In the world of student financial aid, scholarships and grants are thought of as “free money.” However, while grants are generally dependent on financial need, scholarships may be awarded for any number of reasons, including academic merit, student background, area of study, etc. There are thousands of scholarships available for graduating seniors and current college students in the United States, and scholarships may be offered via nonprofit organizations (such as HRCEF), individual philanthropists, religious organizations, or for-profit companies.
The scholarships listed in your financial aid offer are scholarships offered by the university or university-affiliated foundation. In your financial aid spreadsheet, we recommend omitting third-party scholarships and only including school-dependent scholarships. It may be useful to keep a separate spreadsheet to track third-party scholarships and grants, and what the money may be used for (tuition, room and board, textbooks, pocket money, etc.).
When evaluating scholarships in your financial aid letter it is important to consider:
- Is this scholarship for one term, one year, two years, or four years?
- Is this scholarship renewable? If so, what are the conditions for renewal?
- Does this scholarship only apply to tuition and fees? If not, what other expenses are applicable?
- Does the school offer any additional scholarships I can apply for after enrolling?
- Will the scholarship award amount be affected by any outside financial aid I have received?
The last question is particularly important for both university scholarships and third-party scholarships. Some scholarship committees will alter the award amount if the total award amount for all of your scholarships exceeds the cost of tuition. If this applies to you, make sure to contact the school’s financial aid office for assistance.
The annual HRVHS scholarship deadlines may have passed, but there are still plenty of scholarships available to graduating seniors. Check out the resources below to find scholarships for high school seniors and current college students. It’s never too early to search for scholarship opportunities. If you find college scholarships that interest you, get a head start by setting a calendar reminder for the date applications open.
Know of any resources we should add? Let us know!
More posts in our series: Understanding Financial Aid
Scholarships for High School Seniors
HRCEF High School Scholarships
OSAC (Oregon Office of Student Access & Completion)
Scholarships for College Students
Central Oregon Community College
Columbia Gorge Community College
University of Oregon Scholarship Bulletin
University of Portland Opportunities
General Scholarship Resources
Not all scholarship search engines vet listed scholarships. Beware of scams!