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.
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.
- Print 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.
- Applications should be typed or very neatly written in pen – not crumpled, smudged, or food-stained.
National Scholarship Searches
- On the Pay for College tab, select Scholarships and Grants
- Search for scholarships based upon eligibility criteria with Scholarship Search
- Join to see scholarship matches and receive emails with upcoming scholarships
- Create or update profile to be matched with scholarships
- Under Fund Your Education tab, click on My Scholarships
- Create an account to find scholarship matches
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- United Negro College Fund
- Asian & Pacific Islander American (APIASF) Scholarship Fund
- US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC) Scholarships
- National Indian Education Association
- American Indian College Fund
- The Arab American Institute
- Human Rights Campaign
- Educators for a Fair Consideration
- College Scholarships for Black Students
- Scholarship Opportunities for Black Students
- oxyGEN Scholarship - to encourage and promote incoming college students interested in STEM
- T. L. Webb's Promising Pearls Academic Scholarship
- Cappex Scholarships
IL & Chicago Scholarships
- Chicago Public Schools College Scholarship Guide
- CPS External Opportunities
- Pullman Scholars
- IL College Match Schools
- Academic Works Scholarships 17-18 Contact List
- Summer Programs for HS Students
- Society of Women Engineers Chicago Regional Section Scholarship Application
- Illinois Sheriffs’ Association Scholarship, Deadline March 15 – NO GPA or SAT requirement. Only for students going to an IL college.
- CORE’s Que Llueva Café Scholarship, Deadline March 17 – ONLY for Undocumented/DACA students.
- Chicago Urban League Scholarship, Deadline March 23, Minimum 2.5 GPA required. Undocumented students are also eligible.
- Back 2 School Illinois Scholarship, Deadline April 1 – NO GPA or SAT requirement, students received a paper application in class
- Dr. Angela Perez Miller Scholarship Fund, Deadline April 20, NO GPA or SAT requirement, for students of Latino/immigrant descent. Undocumented students are also eligible.
- FLIP(Future Leaders in Planning) is the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's (CMAP) leadership development program for high school students in northeastern Illinois
- Imani Pearls - Community Development Foundation