Scholarships are awarded for a variety of reasons. These include good grades, community/school service, leadership, special talent (essay writing, athletic, musical, artistic, etc.), the subject you plan to major in, the career you plan to prepare for, and/or financial need. Some scholarships are awarded on a combination of these factors, while others focus on just one or more of these factors.Most scholarships are for grade-12 students. However, there are some money-awarding competitions that are open to students in grades 9, 10 and/or 11.
There are 4 main strategies to look for scholarships:
1) Use scholarship “search” websites. Some trustworthy sites are:
2) Check for scholarships in your high school's CareerCenter about once every three weeks. And check the "Scholarships" page of your high school's Career Center web site. Keep checking all the way through mid-May. Your chances of winning a local competition are far better than your chances of winning a national-scope scholarship competition.
3) Once you apply to any type of college, be sure to ask in that school’s office of scholarships/financial aid what scholarships that school offers to its students for which you are eligible to apply. On average, the main source of scholarships offered to a student is the college or university the student attends.
4) Investigate your family’s affiliations that could make you eligible to apply for scholarships. For example, if a student is an account holder at the iQ Credit Union he/she is eligible to apply for its scholarships in grade 12. Does the student’s church or synagogue have a scholarship program? Does the company the student and/or his parents use for home owner’s or vehicle insurance offer scholarships? Do the student’s parents belong to any clubs or organizations that offer scholarships to its members’ high school-age children? Is/Was a parent in the U.S. military and, if so, does that open up any scholarship possibilities for that person’s child?