As you search for outside scholarships, always be on the lookout for scams. Do not apply for scholarships with an application fee or pay for services that will help you find scholarships. With all the free resources available, there is simply no reason to pay for scholarship information. We also recommend not applying for scholarships that ask for personal information: social security number, parent’s maiden name, or anything that seems suspicious. The FinAid website has a great section on scams!
There are many scholarship opportunities available, so you shouldn’t limit yourself to applying only for university-sponsored scholarships. We recommend that students start early, research as many funding sources as you can learn which ones you may qualify for, and then apply promptly. There are many scholarships, awards, and search services available for all types of qualifications through outside organizations and corporations. Many of these scholarships do not have academic requirements.
You can get started by reviewing our Outside Scholarships pages to find outside scholarship opportunities:
Look where you’re going
If you are headed into a specific field, look up the leaders in that field or industry and check their websites for scholarship opportunities. For example, a pre-nursing or pre-med student should check out websites for drug manufacturers or companies that do medical research. Most companies’ websites are searchable, so try searching “scholarships.” If that doesn’t yield results, try “foundation” or “philanthropy.”
Research organizations and corporations close to home
Utilize your parents and family members! Many companies offer scholarships solely to the children or relatives of employees. Also look at local organizations and groups, such as churches and recreational centers, and check your local Chamber of Commerce or city hall for resources. You never know what you may find!
Scholarship search engines
Find at least two search engines you’re comfortable with and use both to search for scholarship opportunities. We provide a list of resources on our search engines webpage. For international students, be sure to search internationalscholarships.com.
If receiving a lot of emails from a search engine bothers you, set up a scholarship-only email account. This will keep all of your scholarship information in one place, your regular inbox won’t be overflowing, and when you use your scholarship email, you will be more focused on searching for scholarship information.
Organize the information in a way that makes sense to you. For example, when using Fastweb, click on the “deadline” heading to sort the scholarships according to the deadline.
Just like everything else, you can search for scholarships on Google. In fact, Google has its own scholarships. While Google is a great search engine, the results produced from a search can’t be guaranteed. So always be on the lookout for scams.
Contact your college and major department
Start by searching your college and major department’s websites to see if you find information about scholarships they offer. Make a plan to speak with an advisor to talk more about any available opportunities. You can also reach out to professors to see if they know of any additional resources you may not be aware of.
Check out other campus programs, organizations, and listserves
There are many other scholarship resources available on campus. For example, ASCUD, UC Davis Study Abroad, and Undergraduate Research have scholarships with their own applications. Search program websites, sign up for listservs to get up-to-date information and look for any other postings on campus that may tell you about a new resource.