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Learning Center.

Welcome to the Mentor and Mentee Learning Center

Scholarship Toolkit

This article will help you gain a wider understanding of where your mentee can search for scholarships, organize deadlines, and help you articulate the importance of scholarships in the college application process. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What are “outside scholarships?”

They are private sources of financial aid. 

How can your mentee receive one?

Most scholarships require an application – separate from FAFSA – and essay(s).

Who gives scholarships?

They are offered by national corporations/institutions, local businesses, community-based organizations, and private foundations. 

When are they due?

Deadlines vary by scholarship – have your mentee check early and often during their college-search process. 

Where can I use them?

Most can be applied to any school, but some can only be used for college(s) in a specific location (e.g. region, state).

Why should I care?

Scholarships are an excellent supplemental source of aid to cover remaining costs after financial aid from your mentee's school. 

Search Tips:

Assemble the Pieces

  • Two or more recommendation letters. Have your mentee ask adults (non-family) who know them well: teachers, counselors, coaches, program and work supervisors. Remember: recommendations can typically be used for multiple scholarships.
  • Official high school transcript.
  • Bookmark scholarship applications as you find them – save time when you’re ready to apply.

Search Local Scholarships First 

  • Have your mentee find scholarships from their city, state or region.
  • Ask around: Your mentee's school, neighborhood, community organization, employer, or place of worship may have scholarships that they sponsor each year.

Find Scholarships that Fit 

  • Does your mentee qualify to apply? Check requirements for GPA, ethnicity, neighborhood of residence, family income, and leadership or volunteer experience.

Represent Yourself Well 

  • Make sure your mentee highlights strengths, achievements, goals, and challenges they have overcome.
  • Make sure your mentee reads scholarship directions very carefully - turn in everything on time.


iMentor Scholarship Guide

This guide provides links to current scholarships and gives you and your mentee a space to track applications! Click here to access the guide.

National Scholarship Searches

College Board

  • On the Pay for College tab, select Scholarships and Grants
  • Search for scholarships based upon eligibility criteria with Scholarship Search 

Fast Web

  • Join to see scholarship matches and receive emails with upcoming scholarships
  • Create or update profile to be matched with scholarships

College Greenlight

  • Under Fund Your Education tab, click on My Scholarships
  • Create an account to find scholarship matches

IL & Chicago Scholarships