Scholarships

NEVER pay to apply for a scholarship, unless you talk to Mrs. Ronnau first.

Looking for money to fund your college education? Now you can fill out your scholarship forms online and print them at home! Follow the links below for the scholarships you are interested in. Click on the fields and start typing the requested information.

NOTE: You cannot save the form with your typed information included. You must print the form out once you've finished filling in the fields.

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This Year's Scholarships - 2020-21 Deadlines

"No Essay" College Scholarship - August 31, 2020

Sustainability Scholarship - September 1, 2020

Don’t Text & Drive Scholarship - September 15, 2020

DDS Dental Scholarship - (You must go into dentistry) - Sept. 20, 2020

Community College Scholarship - September 30, 2020

Easy Scholarships - September 30, 2020

Don't Text and Drive Scholarship - Sept. 30, 2020

Our Shout it Out Scholarship - September 30, 2020

Money Metals Exchange Scholarship - Sept. 30, 2020

OppU Achievers Scholarship - Sept. 30, 2020

FAFSA opens up Oct. 1, 2020

Service Academy Nomination from Congressman Ron Estes (for any service academy) - October 1, 2020

Service Academy Nomination from Senator Pat Roberts (for any service academy) - October 1, 2020

Service Academy Nomination from Senator Jerry Moran (for any service academy) - October 1, 2020

Driven Coffe Roasters - October 1, 2020

Save a Life Scholarship - October 1, 2020 (students majoring in the healthcare and education fields)

AES Scholarship - Essay - When you look back on your life in 30 years, what would it take for you to consider your life successful? What relationships or accomplishments will be important on this journey?. Oct.5, 2020

Leaders Saves Lives Scholarship (Red Cross) ASAP

AAA 2020 World Photo Contest - October 12, 2020 (Must be 21 or older)

Rudd Scholarship (for Kansas residents who qualify for a Pell Grant) - Accepting applications Oct. 12- Dec. 11, 2020

Branson Shows Inspired Scholarship - October 15, 2020

Kansas Buffalo Association - October 15, 2020 You must be involved in raising bison and/or is planning to pursue a career in an agriculturally related field.

CJ Pony Parts Video Contest - October 15, 2020

Sixt Scholarship - Only the first 500 submitted applications will be accepted.

Wichita State University - Distinguished Scholarship Invitational (Must be admitted to WSU by Oct. 15) - Admissions Application Deadline for participation in DSI, Barton, Klose, Wallace, Koch, and McGregor Scholarship Competitions October 20, 2020

Wichita State University AGH Scholarship (Barton Scholarship - Must declare a business major - October 15, 2020

WSU College of Engineering (WISE) Must apply to WSU before Oct. 15, 2020

YoungArts' National Arts Competition - October 16, 2020

Dr. Pepper Tuition Give Away (You'll need to get people to go online and vote for you. October 18, 2020)

Horatio Alger Scholarships National Scholarship Oct. 25, 2020

Horatio Alger Kansas Scholarship Oct. 25, 2020

Heisman Scholarship - October 20, 2020

Chick Evans Scholarship for Caddies - October 30, 2020

https://www.jkcf.org/our-scholarships/college-scholarship-program/how-to-apply/Cooke College Scholarship - October 30, 2020 - (for high-achieving high school seniors with financial need) any 4 year college

Coca-Cola Scholarship October 31, 2020

A Voice of Democracy Scholarship - Oct. 31, 2020

"No Essay" College Scholarship - September 30, 2020

UMKC School of Medicine six-year B.A./M.D. Program - November 1, 2020

Electric Mobile Device IT Innovation Scholarship - November 1, 2020

Kansas State University Scholarships (College or University November 1, 2020 - Priority Deadline

University of Kansas Scholarships (College or University) November 1, 20120- Priority Deadline

WSU - Scholarships - Doris and Ralph Klose Scholarship high school seniors who declare a major in math or science teacher education at Wichita State University. -Nov. 1, 2019

The U.S. Department of State - The American Youth Leadership Program - November 5, 2020

(Joseph Carl and Brenna Leahy participated in this program.)

Prudential Spirit of the Community Scholarship (Open to ALL Middle school and ALL High School students) Nov. 10, 2020

Elks Most Valuable Student Competition - November 15, 2020

Hagan Scholarship (for Rural Students) November 15, 2020 (This is a NEED based scholarship. A CSHS student has won this scholarship.)

Fort Hays State University Scholarship November 15, 2020

James Cox Students Photography Scholarship - November 15, 2019

FormSwift Start up Scholarship -November 15, 2020

Sixt Scholarship - November 30, 2019, Only the first 500 submitted applications will be accepted.

Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial Scholarship - November 22, 2019 (How cancer has impacted your life? ANY form of cancer.)

Pet on the Bed Scholarship - November 24, 2020

Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. scholarship - November 30, 2019 (Must be Hispanic)

The Safe Pedestrians Scholarship - November 30, 2019

Sixt Scholarship - November 30, 2019, Only the first 500 submitted applications will be accepted.

Maid Sailors Big Dreams Scholarship - November 30, 2019 - Make a Video

Leaders Saves Lives Scholarship (Red Cross) ASAP

Washburn University Scholarship - December 1, 2019 (priority Deadline)

Dronethusiast $500 Women in Science Scholarship - December 1, 2019

Newman University Scholarships - Priority Deadline for Cardinal Newman Scholarships and others- December 1, 2019

Look Twice Save a Life - December 1, 2019

Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team Scholarship - December 1, 2019

Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Nursing Scholarship - December 1, 2019

Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law School Law Scholarship - December 1, 2019

Lamber-Goodnow Injury Medical Scholarship - December 1, 2019

Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law PT and OT Scholarship - December 1, 2019

University of Saint Mary Jubilee Scholarship (Full Tuition for 4 years) December 1, 2019

CT Chimney Repair - December 1, 2019

Creative Masonry - December 1, 2019

Dell Scholars Program - December 1, 2019 - You must have Participate in a program-approved college readiness program in grades 11 and 12

Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team Education Scholarship - December 1, 2019

Barbara Lotze Scholarship for future Physics teachers - December 1, 2019

Pre-Med Emporia State University - December 1, 2019

Injury Law Team Scholarship - December 1, 2019

National Space Club and Foundation - December 2, 2019

CG Trader Essay Scholarship - December 2, 2019

Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarship - December 5, 2019

Sapling Scholarship - December 5, 2020

Rudd Scholarship (for Kansas residents who qualify for a Pell Grant) - Accepting applications Oct. 14- Dec. 13, 2019

Wheatland Youth Tour Scholarship - December 13, 2019 (for JUNIORS ONLY)

Burger King Scholarship December 15, 2019 (Must be employed or a child of an employee of Burger King.)

AXA Achievements Scholarship December 15, 2019

Certa Law Group Scholarship - December 15, 2020

Dirk Derrick Law Firm Scholarship - December 15, 2019

Lead Roster Scholarship (you make a YouTube video) December 15, 2019

Ivy Panda Scholarship - December 16, 2020

Acacia Leadership Scholarship - December 17, 2019 (This is for a male going to K-State.)

Loofbourrow and Chase Scholarship (pdf form) - December 18, 2019 - to Mrs. Ronnau by 3:00

Loofbourrow and Chase Scholarship (word form) - December 18, 2019 - to Mrs. Ronnau by 3:00

Aaron Joel Smith Youth Volunteer Memorial Scholarship - December 20, 2019

Courtroom Crew Trial Attorney Student Scholarship - December 20, 2019

Andrew Flusche Scholarship Contest - December 30, 2019

United States Naval Academy - December 31, 2020

United States Air Force Academy - December 31, 2020

SuperMoney Financial Literacy - Dec. 31, 2019

NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund December 31, 2019

Imagine America Scholarship - December 31, 2019

Market Mall Eye Clinic Scholarship - December 31, 2019

PhentermineClinics Health Scholarship - December 31, 2019

BadCredit.org Wealth Wise Scholarship - December 31, 2019

OppU Achievers Scholarship - December 31, 2019

Nicodemus Wilderness Project December 31, 2019

Joanne Norris Scholarship - December 31, 2020

Navy ROTC Scholarship - December 31, 2020

4-H Scholarship - I can't find the due date for this year. Last year it was due January 15.

KU Hixson Scholarship January 3, 2020

GE Reagan Foundation Scholarship (leadership camp) January 3, 2020

Young Filmmakers Contest - January 5, 2020 (Open from 3rd grade to College)

Wheatland Electric Scholarship - January 10, 2020

KLL Memorial Scholarship January 10, 2020 (You must have a parent that died from cancer.) Caden Runnells received this scholarship in 2019.

Army ROTC Scholarship - February 24, 2021

Senior Caregiver Scholarship - January 15, 2020

Congress-Bundestag Vocational Scholarship (Study aboard - Germany) January 15, 2020

Providian Medical Scholarship - January 15, 2020

Dairy Farmers of America - January 15, 2020

Porch Skilled Trade & Technology Scholarship - January 15, 2020

KSDE AEOP Margaret Van Horn Scholarship - January 16, 2020

Sumner Cowley Electric Youth Tour - January 17, 2020 - scroll down

Sumner Cowley Electric Youth Tour - January 17, 2020 - writable

Leaders Saves Lives Scholarship (Red Cross) ASAP

Air Force ROTC Scholarship - January 14, 2021

United States Coast Guard Academy - January 15, 2021

Wichita Legal Professionals Scholarship - January 17, 2020

WMIA Scholarship (Woodworking) January 17, 2020

Profile in Courage Essay Contest - January 17, 2020

WMIA Scholarship (Woodworking) January 17, 2020

Girls Impact the World Film Festival - January 20, 2020

Thompson Family Scholarship - January 20, 2020 - For a CSHS senior ONLY going into the Industrial Arts field.

Alexander Hamilton Scholars - January 29, 2020 For JUNIORS

America's Farmers Grow Ag Leaders Scholarship January 22, 2020

Live Mas Scholarship (Taco Bell) - January 23, 2020+

Ternes Family - Jonathan A Memorial Scholarship - January 24, 2020

Ternes Family - Jonathan A Memorial Scholarship (in word)- January 24, 2020

Kansas JCI Senate Scholarship - January 24, 2020

Mount Builder Spirit Scholarship at Southwestern College - January 25, 2020 - This is a FULL tuition scholarship.

Pillars Scholarship at Southwestern College - January 25, 2020 - This is a FULL tuition scholarship.

Technology Addiction Awareness Scholarship - January 30, 2020

United States Military Academy - January 31, 2021

Redfin Real Estate -- January 31, 2020

Ag Day Essay Contest - January 31, 2020

Wheat Country Pheasant Forever & Quail Forever - January 31, 2020

United States Merchant Marine Academy - February 1, 2021

Pittsburg State University Scholarships February 1, 2020

Association for Women in Mathematics - February 1, 2020

Umps Care Charities Charities All-Star College Scholarship - February 1, 2020 - The All-Star Scholarship is open to children adopted at or after the age of 13.

Jackie Robinson Grants - February 1, 2020 - (addresses the financial needs of minority students)

BPW Scholarship- February 3, 2020 - word version

BPW Scholarship - February 3, 2020 - pdf

Car Seat Safety Scholarship - February 1, 2020

Engineer Girl Scholarship - February 1, 2020 Open to ALL grades

Kansas Farm Bureau @ Kansas State University February 1, 2020

Yonkers Honda Scholarship - February 4, 2020 Essay on a trip you took in your family car.

Butler County Community College Visual Arts Interview Day This also includes Fine Arts- Art Scholarships, Box Office Scholarships, Instrumental Music Scholarships, Keyboard Scholarships, Mass Communication Scholarships, Theatre Scholarships, Try-out date February 7 & 8, 2020

Endly Scholarship - February 7, 2020 - Must attend Emporia State University

Sumner Cowley Scholarship - February 7, 2020 - scroll down

Sumner Cowley Scholarship - February 7, 2020 - writable

Davidson Fellows Scholarship - February 12, 2020

Sedgwick County Electric Coop Youth Tour Application - Feb. 14, 2020

Hutchinson Community College Scholarships February 15, 2020

Evergy Craft Scholarship February 15, 2020

Leaders Saves Lives Scholarship (Red Cross) ASAP

Cowley County Community College - February 15, 2020

Flavorful Futures Scholarships - February 15, 2020

Scholarships for Military Dependents - Deadline may vary - Must be a Military Dependent

Fort Hays State University Balanced Man Scholarship - February 15, 2020

Kansas Association of Directors of Plant Facilities (Leora Seiler won this scholarship 4 years ago.) February 15, 2020

Simon Youth Scholarship - February 19, 2020 (This Towne East and West)

M3 Math Challenge - February 21, 2020 (This is for a small group of students.)

Ronald Reagan Presidential FoundationScholarship - February 22, 2020

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Student Essay Contest - January 23, 2020 (Open to ALL students)

Collars Scholarship (P.L.A.Y.) - February 28, 2020

Conway Springs Recreation - February 29, 2020

Butler Scholarship - March 1, 2020

Project Yellow Light - Billboard - March 1, 2020

CSHS Honor Society Scholarship - March 1, 2020 (pdf form)

CSHS Honor Society Scholarship- March 1, 2020 (word form)

Sedgwick County Farm Bureau Agricultural Association - March 1, 2020

Sedgwick County Farm Bureau Agricultural Association Scholarship Ambassador Program - March 1, 2020

Kansas Grain and Feed Association Scholarship - March 1, 2020

Kansas Farm Bureau Collegiate Scholarship March 1, 2020

Kansas Farm Bureau Technical School Scholarship March 1, 2020

Fred & Mary Koch Foundation scholarship - March 1, 2020 - Must be a dependent of full-time employee of Koch Industries.

Tortoise Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship - March 1, 2020 (for students in Kansas and Missouri only)

Tortoise Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship - March 1, 2020

Lori Dechant Foundation Scholarship (seniors in South Central Kansas with a physical disability) March 1, 2020

SkillsUSA Kansas Scholarship - March 1, 2020 - only for active paid members of SkillsUSA Kansas

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation scholarships to the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen - March 1, 2020

MKC Scholarship - March 1, 2020 - MKC member-owner or a MKC/TMA employee

Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Pro Deo and Pro Patria Scholarships - March 1, 2020

Knights of Columbus John W. McDevitt (Fourth Degree) Scholarships - March 1, 2020

2020 Kansas Farm Bureau Collegiate Scholarship March 1, 2020

Create-A-Greeting Card Scholarship Contest - March 2, 2020

Tony Bergkamp Scholarship - March 6, 2020

DCU for Kids Scholarship - March 6, 2020

Tzu Chi Scholarship - March 6, 2020

BBB Student of Integrity Award - Due March 6, 2020 - mail early (They give out 12 scholarships for $2,000 each.)

Northwestern Oklahoma State University. PLC - DUE March 9, 2020

Optimist Memorial Scholarship - March 13, 2020 (Must be a resident of Sedgwick County)

Conway Springs Staff Education Scholarship - March 13, 2020 Given to a CSHS

Scooter Inside Scholarship - March 15, 2020

Don’t Text & Drive Scholarship - March 15, 2020

BMW/SAE Engineering Scholarship March 15, 2020

KACRAO Scholarship - March 15, 2020 (This is a Kansas Scholarship.)

Leaders Saves Lives Scholarship (Red Cross) ASAP

Kansas Masonic Scholarships - (Numerous scholarships are available.) - March 15, 2020

Kansas Crime Stoppers Scholarship - March 16, 2020

Distracted Driving Family Plan Scholarship - March 17, 2020

Flag House Scholarship Award and Essay - March 27, 2021

White Rose Student Essay Contest - March 27, 2020

Wichita Chapter of Executive Women International - March 22, 2019

Kansas Junior Golf Assoc. Scholarship March 29, 2020

Maid Sailors Big Dreams Scholarship - March 31, 2020 - Make a Video

Jesse Williamson Scholarship - March 31, 2020 - Must be using music after high school

OppU Achievers Scholarship - March 31, 2020

Folds of Honor - March 31, 2020

All American $1000 Car Review/Essay Scholarship - March 31, 2021

Emporia State University - April 1, 2020

'Project Yellow Light - Video and Radio - April 1, 2020

Women in Computing Scholarship - April 1, 2020

Kansas Seed Industry Assoc. Scholarship - April 1, 2020

American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) Scholarship - April 1, 2020

Butler Scholarship - April 1, 2020

AFSA Scholarship - April 1, 2020

Kansas Financial Scholars Essay Scholarship Contest - April 1, 2020 - EVERYBODY completed in one of those games as a junior in Personal Finance class and as a Senior in CSI. You can ALL apply.

Conway Springs High School Booster Club Scholarship - in pdf - April 2, 2020

Conway Springs High School Booster Club Scholarship - in word - April 2, 2020

Haviland Telephone Scholarship - April 3, 2020

KCCEOA Scholarship April 3, 2020

National High School Essay Contest - April 6, 2020

American Foreign Service Association Essay Contest - April 6, 2020

Conway Springs High School Principal's Scholarship - April 7, 2020 - This includes a $500 scholarship.

Sumner County Farm Bureau - April 10, 2020

Driver Safety Scholarship - April 10, 2020

KTA Design Contest - April 12, 2020 - grades 8-12

CJ Pony Parts Video Contest - April 15, 2021

American Legion Legacy Scholarship (Your parent must have been in the military on 9/11/2001.)April 15, 2020

We The Students Scholarship Contest - April 15, 2020

WTU Scholarship - April 15, 2020 - Word - This was given to two Conway Springs High School seniors last year. Turn applications into Mrs. Ronnau. Mrs. Boyles will pick them up

WTU Scholarship - April 15, 2020 - PDF - - This was given to two Conway Springs High School seniors last year. Turn applications into Mrs. Ronnau. Mrs. Boyles will pick them up

College JumpStart Scholarship - April 15, 2020

Kansas Star Casino Scholarship April 17, 2020 - The application process for the Class of 2020.

Sustainability Scholarship - April 22, 2020

"Celebrate the West" regional art competition - April 30, 2020

Chester Entrepreneur Scholarship -April 30, 2020

Voy Media Entrepreneur Scholarship - April 30, 2020

E-waste Scholarship - April 30, 2020

McCormick & Murphy Scholarship - April 30, 2021

O’Brate Foundation Regular Scholarship - May 1, 2020

Autoaccident Scholarship - May 1, 2020

The 2020 Essay Contest - May 1, 2020

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Freshmen Application: March 1, 2020 - May 1, 2020

Kansas Military Service Scholarship May 1, 2020 (or SOONER) The FAFSA, must be completed by April 1.

Save a Life Scholarship - May 1, 2020

Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship May 1, 2020 (or SOONER) Scroll down

Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant May 1, 2020 (or SOONER) Scroll down

Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance May 1, 2020 (or SOONER) Scroll down

Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship May 1, 2020 (or SOONER) Scroll down

Kansas State Scholarship May 1, 2020 (or SOONER) Scroll down

Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship May 1, 2020 (or SOONER) Scroll down

Rover Scholarship - May 1, 2020

DutchCrafters Heritage Scholarship - May 2, 2020

Red Cross Leaders Save Lives - May 2, 2020

Aging Matters Scholarship - May 15, 2020

Theo & Alfred M. Landon Photo Contest - May 15, 2021

Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship - May 31, 2020 (for JUNIORS)

Fleming Scholarship - June 5, 2020

Abbott and Fenner Scholarship June 12, 2020

Big Sun Athletic Scholarship June 19, 2020

Rosen & Ohr Scholarship - July 20, 2020

HomeTheorys Scholarship - July 17, 2020

2020 Ponton Law Scholarship - July 31, 2020

Kansas Balanced Man Scholarship - May 1, 2019

Girls State - JUNIORS GIRLS ONLY - May 1, 2019

KMCA Scholarship (in a transportation related field) - May 3, 2019

Future Champions Scholarship - May 17, 2019

B. Davis Scholarship - May 24, 2019

Liiaison's Data-Inspired Future Scholarship - May 31, 2019 (It says Oct. 31 but there is a deadline for the fall semester of May 31.)

Law Company Family Scholarship - June 1, 2019 (Applicant must be a child or step-child of a Law Company employee)

Mesothelioma Help Cancer Scholarship - July 20, 2019

OppU Achievers Scholarship - June 30, 2019

Recovery Village Health Care Scholarship - June 30, 2019

Spirit of Giving Scholarship - July 31, 2021

XBOSoft STEM Scholarship - August 1, 2021

Emporia State University Balanced Man Scholarship - August 1, 2021

American Indian College Fund - Deadlines may vary

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund - Deadline vary

Hispanic College Fund - Deadlines may vary

Midwest Student Exchange Program - Dates Vary

Prom Picture Contest - Dates Vary

NUMEROUS Scholarships in Business and Accounting - Deadline Vary - Scroll Down.

Accounting Degree Scholarships from DiscoverBusiness.us

Business Degree Scholarships from DiscoverBusiness.us

Scholarship Sites:

Here are a few scholarship sites that USA Today checked out.

Cappex

Chegg

CollegeNet

College Resource Network

Fastweb

Finaid.org

Free-4U

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

International Scholarships

Money Geek

Scholarship Experts

Scholarships

Scholarship Points

School Soup

Super College

The Sallie Mae Fund Scholarship Search

United Negro College Fund

Peerlift

The key to getting a scholarship is to know well in advance what scholarships are available, how to find them, how to apply for them and finally to actually complete and turn it in before the deadline.

What Exactly is a Scholarship?

Scholarships are essentially free money provided by various organizations or individual benefactors to assist worthy students in pursuing higher education. They can be quite large (although these are harder to find or qualify for) and they can be small just a few hundred dollars. Small scholarships should not be overlooked because it’s possible to qualify for several and they can add up.

Grants are also free money, but they are provided by the federal and state government as well as directly from certain schools. Grants are usually need-based and there is no requirement to repay them. Another form of federal aid is work-study, where you are provided a job earning at least minimum wage and your earnings are applied to college expenses.

Types of Scholarships

There are more scholarships out there than you can imagine. While fewer kids can qualify for the full tuition scholarships (although you can’t rule it out if your kid is an exceptional student), there are lots of smaller scholarships to be had. The most common misconception about scholarships is that only the smartest, most talented, or most athletic students need to apply. That is far from the truth. There are literally thousands of scholarships available through local community organizations, national associations, churches, ethnic organizations, private companies, and individual benefactors. Some scholarships are awarded based on achievement, while others are awarded just for applying. There could be a dozen with your name on it. You just need to know where to look and how to apply for them.

While many are merit-based awarded for academic or athletic achievement, others are more interested in the quality of your character and vision for the future. In searching for potential scholarships, you will find a seemingly unlimited number of options – some very unique. Here are some examples of what you will find:

Community service scholarships: Available to any student who actively participates in community services activities. Check with your local community organizations.

First in family scholarships: Many organizations seek to encourage students who are the first in their family to aspire to college.

Special scholarships: Students with special or creative talents or interests can find a plethora of scholarships available. There are even scholarships available for students interested in duck calling, or those who can speak “Klingon”.

Military scholarships: Dozens of organizations award scholarships to students with family members, including fathers, mothers, siblings, grandparents, who have served in the military.

Writing Scholarships: If your student has average grades but a knack for writing, there are hundreds of scholarships awarded based almost entirely on a written essay.

Searching for Scholarships

Because of the number of different scholarships that are available, and the fact that they are not all widely advertised, it’s important to be proactive in locating opportunities and applying early on. Begin your search with one of the "Scholarship Sites" (listed above) where you can complete a questionnaire and then use their service to match your child with dozens of potential scholarships. The next place to start looking is in your community. Tap into your associations with fraternal organizations, heritage organizations, employers, and community leaders. High school counselors can be a good resource for finding local scholarships as well.

Your first course of action should be to list potential benefactors starting with local community organizations, affiliations with religious or ethnic groups, employers of your family members, social organizations to which family members belong, and non-profit organizations in your area. You should also make a list of the colleges you are considering as they may also have resources. With your list, meet with your school guidance counselor to enlist their help in mapping out your search.

Your best search tool is the Internet, but don’t ignore networking and word-of-mouth. The more people who know of your determination to earn a scholarship, the more opportunity you have of finding the diamond in the rough. Be prepared to complete lots of scholarship applications.

Learn to Write Effective College Scholarship Essays

Essays are not just required by writing scholarships. Nearly all scholarship providers require an essay as part of the application process. Scholarship providers are interested to learn more about applicants through thoughtfully written essays that reveal more of their character and ability to communicate. Students who are able to write a quality essay stand a better chance of catching the attention of scholarship committees, so it is important to put the effort into writing a scholarship-worthy essay. To ensure that you submit a winning essay every time, follow these tips.

    • Make sure you clearly understand the writing assignment. Read the instructions several times.

    • Give a lot of thought to what you want to write. Do a brain-dump of your thoughts on paper and then organize them around a theme.

    • Create an outline of the essay, making sure it touches on all of the elements stated in the instructions.

    • Begin writing your essay by expanding on the key points in your outline.

    • Write clearly with concise and simple language.

    • Pay extra attention to your grammar and spelling. It is the one time when you should be shooting for perfection.

    • Read the instructions again and then read your essay out loud to see if it covers the essential points.

    • Ask someone with strong writing skills to proofread your essay.

Getting a Letter of Recommendation

Next to the essay, the most important part of your scholarship application is a letter of recommendation. Who you choose to provide you a letter of recommendation is just as important as what that person might have to say about you. Having your Uncle Ned or the person who babysat you when you were young will carry no weight, regardless of all the good things they say about you. In fact, the scholarship committee will consider the “quality” of the person recommending you in their decision.

The person recommending you should not only be very familiar with your background and qualifications, his or her own background and experience should be relevant to the scholarship for which you are applying. For example, if you community service is a part of the scholarship’s criteria, you should ask a past supervisor from the organization where you participated. In other words, be sure to choose a person who is appropriate for the scholarship you are seeking.

To help your letter writer, you should give them all of the information they need about the scholarship. You could take it a step further and provide them with a sheet of bullet points of things you've done in high school. Just be sure the bullets don’t state anything about you that they wouldn’t agree with. You will also want to have the letter printed on their letterhead.

Finally, make it really easy for them to comply by providing a large mailing envelop and postage. Throughout your interaction with them, make sure you show your appreciation and remind them of the important role they are playing in helping you pay for college.

Avoiding Scholarship Scams

Scholarship search services are a big industry for parents who are desperate to land a scholarship for their students. So naturally, the industry attracts its share of scammers and fraudsters. It is estimated that more than 350,000 students and families fall prey to these scams every year. The legitimate scholarship search firms can be very effective in widening your search, but as you begin to look into these types of services, keep your eye out for these popular scams:

Upfront Payments: Never pay an application processing fee or send any money upfront. And most definitely do not provide any bank or credit card information. It doesn’t cost money to submit a scholarship application, so if you are asked for upfront money, it is probably a scam. Do your due diligence. There are plenty of free scholarship search organizations you can work with that don’t require any fees.

Guaranteed Results: There are no guarantees when it comes to winning scholarships. If you are offered a refund if a scholarship isn’t granted, it is probably a scam. Remember the previous rule – no upfront payments.

We do the work for you”: Yes, there is a lot of work involved in researching and applying for scholarships, so an offer to take that off your hands is tempting. It doesn’t matter though because you must still apply for scholarships yourself.

Do the Necessary Financial Planning for College Funding

It should be noted that, while scholarships are a great source of college financing, a number of scholarship dollars you receive will reduce the amount of financial aid money you can obtain. So, they should first be considered as an option if your financial situation might preclude you from receiving need-based grants, subsidized student loans, or even private student loans. If you are eligible for need-based grants, you will need to work with your school counselor or a financial aid specialist to determine if the offset would reduce your overall financial aid when both grants and scholarships are included.

Don’t Give Up

There are literally thousands of scholarships available. It takes a lot of work to find and apply for them. It also takes a lot of perseverance, because you could get turned down for all of them. But, you can’t give up trying, because it is a numbers game. In addition, your qualifications can change over the course of a year. Any change in your academic or personal circumstances could make the difference on any of the scholarships for which you have already applied. Also, new scholarships are being created all the time. To win the scholarships game, you simply need to persevere – continue to search, follow up, and reapply as warranted. Somewhere, there is a scholarship with your name on it.

Dates Vary