Things you should know about scholarships

Look in multiple places for applications

Some resources include:

  • counselors and career centers
  • public and school libraries
  • colleges and universities
  • academic departments
  • local businesses
  • the Internet

In some cases, you may need to obtain application material directly from the donor of the scholarship. When you do request material directly, be sure to indicate the academic year for which you’ll be applying and always include your address.

Start searching early and watch for deadlines

Most scholarships have deadlines starting in October. By March 15, 75% of scholarship deadlines have passed. Be sure to check whether your application needs to be "postmarked" by the deadline or "received" by the deadline. This difference will affect the timing of your mailing. Remember to allow yourself time to complete the required essays, resumes and other materials that may have to accompany your application.

Consider your chances good

Scholarships are available to nearly anyone who is willing to put in the time to research the available sources and follow through with the application processes. Many scholarships are awarded based on academic merit. Scholarship donors also focus on other characteristics such as:

  • leadership
  • athletic ability
  • talent in the fine arts
  • veterans
  • financial need
  • abilities in math or foreign language
  • specific ethnic backgrounds
  • religious affiliation
  • non-traditional students
  • members of societies and clubs

Work to improve your scholarship potential

Achieve and maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA). Be involved. Be a leader. Discover and nurture your talents. Even with a GPA of less than 3.0 you still may be eligible for scholarships.

Many scholarships pay year after year

Some scholarships are renewable for multiple years. You usually have to reapply each year, so keep a record of your awards and reapply if necessary. Remember to keep those deadlines in mind.

There are rarely limits to the amount of scholarship money you can receive

Sometimes there are limits associated with athletic, ROTC, or tuition-only scholarships, but other than that, go for more awards! If you have questions about limits, ask the scholarship donor for details.

You can receive scholarships and financial aid

Just keep in mind that scholarship funding may reduce the amount of aid you will receive. However, typically it will reduce your loan and work assistance before changing your grants. Contact Student Financial Services to find out whether or how your financial aid award may be affected by scholarships.

Scholarships for students who live or attend college in Washington State

If you are interested in researching scholarships for students who live or attend college in Washington State, please sign up for This is a scholarship matching service that is free for students who live or attend college in Washington State.

Free internet scholarship searches

Listed below are additional web sites where you can research scholarship opportunities at no charge. Remember, you should never pay for a scholarship search! Lending institutions sponsor some of these sites, so you may receive promotional mailings about educational loan opportunities after you conduct your scholarship search.

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