Scholarships will be posted as they become available and updated bi-weekly. Most scholarship applications listed on this blog are for high school seniors. However, there are a few contests and scholarships for students in grades 9-11.
Scroll down for the Scholarship List.
Before You Begin Your Search
Make a list of school and community activities or sports that you have been involved in since ninth grade. Answer the following questions: Have you been involved in a leadership role? Are you committed to performing community service or a particular community organization? What special talents or interests do you have? Have you overcome difficulties in your life? What makes you different from others competing for the same scholarship or college admission? Why should they pick you?
Tip: If a scholarship application asks for a narrative, type out your response in Word or Open Office. Perform spell check and have someone proof read it. Do not start every sentence with “I” and make sure you capitalize and punctuate correctly.
Order of Search Preference
The most important part of financial aid is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA). The FAFSA will qualify you for grants – (money you do not pay back), work-study, and student loans. While you will not submit the FAFSA until January 1, you may start your search for scholarships. www.fafsa.ed.gov
Seniors should begin looking at institutional scholarships. Most colleges offer scholarships for their students. Some you will automatically qualify for upon acceptance and others you will need to submit an application. Many out of state colleges and universities also offer in-state tuition scholarships based on ACT test scores and GPA factors. If you are considering going out of state you should also visit the Midwest Higher Education Compact at http://www.mhec.org/MidwestStudentExchangeProgram to see what states offer tuition reduction for Illinois Students.
Next, if you are employed or a member of a community organization; check to see if they have any employee or member scholarships. Parents may also wish to check with their Human Resource department to see if their employer offers any dependent scholarships. Many large corporations offer scholarships to both employees and to employee’s children.
Third, look on this Blog for local scholarships. Fewer applicants can improve your chances. When looking at scholarships take into consideration how many scholarships are being offered and who it is open to. Is it a nation-wide scholarship or local one?
Fourth, you will find nation-wide and publicized scholarships by visiting the Scholarship Search Engines.
Scholarship Search Engines
Scholarship search engines can save you a lot of time in sorting out which national and regional scholarships that you may qualify for. These are usually free and supported by advertisers. Remember this rule: scholarships = free money. BEWARE - if there is a cost to enter or apply for a scholarship! One free search engine that does not have advertisers and will not send you junk mail or spam is Career Cruising. Please see your counselor for the login ID and password.
Popular search engines
Questbridge College Match Scholarship. This national scholarship program application based on merit and financial need offering full ride scholarships is due September 28th. Students who demonstrate academic excellence by succeeding in their high school’s most difficult courses and on standardized tests may apply. These scholarships are very generous and are to prestigious colleges and universities. The family must demonstrate financial need and household income. http://www.questbridge.org/
Wendy's Heisman Award. This national scholarship application is due October 2nd and awards vary. Two students (male and female) will win a $10,000 scholarship. The first 30,000 students who apply will receive a $10 Wendy's gift card. http://www.wendysheisman.com/
Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The application for the $10,000 national scholarship is due Oct. 15th. Students facing significant financial burdens due to the loss of a parent (or guardian) to breast cancer or their own breast cancer diagnosis at age 25 or younger may apply. http://www.komen.org/scholarship
Horatio Alger Association. This national scholarship application is due October 25th. Awards vary between $5000 - $20,000. Seniors who are US citizens, demonstrate financial need, involved in co-curricular and community activities, have a min 3.0 GPA, and demonstrate critical financial need may apply. http://www.horatioalger.org/scholarships
Coca-Cola Scholarship. This national scholarship application is due October 31st. Awards vary between $10,000 – $20,000. Seniors who can demonstrate leadership in school, commitment to community, academic achievement, part-time employment and will be attending an accredited college/university may apply for one of 250 four-year achievement based awards. Students must apply on-line. The CEEB - school code is 143-496. Students will need to know GPA, and rank. Please see your counselor for a transcript. https://www.coca-colascholars.org/
***Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship. Over the past several years a PSHS student has won this $1,000 award! Nomination Forms are due Oct. 31. PSHS gets to nominate one student who has demonstrated school and community leadership along with academic success. Students must have a minimum 3.8 GPA and plan to attend an accredited school. Students who would like to be considered should fill out a Nomination Form and return it to Mrs. Naheedy in Student Services by October 31st.
Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois. This is a state program for future teachers. Nominations are due Nov. 1st. Students may self-nominate. Students must be willing to teach for five years in an Illinois school of need. In addition to the scholarship of $2500 per year for 4 years - Scholars will attend 4 residential Summer Institutes and receive a stipend of $2000. Total financial assistance pkg. = $18,000. http://www.goldenapple.org/
Ron Brown Scholarship. The awards for this scholarship vary from $10,000 - $40,000. Applications are due Nov. 1st. This scholarship is for African American seniors. Applicants should demonstrate academic achievement, exhibit leadership ability, participate in community service activities and demonstrate financial need. http://www.ronbrown.org/
VFW – Voice of Democracy. This is a national audio essay contest for students in grades 9-12 with awards up to $30,000. Applications are due Nov. 1st. http://www.vfw.org/
First Freedom Student Competition. A $2500 award will be offered for a scholarship winner. The application is due Nov. 12th. This is a 9-12 grade essay contest. http://www.firstfreedom.org/
Airforce ROTC Scholarships. 4-year scholarship application is due December 1st. Interested in becoming an officer in the Air Force? The AFROTC offers four year Scholarships offering full tuition at participating colleges, fees, stipend for text books, uniforms, and a monthly allowance. ACT scores and GPA are factors. Other scholarships offering less money with less strict requirements also exist. http://afrotc.com/scholarships/
SAE International – Engineering Scholarships. These institutional and corporate sponsored scholarships are due Dec. 31st. The awards range from $400 – full ride. Seniors who will pursue an engineering degree in any of these related fields: math, chemistry, physics, biology, technology, or computer science should apply. http://students.sae.org/awdscholar/scholarships/engscholar/
Army ROTC Scholarships. 4-year scholarship application is due January 10th. Interested in becoming an officer in the Army? The Army offers four year Scholarships offering full tuition at participating colleges, fees, stipend for text books, uniforms, and a monthly allowance. ACT scores and GPA are factors. Other scholarships offering less money with less strict requirements also exist. http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/
Naval and Marines ROTC scholarships. 4-year scholarship application is due January 31st. Interested in becoming an officer in the Navy or Marines? The NROTC offers four year Scholarships offering full tuition, fees, stipend for text books, uniforms, and a monthly allowance at participating colleges. ACT scores and GPA are factors. Other scholarships offering less money with less strict requirements also exist. http://www.nrotc.navy.mil/index.aspx
Hispanic Scholarship Fund. This organization offers several corporate sponsored scholarships. Check often for updates. Awards may range from $1,000 - $15,000. http://www.hsf.net/