Private scholarships are sponsored, administered and awarded by a wide variety of private agencies, organizations or individual donors. These scholarships are a significant way to fund education. The advantage is obvious—it’s freedom: private scholarships allow students to select their own educational institutions. Private scholarship awards are somewhat like cash. Students combine them, mix them, and use them for whatever purposes they have. Private scholarships are not restricted to academics either. There are a wealth of scholarship dollars available for athletes, minorities, the disabled, and students involved in community service, just to name a few. These scholarships are awarded through the Scholarship Office and through departments within the colleges. Most private scholarships have their own applications, which you must send for, complete, and return to either the college or the scholarship sponsor, depending on instructions. These applications have their own deadlines.