (January/February), which is why it is important to be done applying to schools by Thanksgiving. How do you know if a school has a separate scholarships application? You can check their website! If you can’t find the information on the Financial Aid or Admissions section of a website, you can always call to ask how they award their scholarships.
SHC WEBSITE: We update the website with scholarships as we receive information. All of our local scholarships are on the “Scholarship Listings” tab, as well as some national scholarships that we have received information on. Make sure to check that page regularly, as we update nearly weekly after Winter Break!
SEARCH ENGINES: There are several scholarship search engine sites. These sites require a lot of digging to make sure you meet the requirements to apply for the scholarship. While these sites can be valuable, I would encourage a student to first check with their intended schools. Below is a list of scholarship search engine sites:
OTHER: Some scholarships may be available through other sources. The most common is usually a parent’s place of employment or a bank of which the student or parent is a member. It can’t hurt to have parents check with their employer, and to check at your bank, church, etc.