How to Find And Apply to Scholarships Offered by Your University

By Danielle Wirsansky on November 2, 2018

College has become a rite of passage. A majority of young adults end up attending university. However, college is a pretty expensive endeavor that can be hard for everyone to afford. Many students end up in overwhelming debt by the end of their college experience. How can you avoid the same fate? How can you go to school and find a way to afford it?

Scholarships are a really great way to circumvent debt and afford attending college. Many students think that scholarships are not worth applying for because maybe they are not the best of students grade-wise, or they feel like everyone is applying for the same scholarships. For whatever reason, they often do not apply. And as Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”

Colleges want students to attend their institution. And they want a variety of different kinds of people, not all the same type. Many colleges also get more federal or state funding if they recruit more diverse students — so they want to help you get your foot in the door. So, if you are not sure where to start in a search for a scholarship to apply for, you might want to start by looking at the scholarships the actual university that you want to attend offers.

How do you find these scholarships? Wouldn’t everyone apply if the University was just handing out scholarships? The real deal is that most people do not bother to apply or know where to look, so after reading this article you will have an advantage. You still have to work hard to be awarded these scholarships, but they might just help you afford being able to go to the college of your dreams (or help you achieve your dream of attending any college). Read on to learn how to find and apply to scholarships offered by your university!

Photo by George Dolgikh from Pexels

University Admissions

The first place to check out is the Admissions Department of your preferred university. They will show you all the basic scholarships that the university has to offer. Many offer scholarships to freshman students in particular, which is great for incoming students. Some universities even consider all accepted incoming freshman students for these scholarships without you even having to do more than apply to the school and get accepted.

They will also tell you about any other standard scholarships they offer, such as scholarships for those who are National Merit scholars, and tuition reduction scholarships, usually geared toward out of state students. Out of state tuition is usually sky high, so these can be incredibly useful if the school you would like to attend is indeed out of state.

Check and see if your university has any scholarships and what they require so that you can get ahead of the game and jump in on that.

Office of Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid should be your next step in searching for these university specific scholarship opportunities. Here, you will be able to find information about other kinds of scholarships that are offered though often you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the academic year you want to attend school in order to be eligible (so make sure to stay on top of that!).

You will find out if your school has scholarships for those who were in ROTC or are veterans, if you are an athlete, if you have a record of community involvement, and if you have particular talents (usually in the fine arts), just to name a few. Your school will have other information that is more specific to them listed as well. They will also generally give out information on finding independent scholarships as well, which are worth taking a look at.

Photo by George Dolgikh from Pexels

By Major

If you already know what you want to major in, that can be very helpful in helping you to land a scholarship. Many departments offer scholarships to students studying a major they offer, so you can find scholarships that are more specific to you and what you have a background in that you might be more likely to win.

Each department wants to encourage the best of the best to enroll in their courses and in order to do that, they know that they need to offer scholarships and subsidize their major in order to get the best students, not just any student who can afford the program.

Honors Program

If you do have good grades or a record of community service, then definitely apply for the Honors program. It only offers you benefits and there are very few pitfalls to joining if you are offered an invitation to join. They also want to help students and many Honors programs also offer scholarships exclusively to those students in their programs. They also offer scholarships to help with travel abroad, attending conferences, conducting research and more, so do not be shy! Apply!

The obstacle of tuition may seem daunting but try not to be overwhelmed at the prospect until you have truly tried every avenue to get scholarships and other funding. There are so many scholarships out there — and there is definitely one out there that you are a great fit for. You just have to go out and find it first!

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