Have you ever heard the story of the student who didn’t apply to any scholarships and received $90,000 in grants? There are so many scholarships available to college students—from local state organizations to private foundations—that it may seem overwhelming to try and find them all on your own. To make your search easier, try these seven secret places to find scholarships you didn’t know existed!
1) Families Against Narcotics
Founded in 1985, Families Against Narcotics was created by a mother whose son suffered from heroin addiction. The goal of FAN is to reduce demand for illegal drugs while providing support and resources for families of those affected by drug abuse. While no longer in operation, FAM still has an extensive list of scholarships available online that students can use as references when applying for college scholarships. If you are researching organizations related to drug abuse, be sure not to overlook FAN’s scholarship opportunities as they don’t appear on popular scholarship search sites but could save you some valuable time and money.
2) The Arthritis Foundation
If you have arthritis, chances are you’re eligible for a number of scholarships. Many of these are given out by organizations associated with arthritis awareness, treatment, and research. For example, the Arthritis Foundation has been giving out scholarships since 1969—and today awards more than $2 million in financial aid annually. Scholarship amounts can vary greatly depending on how well your application is received, but don’t be shy about applying even if it’s for a smaller amount; just being a part of a national philanthropic initiative could get your name in front of new employers. If you think scholarship applications aren’t worth your time because they aren’t a good match with your skill set or college major…think again!
3) Nursing Scholarships
There are dozens of scholarships for nurses, but you might not know about them unless your school advertises them. Even if you don’t consider nursing a career choice, applying for one of these awards could provide financial support for your college tuition. One tip: If you work in a hospital or doctor’s office, ask about internal scholarships for employees; more than likely there is an application that requires minimal effort and could result in some extra cash. Search on: Nursing Scholarship or Scholarship For Nurses
4) Binders Full of Women
A woman once told me that in her experience, men write scholarship essays differently than women. Men are more likely to share their achievements, while women are more likely to share how they’ve overcome challenges or some other negative obstacle. While that may be true, when writing an essay for a scholarship (or any type of essay, really), it’s important not to dwell on your problems. Instead, focus on your achievements and skills and showcase those traits that make you unique! To help you get started on yours, check out these 7 tips for crafting an outstanding scholarship essay.
In addition to these seven ideas, here are two additional tips: First, if you haven’t been asked to include grades in your application packet yet, wait until you do before including them. This way no one will be able to discriminate against you based on GPA alone—which is something I know all too well as someone who was turned down from several scholarships during my high school years because my GPA wasn’t high enough. Second, don’t take yourself too seriously—if you can find humor in what has been a challenging time for you or have done something interesting with a skill set that might seem unusual for someone else then highlight those elements!
5) RN Case Manager Grants & Fellowships
RN Case Manager Grants & Fellowships provides $1,000 cash prizes for nurses pursuing advanced degrees. The scholarships are awarded in six categories: nurse educator, nurse practitioner/clinical specialist, clinical nurse specialist, public health nursing and graduate nursing student of merit. The non-renewable grants can be used toward any accredited graduate program in nursing or related field of study. Additionally, many colleges offer scholarships that do not require a GPA requirement; some examples include loans and research opportunities. Nursing students who have a GPA above 3.0 should check with their college’s financial aid office for more information on available awards.
Before applying for a scholarship, you should first take steps to ensure your eligibility by researching each award separately (see resources below). All awards have specific criteria that must be met before applications will be considered, so make sure you meet all of them before submitting an application. And don’t forget to submit your application early! Some awards have very strict deadlines while others accept applications on a rolling basis until they reach their quota.
6) City Year Internships
If you’re interested in making a difference in a low-income community, you can apply for a City Year Internship. Not only do these internships pay well but they also give students an opportunity to explore issues of social justice while gaining experience with nonprofit work. Additionally, applicants are encouraged to tackle projects that align with their passions and interests. For example, if you’re interested in environmental activism or education equality, there are specific City Year Programs designed around those issues! Be sure to look into applying for one today!
7) FSP Family Scholarship Program
The FSP Family Scholarship Program is available to all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) who have at least one parent who is a current FSP contributor or has a General Authority Award in her or his name. The criteria for these awards are based on scholastic performance, church activity, community service and financial need. While many scholarships come and go throughout each year, you can count on FSP’s seven permanent general scholarships to be available throughout your entire educational career. Most other awards are only offered during specified cycles so it’s essential that you plan ahead if you want to ensure availability for any given award cycle. Be sure to check out FSP’s scholarship database for more information about specific awards.