Parents and students interested in academic and other scholarships may find it useful to review college catalogs with an eye to the schools’ emphasis on awards. Does the catalog note how many scholarship winners attended the college in the prior year? Does the catalog include a description of how the college identifies students who may be promising candidates for scholarships?
A number of schools place considerable emphasis on the support and expertise they can offer to students interested in pursuing scholarship monies and programs. Additionally, local scholarships are good places for students to start.
Many foundations target their awards to students from a particular geographic area, ethnic group, or field of study. These tend to be relatively modest, such as one-time grants of $2,500 limited to students with a demonstrated financial need. Of course, with college costs exceeding $40,000 a year at many schools, demonstrating financial need is becoming easier and easier for many candidates.
Though not foolproof, the Web is a great source of information on scholarships. U.S. News and World Report has a “find a scholarship” function on its college Web site (www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/ dollars/scholar/search.htm).
The Web site lets you conduct quick searches for scholarships based on categories such as ethnicity, athletics, art, corporations, organizations, and the military. The site also permits the user to search for scholarships by keyword or phrase such as the award name, school name, organization, or corporation issuing the award.
For example, you may search for the phrase “Duke” if you are interested in scholarships for students of Duke University, or you may search for “Levi Strauss” if you are interested in scholarships offered to children of Levi Strauss employees. When searching, use full names. Abbreviations such as “MIT” will not work.