Thanks to the various kinds of scholarships available, asking for a
70-year advance on your weekly allowance isn't your only option for
paying for college. But don't be confused by the many kinds of 'free
money' out there. A closer look at the types of scholarships available
will help you figure out how to pay your way.
Besides using glossy brochures, cute mascots and sweatshirts emblazoned
with their names, colleges and universities attract new students by
offering scholarships. They also have award programs to help current
students with their academic careers. Some of these scholarships you
have to apply for; others you receive automatically for being a good
These scholarships award students based on a variety of achievements,
from high academic performance, to leadership ability, to artistic
accomplishment. Financial need may also be considered. Often, you
won't apply for these awards; appropriate recipients are chosen based
on entrance applications.
Some college departments offer awards to students who show promise and
achievement in one of their majors. To find out about these
opportunities, call the Dean's office in your area of study.
Scholarships are one of the main ways colleges attract top athletes.
You can receive anything from a small award to a full ride. Talk to
your high school coach or counselor and check out the FastWeb feature "Play
Ball!: The Athletic Scholarship Game" in the Scholarship
section of FastFocus to learn more.
Fellowships are awards offered to incoming graduate students.
Generally these awards accompany admission to a graduate program and
cover all expenses, including tuition and a living stipend.
For more information on these scholarships, contact the financial aid
office at your school or follow up with specific organizations.
Your school isn't the only one who wants to give you money. Some private
scholarships are available as early as your junior year in high school.
They are a little harder to find, but resources like the FastWeb Scholarship
Search and FinAid can help, or
try contacting these associations on your own.
Businesses and Corporations
Corporations use scholarships to advertise the company name and
attract future employees, while giving the student financial
assistance and professional contacts. Start with local businesses and
move on to the bigger companies like Coca-Cola and Procter &
Gamble. Try calling local firms and check out the Web sites of
national companies to see what awards they offer.
Many professional associations, like the American Federation of
Teachers International and the Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers,
offer scholarships to encourage students in their field. Check the
FastWeb listing of professional
associations or use a search engine to find more.
Clubs and Groups in Your Community
Local civic groups and organizations, like the Rotary Clubs and the
Jaycees, offer lots of scholarships. Scan your local newspaper, visit
the Chamber of Commerce and speak with your high school counselor to
The Religious Community
Churches and other places of worship often sponsor scholarships. Also
check with worship-oriented service groups. You may not have to be a
member; some use criteria like community service or financial need to
To encourage minority involvement and increase diversity, many
organizations, like the Hispanic College Fund or Women In
Communication, use race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual
orientation as eligibility requirements for their scholarships.
Your Parent's Boss
Does your mother work for Procter & Gamble? Is Dad a member of the
AFL/CIO? Check with your parents' employers or labor unions to see if
they offer awards to children of their employees.
Other Parent Affiliations
Is your dad an Elk? Does your mom work with the Chamber of Commerce?
Ask if the clubs and organizations they belong to offer scholarships.
Be sure to include veterans groups, professional organizations and
patriotic, civil and fraternal associations.
Learn more about the different kinds of opportunities available to
make your education more affordable. But try for an advance on your