For students enrolling in college, financial aid can come in three forms: Federal, Institutional, and Private (or third-party). For those seeking aid options in addition to federal and institutional awards, researching private scholarships may prove highly rewarding and beneficial.
The world of private scholarships can seem confusing and exclusive. This is mainly because there is a general impression that all scholarships are based mainly on impressive extracurricular achievements in high school. While that does hold true for some scholarships, there are hundreds of other scholarships that are based on a variety of other factors.
Here are a few common questions we receive when students come to us looking for private scholarship information:
Where do I look?
- A student needing scholarship funds in addition to federal and state sources should explore civic, church, and local club scholarship opportunities.
- The Internet is also a great place to research private grant and scholarship opportunities. Thousands and thousands of private scholarship dollars go unawarded each year because students do not apply for them. Start with a Google search of available scholarships; include personal interests and goals as search criteria. Several websites are available to aid with scholarship searches: scholarships.com, www.fastweb.com, and www.schoolsoup.com.
Be wary of any site asking for a fee to conduct scholarship searches for you. Sites that ask for money typically do not produce a good result for your cost. Be as creative as possible when searching for private scholarships – consider your personal interests, background, and hobbies as a basis for your search. You can also review our blog post on this topic here: Creative Ways To Fund Your College Education.
How much time should I devote to research?
To calculate how much time you should invest in research:
- Determine how much money you need in private scholarship funds to cover education expenses
- Divide that amount by the minimum wage rate to get to the number of “work” hours
- Devote that number of hours to researching opportunities
Should I consider all scholarship opportunities I find?
Yes! Trinity Baptist College accepts any scholarship a student secures through research and application. Do not ignore scholarship opportunities in lower dollar denominations. Recent stories in the news describe students who accumulated thousands of dollars for college by securing multiple small-dollar figure scholarships. One example is a young lady by the name of Gabrielle McCormick. By combining creative thinking and diligent planning, Gabrielle successfully paid for her college education entirely through private scholarships that totaled over $150,000!
What else should I consider for researching opportunities?
- Application deadlines. A missed deadline is a missed opportunity.
- Grade Point Average (GPA). Many foundations require a minimum GPA to apply for scholarship opportunities. Working hard to maintain a high GPA enables students to apply for scholarship opportunities as they are available.
We hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have any questions and are interested in speaking with someone in the TBC office, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help! You can reach us at 904-596-2451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will make sure you are directed to the person best qualified to answer your questions!