There are two types of scholarships: private and institutional. The private scholarships are generally given by foundations, companies, churches, or other organizations. These can have any criteria for receiving the scholarship: write an essay, be a volunteer, or draw a poster, etc. In addition, there are usually academic criteria as well, such as minimum GPA and test scores.
Below you will find a list of some private scholarships you can apply for. Be sure to check out our Scholarship Websites page so you can search for scholarships on your own. Also, take a look at Scholarship Tips for some helpful do's and don'ts.
Institutional scholarships come from the college or university you apply to. These usually depend solely on academic factors, but occasionally may have more criteria added. To learn about college and university scholarships, scroll all the way down or click here.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
Grades 5 - 12
Deadline: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Award: $1000 to $6000 (112 awards)
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a recognition program that identifies and rewards students based solely on volunteer work. Two Arizona students will receive $1000 each and an all-expenses-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C. in May. State honorees will also be considered for the national award of $5000, plus $5000 for the charity of their choice.
Please read the application instructions carefully. Once you have completed your online application, go to the “Certification” page to either e-mail certification instructions to your certifier, or to print them out and hand-deliver them. These instructions will enable your certifier to review your application online. Your certifier can be the school principal (Cindy Chleborad), or the head of one of these officially designated local organizations: a county 4-H group, Girl Scout council, American Red Cross chapter, YMCA, or affiliate of HandsOn Network. For the online application and more information, visit the official website: Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
First Freedom Student Competition
Grades 9 - 12
Registration Deadline: Monday, November 12, 2012
Postmark Deadline: Monday, November 26, 2012
Awards: $2500 (2 awards)
The First Freedom Student Competition is a national essay and video contest that offers high school students an opportunity to examine religious freedom, its history, current importance, and relevance in their lives. Entrants must write an essay of 750 to 1450 words on a predetermined topic concerning religious freedom in the United States OR create a video on the same topic. The guidelines are very precise and detailed, so please follow them carefully. Go to the official website for more information and registration: First Freedom Student Competition.
The Ron Brown Scholar Program
Final Deadline: Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Award: $10,000 a year for four years (10 to 20 awards)
The Ron Brown Scholar Program seeks to identify African-American high school seniors who will make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, exhibit exceptional leadership potential, participate in community service activities, and demonstrate financial need. For information and the application, visit the official site: The Ron Brown Scholar Program.
College and University Scholarships
For most college and university scholarships, all you have to do is apply to the school itself. The school's computer will then sort you according to their pre-set criteria. If your GPA and ACT or SAT scores are high enough, you will automatically be considered for their scholarships. For the in-state universities , there are four levels of scholarships:
1. Deans Scholarship = partial tuition
2. University Scholarship = partial tuition
3. Provost Scholarship = partial tuition
4. Presidential Scholarship = partial to full tuition plus a little extra
The criteria for the above scholarships change from year to year. Some years it's easier to get these scholarships, and other years it's harder. Your best bet to getting them is to have a high GPA and high test scores.
Out-of-state schools will also have similar scholarships, but they may be called by different names. Always visit the scholarship and financial aid webpages of schools you are considering, whether in-state or out-of-state. There may be extra steps you have to take in order to qualify for certain scholarships.
Within the universities, each college and department will often have special scholarships. If you know you want to major in mechanical engineering at ASU, for example, check out the website for the Fulton College of Engineering at ASU. There might be a scholarship or two you can apply for. This is true for many departments and colleges in schools across the country.
The community colleges also have scholarships. Below are listed a couple of specific ones, but be sure to visit the scholarship and financial aid websites of your specific school. You never know if you might find the scholarship just right for you!
The Maricopa County Community College District offers the Presidents' Scholarship, which is equal to full tuition for four semesters. Students who are in the top 15% of their graduating class (or at any point in their last three semesters of high school) and apply to the Honors program at any MCCCD school qualify for this scholarship. Alternately, students can score well on the college placement exams and also receive this scholarship. Please see the official website for more information.
In addition, check out the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation , a general application for MCCCD scholarships.
Northland Pioneer College also has a President's Scholars Program. This scholarship funds two full years of college at NPC, including books and some expenses. To be eligible, students must graduate in the top 20% of their class, have at least a 3.5 GPA, and reside in Navajo or Apache county. Applications should be submitted before the first week of April each year. You can find information and the application at the official website: President's Scholars.
If you wish to access a weekly scholarship alert service, click here.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
There are many legitimate scholarship databases, according to the Federal Trade Commission, but there are also scores of fraudulent ones. Each year, thousands of families get bilked out of the fees they pay these official-looking websites and offline services. The FTC says to watch out for:
1. A company that guarantees a scholarship or your money back, or that says it will do all the work;
2. Scholarship services that charge fees for their listings or claim to have exclusive information; and
3. Services that ask for a credit card number or say you are a “finalist” in a contest you didn’t enter.