Many civic, corporate, and private organizations offer students awards based on place of residence, background, professional affiliation, academic achievement, or intended field of study. There are thousands of private organizations that offer scholarship awards, ranging from $50 to $20,000 and more. Within the “private” category there are many types of organizations to consider. By far, private scholarships offer college students the largest source of free money for education because there are literally hundreds of THOUSANDS of programs out there!
Corporations offer scholarships to attract and retain employees, support the communities where the business is located and encourage entrants into the business’ field of work. These are often the scholarships that go unawarded for lack of applicants.
Search for corporation scholarships by checking with your parents’ employers for possible programs, researching businesses in your region and searching your newspaper’s archives for award announcements. You may have a much greater chance of receiving a private corporation award because geographic, employment and other restrictions narrow the number of candidates.
Religious organizations often award scholarships to help their members afford the cost of college. If you and your family are affiliated with a specific religious group, check with your local group about the availability of scholarships.
Unions are a major source of scholarship funds. The AFL-CIO website offers a scholarship search service related to union-sponsored scholarships that includes $4,000,000 in available funds.
Your high school may offer scholarships to graduating students. Your high school guidance counselor can provide information about availability.
Chambers often have scholarship programs and they can be great sources of information about which businesses in your community offer scholarships.
The ubiquitous category “other” is really the mother lode of scholarship opportunities. There are thousand of scholarships available, given by organizations who wish to further their mission by supporting the education of students. This category of scholarships is the reason for using a web search engine to identify suitable opportunities in this vast universe of money offers.
The military is a well-known source of college scholarships. The Air Force ROTC program can pay up to full college tuition plus a stipend for books. Military scholarships are awarded in return for a tour of duty with the branch of the military supporting your education. Be sure you’re prepared to fulfill the terms of your scholarship agreement. If the prospect of military service fits with your goals, a military scholarship may be an excellent way for you to underwrite your college education.