Financial Aid & Paying for College
As students approach college age, mailboxes tend to fill up with scholarship search offers. Typically, these are fee-based searches that often claim that "Billions of scholarships are going unclaimed" or "You don''t pay if you aren't awarded a scholarship." College Confidential takes a dim view of most of these offerings, which tend to be computer-based searches that differ little from what any student or parent can do for free on the Web.
There may be a grain of truth in the statement that some scholarships go unclaimed, although usually it is because the requirements of a particular scholarship are so unusual that nobody qualifies. And the "money-back guarantee" usually requires the student to have applied to every scholarship opportunity identified by the service, even those that any reasonable person would conclude are either inappropriate for the student or extremely unlikely to result in an award. The thought of obtaining and filling out dozens of lengthy scholarship applications solely to recapture a $50 or even $200 fee convinces most people to forego the guarantee.
However, there are definitely ways to search for a scholarship that don't cost money. Perhaps the best site is FastWeb; for more general help, visit FinAid.
Have a question about financial aid? Check out Ask The Dean!
Other Scholarship Search Resources:
- CollegeFunds.net - Sign up for a free scholarship search and be automatically registered to win a $500 dollar college scholarship.
- AbsolutelyScholarships - Free service that searches multiple scholarship databases at the same time.
- Actuarial Scholarships - Actuary financial aid for aspiring actuaries with math, statistics or other technical majors.
- Arkansas Scholarship Information Service (ASIS) - Free database of Arkansas scholarships. Also includes over 250 financial aid links for anyone in the United States.
- Ayn Rand Essay Scholarships - Several essay scholarships available to undergraduate and high school students.
- CASHE - College Aid Sources for Higher Education from Sallie Mae provides same services used by commercial scholarship search companies free to the public.
- College Scholarships and Fellowships for Minorities and Women - College, graduate school and postgraduate financial aid for African Americans, Aleuts, Eskimos, Hispanics, Micronesians, Native Americans, Polynesians, and women.
- E. A. Mellinger Educational Foundation - A non-profit foundation providing scholarships for students in western Illinois and eastern Iowa.
- Florida College Student of the Year Award - Statewide scholarship program for Florida college students.
- FreSch - Online database of thousands of sources of scholarships, searchable for free. Tips on applying for and winning scholarships, volunteers to answer financial aid and scholarship questions.
- Gates Millennium Scholars - Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, offers scholarships to students of diverse backgrounds.
- Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation - Scholarships for college juniors who show leadership potential and have an interest in government or public sector service.
- Indian-American Scholarship Fund - Offers assistance to students of Indian heritage.
- Joint Academic Scholarships On-Line Network - A free national database of postgraduate scholarships for Australian students looking to study at home and abroad and international students looking to study in Australia.
- Momeni Foundation Scholarships - Dedicated to providing scholarships to graduating high school students and full time college students of Iranian descent anywhere in the world.
- National Academy of American Scholars - A private organization that awards financial aid and academic scholarships to high school seniors and college freshman.
- National Merit - An independent not-for-profit organization offering scholarship assistance.
- Occupational Physicians Scholarship Fund - Provides scholarships to physicians interested in occupational therapy to cover their residency programs.
- Scholarship application guidelines - Guidelines and advice regarding what a scholarship selection board is looking for in an application essay.
- Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis - A nonprofit organization providings interest and fee free loans to St. Louis area students.
- The Scholarship Page - Browse and search for scholarships.
- Scholarship Scam Tips - Provides tips and pointers on avoiding scholarship scams.
- The Scholarship Workshop - Offers a workshop and sells books on how to get scholarships from private and public universities.
- 4Scholarships - Hunt down education funding with National Merit Scholarships, Rhodes Scholarships, Fulbright, United Negro College Fund, Hispanic College Fund and funding searches.
- Scholarships-Ar-Us.com - Offers free scholarship search and information about financial aid and general college entrance advice.
- ScholarshipShop.com - Worldwide scholarship search consulting firm providing one-on-one assistance for those who desire to further their education.
- The Scholastic, Inc. Art and Writing Awards - Information on a prestigious arts recognition program.
- Siemens Foundation - Science and technology competition and advanced placement awards for outstanding high school students and educators.
- Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship Foundation - Scholarships for survivors of childhood cancer. Scholarships available to residents of CO. Expanding to CA and AZ as funding permits.
- Taiwanese American Foundation of Boston - Provides scholarship funds to individuals or organizations in any field of research related to Taiwan.
- Terrill Scholarship - A general scholarship for high school seniors planning to enter first year of college; up to $2500 per recipient and up to 10 recipients per year.
- Three Sisters Scholarship Foundation - Scholarships for minority students who plan on attending college.
- United Negro College Fund - An educational assistance organization with 40 private, historically black, member colleges and universities.
- U.S. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation - One year, renewable, scholarships for the children of active duty and retired marines.
- Wal-Mart Competitive Edge - Scholarships for high school students interested in manufacturing, industry and technology-related fields.
- Walter Beale Scholarship Foundation - A renewable college scholarship for qualifying students.
- WinScholarships.com - Free scholarship resources to learn insider secrets about finding and winning scholarships, boosting financial aid, and minimizing tuition bills.
- Zimmermann & Pellegrini Scholarships - Pellegrini scholarships are partial tuition grants, awarded at the post-secondary school level or vocational or undergraduate and graduate academic studies at an accredited school. Zimmermann scholarships will be awarded to the graduate students with the highest cumulative grade point average.