How to Get a Scholarship


College scholarships mare often made available from foundations, community organizations, and organizations related to your field of interest (for example, the American Medical Association or American Bar Association). Contact the organizations directly for detailed information. Check with your parents' employers to see whether they award scholarships or have tuition payment plans. Although funds from these sources make up a small percentage of the total aid awarded each year, it's worth doing the research - you never know what you might find.




  • the financial aid office at your college or career school
  • a high school counselor
  • the U.S. Department of Education
  • other federal agencies (including the military, if appropriate)
  • your state education agency
  • the reference section of your school or public library
  • the Internet
  • foundations, religious organizations, community organizations, local businesses, and civic groups
  • organizations (including professional associations) related to your field of interest
  • ethnicity-based organizations
  • your employer or your parents' employers
  • free scholarship search services


Check with all of these sources before considering paying for a scholarship search or other financial aid service.


A number of privately operated scholarship search services charge fees that can range from $50 to well over $500. It is important to understand what information scholarship search services can provide. Some can be helpful in identifying sources of aid for students who meet certain criteria, such as academic achievement, religious affiliation, ethnic or racial heritage, artistic talents, athletic ability, career plans, or proposed field of study. However, bear in mind that funds from these sources are usually limited and not all applicants will receive awards.


Listed below are some of the services you might reasonably expect from a private scholarship search service.


Most scholarship search services provide a list of sources of financial assistance you may apply for. After studying the list, you then send a separate application to each source that interests you. The scholarship search service does not apply on your behalf or pay any additional application fees that may be required.


Many search services offer to refund your fee if you do not receive any award. However, some services require you to provide a rejection letter from every source on the list to claim your refund. You should be aware that many scholarship sources do not routinely send rejection letters. Make sure you get the scholarship search service's refund policy in writing before paying any money.