Where the money really is
There are lots of different types of scholarships available to students, from church-based opportunities to corporate competitions. Everyone wants to be the one who wins the Coca Cola scholarship and a completely funded education, because a corporation deemed them creative and innovative. Wouldn't that be great to have on your resume?
Other popular and well known scholarships include the National Merit, the Rhodes, the Fulbright, and the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship. These awards generally come with a high payout, and could realistically help you get through school debt-free. However, the problem with these types of large and well advertised scholarships is that students from all across country, and even the world, will be applying. That's a lot of competition!
If you're one of the many hopeful students who unfortunately ends up with no scholarship, it can be a hit to both your resume and your bank account. It's a great idea to apply to any and all scholarships available, but the best students know how to hedge their bets. For example, a lot of people who are applying for the big prizes don't necessarily qualify for local scholarships, which leaves a lot of money available for you.
The truth is that you're more likely to find a scholarship through local organizations family connections to groups or corporations. It's good to ask around to find out exactly what's available to you. Try the following resources to find excellent, unadvertised scholarship opportunities:
- websites of local and state government offices
- church or religious organizations with which your family is involved
- your local chamber of commerce
- your local newspaper for news items or advertisements
Some of these local scholarship opportunities may be smaller in dollar value, but they're still a great source of funding and make excellent additions to your resume or transcript. Local scholarship programs are usually more flexible regarding the number of awards you can receive. Some of the larger awards stipulate that the recipient be receiving no other funding.
You may also want to search news resources such as Google News to broaden your horizons: search your county name, your state's name and the names of other cities in your state or province, as well as your school, your program and any extra curricular activities you're involved in. Group these with the word "scholarship" and you might find yourself with a variety of options you never knew existed!