Finding Scholarships on a College or University Campus

The time you spend looking and applying for college scholarships can be an excellent investment that results in financial aid you don’t have to pay back.But many students don’t realize how many scholarships they can find on their own college campus.If you’re already enrolled in school, don’t forget to look in your own backyard, so to speak, for valuable scholarships.

One place to look is your academic department.Most departments have a short list of scholarships. These usually have been endowed by a donor (a graduate of the department, perhaps) and are given away once a year.Often the professors collectively decide who should receive these scholarships, or there’s a campus scholarship committee that makes these decisions. Other times, students are invited to apply. In any case, talk to someone in your department to find out what scholarships are available.If you have an academic advisor in the department, this is a good person to ask—or ask the department secretary which faculty member is in charge of the scholarship committee.

Another good place to look is at the college level. Schools are divided up into smaller colleges—liberal arts, engineering, and so forth.Each college usually has a list of scholarships that are available annually to students enrolled in a major that’s part of that college.To find out what’s available, stop by the office that’s responsible for the administrative duties of your college.

In addition, look for scholarships that are available to all students enrolled at your school.Keep in mind that these will be competitive, but somebody has to get this money, so why not you?To find out about these scholarships, visit a campus advising office, the registrar’s office, or the financial aid office.

Finally, university clubs and organizations sometime are affiliated with scholarship programs, or may have a list of scholarships available to students who belong to that organization.These includes fraternities and sororities, campus minority or religious organizations, campus women organizations, and pre-professional organizations.

Invest a little time looking around for scholarships on your campus, and you just might find some money you didn’t know was available.And don’t be shy about asking—because there’s someone else out there who’s not!