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The Search For The Elusive Outside Scholarship

(Definition) Outside Scholarships– educational funding not provided directly by or through the college or university that you plan on attending. The main source of these scholarships are through private foundations or organizations and it is estimated that billions of dollars of outside scholarships are awarded each year.

So.. the question that comes to mind… if billions of dollars of outside scholarships are available nationwide to students each and every year, why does it seem like everyone has so much difficulty in securing one?

The answer to that question is two-fold…

1. Billions of dollars are indeed available but millions upon millions of students are seeking those funds. So, the simple rule of supply and demand shows us that the supply of outside scholarships just simply can not keep up with the demand and some students must go without.

2. The outside scholarships have such stringent qualifications that it makes it nearly impossible for anyone to satisfy the requirements to receive the funds. For example, some outside scholarships limit it to students at a certain high school. That would probably be alright and many would qualify but what if that student could only receive the funds if they went to a particular college. Some students would still probably make the grade and be eligible for the funds but what if the scholarship was only available to them if they went to a certain high school, attended a particular college AND they had to major in a specific area of study. – Unfortunately, you can see how quickly an outside scholarship can exclude the number of recipients that are able to receive it.

The demand for outside scholarships is not going to go down anytime soon and the requirements for receiving outside scholarships is only going to get more difficult. So, the best thing you can do to position yourself successfully to receive an outside scholarship is to hone your skills in locating them. Based upon this observation, I have devised the following tips to help aid you on that mission:

Five Useful Tips To Secure An Outside Scholarship

  • Scholarship Databases: Check out all the scholarship search engine databases that you can find. A great many of them are available online but make sure they are legitimate before you share any of your information with them. The best scholarship search engines won’t ask you your personal information and they never charge you a fee. If you would like to see a sampling of some search databases, I have started a list here and I will add to it over time.
  • Local Neighborhood: Search your local community for extra scholarship dollars. You will first want to visit the service focused not-for-profits like Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lion’s Club and after that you will want to scour your local foundations and private organizations.
  • Widen Your Search: Once you have filtered through the opportunities from your local community it is now time to start looking at the same types of groups but on a more regional, state, and ultimately at the national level.
  • What Makes You Special?: The broader your scholarship search becomes, the more you need to identify the niche or traits that make you stand out from the crowd and make you the one and only for whatever scholarship opportunity that might be available.
  • Networking: Now more than ever is a great time to call upon your friends and family members to help you find those outside scholarship dollars. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, family reunions, graduation parties, weddings, or just about any social medium possible in which you can let your network know that you are looking for scholarship money. Chances are someone will know somebody (or an organization) that will be able to help you out.

All of the above is easier said than done, but to be truly successful in securing outside scholarships, you will have to dedicate some time and make use of your connections as efficiently as possible. The pay-off in the end is sure to be beneficial as you start to see the outside scholarships trickle in and the positive impact that they have on your out-of-pocket expense for college.

Hope you found this article helpful. If you know of anyone else that may be able to benefit from this information, please be sure to use the “share tab” below to pass it on. The more we all know, the better.

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