You may be able to find a scholarship or similar financial aid program that will help pay for your education. These programs are sponsored by private and public agencies, associations, clubs, and companies. Each one has unique eligibility requirements, restrictions, dollar amounts, and deadlines. Many times the awards are based on financial need, future goals, and references. When you find a potential scholarship, contact the sponsor to request an application form. Typically, you fill out an application form, write a paragraph or essay about future plans, and send in letters of recommendation. Read on for steps to take to increase your chances of finding and getting scholarship money.
Check with your counselor or college financial aid office. Also contact your own affiliations such as clubs, churches, employers, banks, and unions about scholarships. Research scholarships in books at libraries.
The Internet can be a useful source to search for scholarship information. A small sample of useful Internet sites are listed below.
American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) Spokane Chapter The Mary M. Fraijo Scholarships are offered to students, male or female, studying accounting, business or finance.
College Goal Sunday A volunteer, non-profit organization that will help you fill out the FAFSA form. It usually occurs in January.
Daedalian Flight 41 offers a scholarship to individuals interested in pursuing a career in military aviation.
Executive Women International Spokane Chapter presents three scholarship opportunities to male or female juniors in high school. Only one student per school is eligible to enter.
Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council sponsors a scholarship for a Spokane County high school senior. He or she must write a winning essay about why he or she has chosen to be drug free.
Hispanic Business Professional Association of Spokane administers scholarships to the Hispanic/Latino community and can be awarded for each academic year.
Inland Power & Light gifts Excellent Award scholarship and Lineman School Scholarship program to active Inland Power members and their children.
INWCF-Spokane County offers more than a dozen scholarships to be awarded to Spokane area residents.
Rotary Club of North Spokane awards two Gerald L. Saling Memorial Scholarships to high school seniors who are residents of Spokane County. One scholarship gives preference to a relative of a member. The other is open to the most deserving individual.
Spokane County Fair Ambassador Program administers scholarships to young men and women from juniors in high school to 20 years of age. The winners are required to attend the Spokane County Fair in September.
Spokane County USBC offers a variety of scholarships to individuals who are bowlers and active in the community. Look for the scholarships under the "Forms" tab.
Spokane Lilac Festival Royal Court established in 1938, the Royal Court offers princess scholarships and the queen an additional award.
Spokane Regional Plan Center gifts high school seniors and those currently enrolled in college or vocational school. Applicant, parent or legal guardian must be a member and meet budget and merit requirements.
Local Colleges and Universities
ACPE Northwest is the Association of Computer Professionals in Education. They award scholarships up to $2,500 for students in Washington and Oregon.
Artist Trust offers grants and fellowships to those who live in Washington State and are artists in a variety of fields.
College Success Foundation provides scholarships specific to Washington State.
Electronic Security Association of Washington administers scholarships for children of law enforcement and fire service personnel.
Independent Colleges of Washington extends scholarship opportunities to students attending Gonzaga University, Heritage University, Pacific Lutheran University, Saint Martin's University, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound, Walla Walla University, Whitman College, and Whitworth University.
NW Career Colleges Federation makes available to every high school in Washington, Idaho and Oregon (public and private) five $1,000 scholarships for graduating seniors for participating colleges. They also have scholarships for veterans.
Pride Foundation offers over 50 different scholarships, but students only need to fill out one application.
TheWashBoard.org connects students with relevant scholarship at one location. Simple register for free and provide information about yourself like academic interest, financial need, and activities.
Washington Association for Justice provides scholarships to high school seniors and individuals seeking bar review courses.
Washington Farm Bureau awards scholarships to individuals who are currently enrolled in agricultural studies or similar field.
Washington State Employees Credit Union gives up to $2,000 to an individual that is a member of the WSECU and meets certain criteria.
Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board administers state-funded student financial aid. Be sure to check out the College Bound Scholarship.
Washington State PTA gives scholarships to qualified high school seniors entering community colleges, voc-tech schools or other accredited institutions.
Asian Pacific Islanders for Professional and Community Advancement administers annual non-renewable scholarships to those who reside in Washington and a few other states.
CSS/Financial Aid Profile is the financial aid application service of the College Board. Many private universities and colleges require students to submit this application in order to qualify for scholarships and financial aid at that particular school. There is a fee for this service. Fee waivers are available at some high school guidance offices.
COLLEGEQUEST Scholarship Search CollegeQuest is a scholarship search sponsored by Peterson’s, a publisher of education, scholarship, and test books. This site allows searchers to search by specific criteria. This site also offers links to information about colleges and financial aid.
FAFSA on the Web This site, from the U.S. Department of Education, provides the opportunity to apply for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online. Title IV School The school codes that are required by the U.S. Department of Education for the FAFSA are available.
fastWEB is the Internet's largest free scholarship search.
FinAid General financial aid information along as well as links to numerous financial aid sites on the Internet are available on FinAid. Be sure to investigate the other features offered on this website.
International Air and Hospitality Academy offers airline industry scholarships.
Spokane Public Library has a number of helpful books on Scholarships and Financial Aid. Many of these books are reference books that are available in the Education Section of the Downtown Library. Some of the books are available at local branches. Below are a few titles.
College Blue Book These volumes cover thousands of 2 and 4 year schools across the country and in Canada. It also details degrees, scholarships, and occupational education programs.
Don't Miss Out - "The ambitious student's guide to financial aid." Updated yearly.
Getting Financial Aid Handbook "Demystify the world of financial aid. This easy, step-by-step guide shows students why, when and how to apply for financial aid." Updated yearly.
Peterson's Scholarships, Grants & Prizes "provides up-to-date information on millions of privately funded awards available to college students." Updated yearly.
The Scholarship Book - "The complete guide to private-sector scholarships, grants, and loans for undergraduates."
Spokane Public Library also has a number of helpful books on letter writing. These will help with writing for letters of reference, resumes and thank-you notes.
Great Personal Letters for Busy People: 501 Ready-to-Use Letters for Every Occasion - This handy reference guide includes a college section and numerous thank-you notes.
Lifetime Encyclopedia of Letters - A treasury filled with ideas for references letters, resumes and thank-you notes.
Each school has its own criteria for application. Research the schools you are interested in and email the admissions department for an application and a list of scholarships offered. Be sure to ask your college about financial aid. If you know what you want to major in, ask for department scholarships as well.
CheckOutACollege.com This website is run by the state of Washington and offers information about two year technical schools and community colleges within the state.
The college may have a separate application process to apply for scholarships. Also ask about work options such as work-study, co-op programs, and student employment offices.
College Navigator This website from the U.S. Department of Education offers consumers information on colleges in an easy-to-use format. It provides information on nearly 7,000 post secondary institutions in the
Organizing your paperwork and gathering information will enable you to complete the application process efficiently. The following steps will help to keep you organized.
Contact at least three people to write letters of reference. References could be teachers, counselors, coaches, employers, clergy, community leaders or anyone who can write about your personal strengths. Most scholarships request these letters to learn about your character, background, and potential. Tell your references you may need to use them for several scholarships. Give them a resume or sheet of information about yourself and a description of the scholarship. Your reference may be able to use this information to write a more effective letter.
Once you receive the application form, give yourself time to fulfill all the scholarship requirements. Most scholarships require an application form, a personal essay, and letters of recommendations. Read through all the requirements to make sure you follow all directions. Allow at least 2 weeks to complete this process.
Be prepared to write an essay about your goals, career and college plans. Many scholarship programs require an essay to find out more about you. Your essay will be judged on writing skills and ability to communicate ideas clearly and creatively.
PHOTOCOPY EVERYTHING YOU SEND IN. Keep a file for each scholarship you apply for. This helps keep track of what you have done. You may also be able to use the information for more than one scholarship.
Thank those who assisted in the application process or wrote letters of recommendations.
Be sure to write a thank-you letter to the sponsor of the scholarship if you are awarded scholarship money.
Scholarships are not the only funding options available for financial aid.
There are other methods of finding money to go to college including loans and work-study packages.
Make sure to fill out appropriate financial aid forms to get state and federal financial aid. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and send it in after January 1 of the year you intend to start college.
Plan for summer employment.