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.
- 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
- 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
IL & Chicago Scholarships
- Chicago Public Schools College Scholarship Guide
- Pullman Scholars
- CORE’s Que Llueva Café Scholarship, Deadline March 17 – ONLY for Undocumented/DACA students.
- Back 2 School Illinois Scholarship, Deadline April 1 – NO GPA or SAT requirement, students received a paper application in class
- FLIP (Future Leaders in Planning) is the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's (CMAP) leadership development program for high school students in northeastern Illinois