There are many places to search for scholarships. These are some resources that you can use to find scholarships and other funding for college. You are likely to find scholarships in unlikely places, but this can jumpstart your search.
View and save most updated version of Financial Assistance Resources 2013-2014, including several scholarships. The resources and links below will be updated Summer 2013.
The internet offers a variety of ways to find resources. The first is scholarship databases. These sites allow you to search for scholarship based on your needs and are great sources. There are plenty that are free, and you should not pay to use sites like these.
Free scholarship search sites we recommend:
There are several Twitter accounts and Facebook pages to follow that post scholarship opportunities weekly. UB Coordinator, Tiffany Berkenes, has an account and frequently shares these posts. To follow her on Twitter, go to @UBTiffany, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ubtiffany.
Another benefit to the Internet is that you can search the college of your choice’s site to see what scholarships that school specifically offers. It is important to check these out because not all schools will automatically consider you for every scholarship; you may have to seek out which ones you qualify for and fill out an additional application. Many fine arts scholarships require auditions.
A few Iowa colleges’ and universities’ scholarship pages:
Also, many of your high school websites will have a pages listing scholarships that apply to the students. These pages may include scholarships exclusive to people who graduate from your school.
Links to high school’s scholarship pages:
Speak to your guidance counselor or college financial aid office.
Most counselors keep a binder filled with local awards and scholarships, so make an appointment to discuss the ones for which you might qualify. Before your meeting, prepare information about your family’s financial background as well as special interests or talents you have that would make you eligible for certain awards.
Treat your activities and interests as scholarship leads.
One benefit of participation in school, church and community activities may be a scholarship sponsored by those organizations.Inquire with the leaders of the organization about scholarship funds. If the organization has a national parent organization (ex. National Honor Society), visit their website. Often you will discover awards that are given by the parent organization for members of the local chapters.
A few high school organizations that have scholarship opportunities:
Remember that big business can also mean big bucks.
A lot of large companies have charitable foundations that award scholarships like Coca-cola, Tylenol or Best Buy. When you visit business websites, look for links to their foundations, which often manage the scholarship programs. This is a quick and easy way to browse for scholarship opportunities.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
AXA Equitable Achievement Foundation
Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway
GE Reagan Foundation
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Check with your employer or parent’s union.
Even if you work only part-time, you may qualify for an educational scholarship given by your employer. If you have a full- or part-time job, ask your employer about scholarships. Also you can search on the company’s website to see what scholarships are offered.
Companies that offer scholarships to their employees or children of employees:
Iowa Grocery Industry Association
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
Like companies, many unions also sponsor scholarships for the children of their members. You should have your parents speak with the union officers at their work place about union-sponsored scholarships and other educational programs.
Search local newspapers.
Most community newspapers announce local students who win scholarships. It may be helpful to search through previous year’s spring papers (spring since that is when most scholarships are announced). Then contact the sponsoring organizations to see if you’re eligible to enter the next competition.
Contact community organizations and civic groups.
Usually you don’t have to be a member of these organizations to apply. In fact, many community groups sponsor scholarships that are open to all students who live in the area.
How do you find these organizations? Many local government websites list them. Visit the websites for your town, city and state. You can also use the phone book to look up organizations. Finally, don’t forget to visit the public library and ask the reference librarian for help.
Additional Financial Assistance Opportunities & Resources
Ron Brown Scholars Program
Horatio Alger Assocation
Society of Women Engineers
National Merit Scholarship Corporation
First Freedom Center Student Competition
Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest
U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation
Robert D. Blue Sholarship
Gen & Kelly Tanabe Scholarship
AFSA Scholarship Program
Scholarships for Volunteers
Matthew Shepard Scholarship
National Peace Essay Contest
Elks National Foundation
Scholarships for Gamers
Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities
Scholarships for Hispanic Students Interested in STEM
Scholarships for Women in STEM
Heroes from the Heart Scholarship Awards Program
Iowa Newspaper Foundation
Iowa Arts Council
All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant
All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship
Education & Training Voucher (ETV) Grant
Governor Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship
Iowa Tuition Grant
Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (SEOG) Grant
It may be surprising but there are books filled with scholarship listings. What is great about these books is they offer a variety of indexes to help you find the scholarships that suit you. You do not need to purchase these books; often they can be found at the library or even in your guidance counselor’s office.
The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2012: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes By: Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe
The Scholarship & Financial Aid Solution: How to Go to College for Next to Nothing with Short Cuts, Tricks, and Tips from Start to Finish
By: Debra Lipphardt
Kaplan Scholarships 2012: Billions of Dollars in Free Money for College
By: Gail Schlachter and R. David Weber
Peterson’s Scholarships, Grants & Prizes
Getting Financial Aid 2012 (college Board Guide to Getting Financial Aid)
By: The College Board
The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford
By: Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik
Considering the military? Attend college while you train with ROTC!
ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) is an elective curriculum you take along with your required college classes. It gives you the tools, training and experiences that will help you succeed in any competitive environment. Along with great leadership training, ROTC can pay for your college tuition. Because ROTC is an elective, you can participate your freshman and sophomore years without any obligation to join your selected branch (Army/Navy/Air Force). You will have a normal college student experience like everyone else on campus, but when you graduate, you will be commissioned as an Officer, with higher pay and rank than going directly into the military following high school. At that point, you will then have a wide range of interest areas you can specialize in called branches.
Final Words of Wisdom
We have given you many tools to help in your pursuit of funding for college. However, your best resource will be your own persistence in seeking out scholarships. Just remember:
Don’t do it alone: Talk to people–you never know who may know about a scholarship that you don’t.
Do try for all: The smaller scholarships may not seem like much but everything adds up, particularly the cost of textbooks, and it is that much less you will have to worry about.
Don’t procrastinate: Allow yourself plenty of time to fulfill the requirements of each scholarship, also don’t wait to the last few weeks of senior year to apply.
Do be yourself: There are scholarships for every type of person with every type of aspiration you can find scholarships to fit you.
Don’t give up: While the process may be daunting, scholarships are worth the work. A less expensive education is priceless.