University Office of Student Financial Aid
How to Conduct a Successful Scholarship Search
Develop your Scholarship Game Plan
- Plan to apply for as many scholarships as possible
- Plan to invest some time into the project; repeat your search every month or so.
- Develop a portfolio of reusable materials (e.g., essays, descriptions of yourself, goals etc.)
- Learn from past scholarship winners.
- Take stock of yourself. What makes you, well, you? Think about religion, hobbies and interests, ethnic background, geographics, family affiliations, physical attributes, educational goals - get to know you and use these attributes to conduct your search. Look for family connections, community service achievements, disabilities, and special talents.
- Know how to Google Don't just search "scholarship"; make it descriptive — Try "Scholarship Foundations", "health professions scholarships", "scholarships for military children", "Scholarships for non-traditional students", "Occupational Therapy Scholarships".
Search Known Sites
Beware of Scams!!
- "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
- "You can't get this information anywhere else."
- "I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship."
- "We'll do all the work."
- "The scholarship will cost some money."
- "You've been selected by a 'national foundation' to receive a scholarship"
- "You're a finalist in a contest you never entered."
- FACT - don't ever give your SS# or date of birth, to any scholarship program.
- FACT - never pay an agency to conduct a scholarship search for you.
- Investigate who you are dealing with.
- Get information in writing about the awards you win.
Check these out!
- 10 Tips for Winning Scholarship Applications by Kay Peterson, Ph.D.
- Scholarship Tips for Nontraditional Students by Jose Vasquez, author of Free Cash for College: The everyday Students' Guide to Financial Aid
- Where the Scholarships Are by Tavia Evans