Since the price of a college education continues to rise, most students are forced to take out loans to pay for housing, tuition, books, and all the other costs that are associated with going to school. In most cases, college loans come from traditional lending institutions or the U. S. government. Some students receive grants and scholarships to help offset the cost of getting a college degree. If you’re looking for financial help that will alleviate the cost of a college education, you may be interested in the following tips for getting private scholarships.
What Is a Private Scholarship?
Those scholarships that aren’t directly associated with the local, state, or federal government are considered to be private scholarships. The majority of private scholarships come from businesses or organizations, but some are endowed by private individuals. A private scholarship can come from virtually any business, organization, or individual who wants to help young people further their education.
Finding a Scholarship
There are numerous businesses and organizations that provide financial aid to deserving college students. The trick for you is to find out who is offering a scholarship and determine how to qualify for the aid. There are many ways to go about this. One way is to go online and search for information on financial aid for college students. A good source to start your search may be to go to www.scholarships.com. This website contains a great deal of information regarding what is available and will help you get started in your search for private scholarships. Another source is www.collegescholarships.org. Spending a few minutes or hours searching these links will help you find out what scholarships may be available and what the qualifications are for receiving them. There are numerous additional sources of information available concerning scholarships that you can find by searching the Internet.
More Internet Help
Another way to use the Internet to find out about available private scholarships is to search the websites of companies whose products you’ve used. Large corporations, such as Pepsi Cola or Coca Cola may offer scholarships. Other companies, such as Wal-Mart or Johnson & Johnson, could be your source of financial aid. There is no guarantee that any of these companies offer scholarships, or that you’d qualify if they do. The point is that searching the websites of major corporations may prove beneficial.
Financial Help Closer to Home
You may not need to rely on large corporations for financial aid. The scholarship you seek may be a lot closer to home. Many local businesses and organizations offer financial help to college students every year. A good place to start is with your parent’s employers. Even some small and moderately-sized companies offer scholarships to deserving individuals. Benevolent organizations, such as Kiwanis, Rotary, Knights of Columbus, or the Lions Club, sometimes offer scholarships. Nature centers, historical societies, and arts groups are well known as supporters of higher education and will frequently provide a scholarship to college-bound youngsters. Religious organizations are also a potential source of financial assistance. So are unions, especially the larger ones, such as AFL-CIO.
In many cases, an individual will set aside money, either while they’re still alive or as a provision in their will to supply funds for a private scholarship. Many of these are aimed at people who have shown a particular interest that is in line with the thoughts and aspirations of the person endowing the money. An example might be that someone who has devoted their lives to helping people in third-world countries may offer a scholarship to a college student who has shown a similar interest throughout their high school career. Or, someone who has been involved with saving the planet may leave scholarship money in their name to a person who is involved in finding new, green energy sources. The number and variety of private scholarships of this nature are countless. All you have to do is find them.
Contact Your Counselor
While you’re still in school, before you reach your senior year, you should maintain steady contact with your high school counselor. They can be instrumental in helping you find sources of private scholarships. They are trained to know what scholarships are available or at least have the knowledge to help you seek out sources of financial aid.
Guest post from Mickey Scott. Mickey writes for CreditReport.org.