Are you tired of bugging your high school guidance counselor for new scholarships? Have you exhausted every idea for running down free money? Don't give up! There are still a lot of sources waiting for you to check out.
- Ask your parents if their places of business have a scholarship program for children of employees. Many do, but don't necessarily promote it. If you show interest and take the time to apply, the response may be well worth it. You may be one of a few who asked, so you may receive a sizeable amount.
- Are your parents alumni of the college or university to which you're applying? Sometimes colleges will offer children of alumni special scholarships to continue the family tradition.
- Do your parents belong to any organizations outside of work? Children of members often qualify for grant money/scholarships the organization may have available. If your parents don't know specifically, ask for the organization's contact information and write them yourself.
If any of your relatives were/are military veterans, there might be scholarships available for you. Don't forget your grandparents, great-grandparents or female relatives. Organizations like the WAVES(womenofthewaves.com) kept women involved in war efforts while men were away, and their involvement may qualify as military service. Government databases or your local VFW (vfw.org) may have information on how to apply.
- Ask your parents about your heritage, country of origin, even the history of your last name. Many historical societies and immigrant organizations support students of certain racial/ethnic/cultural backgrounds. Your grandparents may offer insight, too. Who knows? You could have Native American ancestors and not know it!
- Subject-specific magazines are a good place to look for scholarships related to your interests. E-mail your favorite publication to see if they offer any contests. Your hobby may be your ticket to school.
- Check with companies who sponsor invention contests, like Duracell or Lego. Did you make a life-size mobile solar system for the freshman science fair? Recreated the Mona Lisa out of Play-Doh? Like to mix your own nail polish? Write the company whose products you use (or could use) in your creations and see if they would compensate your effort. Your creativity may be the key in earning money for college.
- Lots of food companies hold baking contests for recipes using their products. Watch labels on your family's regular grocery items to see how you could enter. Start playing around with different ingredients in your favorite dishes and see what new concoctions come about. If something is particularly good, don't wait for a contest—contact the company. Sometimes they'll buy recipes to put on their labels or in their company cookbook. If you can't find a specific company, start off with a recipe contest database like farmersmarketonline.com/drawing.htm.
- Many of your favorite stores offer scholarships. While these scholarships are usually nationwide, and thus more competitive, it's worth the price of a stamp. Often, the forms are back in the customer service area of a store, so do some searching or ask a representative for help. Or, look for information on store websites.
- If you're interested in a specific career, check with someone in that field to see if they offer scholarships to students planning to pursue that career. Workers in engineering, nursing, teaching, journalism and many other fields are in high demand. Companies will often support successful students if they think they could be future employees.
- Technology is big, and concepts for a video or computer program could earn you some money. Check with your favorite manufacturers to see if they'd be interested in your ideas.