Kelly Wentz, Financial Aid
Scholarship searching is the equivalent of having a second (or third) job! Many scholarships require essays along with their applications, and with the Internet, searching for scholarships can take endless hours. Yet, the time and energy spent can help alleviate student loans that will have to be paid back once your student is done with school.
With all these “Googling” options, how do you cut to the chase in applying for scholarships? Or should you? To assist you and your student with scholarship searches, we’ve gathered some tips and resources to help you through the clutter.
- Start now! That is, if you haven’t already started, get on the ball. Many scholarships have deadlines that are fast approaching and some can take time to process.
- More is more. There are hundreds of scholarships out there, some easier to find than others. Consider scholarships like buried treasure – you’re the pirate looking for that magical treasure…without a map…so you’re going to have to dig a few holes.
- While digging those holes, leave no stone unturned. Talk to your church, think about your hobbies, your lifestyle, those little nuggets that make you “you” – and search for scholarships that might incorporate your religion, your interests, the fact that you are the first in college, etc. Research your family and see if there is a scholarship that matches some of your lineage.
- Think global, buy local! Don’t forget to search in your own backyard. There are many clubs and organizations that offer scholarships within their local chapters, schools, employers, and churches. Be sure to talk with everyone you can about any opportunities they may have.
- Stay organized. With all this searching, it is recommended that you keep a spreadsheet of all the scholarships you’ve applied for, the application materials they require, what’s been sent, how many copies of transcripts you need to order, due dates and deadlines.
- Keep searching. Just because you’ve been accepted and/or have already started your college career doesn’t mean scholarship opportunities have come to an end. Many opportunities are still available after you’ve begun college. Be sure to check with your department of study to see if they know of any additional scholarships and also check Gonzaga’s Outside Scholarship Database which is updated regularly.
- Remember, if a site is requiring you to pay a “membership fee” or some other registration fee, it’s usually a scam – or at the very least, they’re offering the same service you can have for free.
Below are some other recommended sites for searching for scholarships:
- osac.state.or.us (Oregon residents)