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Students are encouraged to look at institutional scholarships (those offered by the college or university to which they are applying) as well as independent scholarships. Information regarding institutional scholarships can most often be found on the institution's financial aid website. Deadlines for institutional scholarships vary and may or may not coincide with admissions deadlines. It is very important to check and organize all deadlines at an institution including admission, financial aid, and scholarships.
This Scholarship Overview video along with the following links may be helpful in understanding the scholarship search process and identifying useful scholarship sites.
Several resources are mentioned in the video above. Here they are along with a brief description and access links:
SCHS and FCPS maintain an online scholarship database through Naviance Student. If you are not familiar with using Naviance Student, this video tutorial may help you.
College Access Fairfax and the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia post a number of scholarships offered by local businesses and organizations.
The Posse Foundation is a college access and youth leadership development program. Students are recruited from major metropolitan areas and are sent in groups to top colleges and universities. Each Posse is comprised of at least 10 scholars who receive four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships. Students must be nominated by their high school or community-based organization.
The Gates Millennium is the nation’s largest private scholarship program. It’s purpose is to eliminate financial barriers for underrepresented groups in order to further their education especially in the fields of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and the sciences.
QuestBridge runs the National College Match Scholarship, which connects high achieving, low-income high school seniors with admission and full four-year scholarships to some of the most selective colleges and universities in the country.
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation selects 150 National Scholars to receive $20,000 scholarships and 200 Regional Scholars receive $10,000 scholarships for college.
The United Negro College Fund works to help underrepresented, low-income students attend and graduate from college through scholarship opportunities, active support of HBCUs, and promotion of higher education opportunities for African Americans throughout the community.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) empowers Latino families with the knowledge and resources needed to successfully complete a higher education and provides scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible.
The APIA Scholars Foundation awards scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or with significant leadership and community service experience in high school.
College Greenlight connects first generation and underrepresented students to both college and scholarship information. Students must create a free profile account to explore scholarships.
Additional Scholarship Databases:
Scholarship Scams - Warning Signs
If you find in your search that a scholarship includes any of the following, it is wise to be wary of a potential scam:
- Scholarship has "fees"
- Scholarship is "guaranteed"
- Scholarship is exclusive - "you can't get this information anywhere else"
- Scholarship is unsolicited - "you're a finalist"
- Application requires credit card or bank account information
Additional information and guidance from the Federal Trade Commission