It's never too soon to begin your college scholarship search! While most local scholarships are designated for students graduating this school year, there are plenty of scholarships available to students of all ages. Applying for scholarships is a numbers game, so the more scholarships you apply to, the better your chances are of actually winning one. The key to a great scholarship search is to start applying as soon as possible. Students should spend enough time to perfect their application and make sure they turn the application in on time. I would recommend maintaining a scholarship folder and saving essays that can be used for multiple applications.
Helpful information regarding the scholarship process:
How to Apply for a Scholarship (CollegeBoard)
Scholarship Application Tips (fastweb.com)
CVEC Essay Contest (deadline Sep. 29)
The American Legion of District #4 in combination with Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative is offering one $250 scholarship to the winner of their essay contest. The contest is available to all high school students. Applicants must submit a one-page essay titled: “Why We Fly the Flag.” Forms are located here and in the counseling office.
Horatio Alger Scholarship (deadline October 25, 2020)
Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship (deadline October 31, 2020)
The Coca-Cola Scholarship program is an achievement based scholarship for high school seniors.
Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma (deadline Oct. 31)
The Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma offers a Senior Essay Contest each year. State winners receive a cash prize and the funds are for the winners to spend as they wish! 1st place receives $2,000, 2nd place receives $1500,… 10th place receives $200. This year's topic is: "How does social media influence our politics today? Give specific examples and explain how social media is helping or hurting American politics." Requirements and information are listed here.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards (deadline Nov. 10)
Sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, this scholarship honors students who are making a difference through volunteering. The top high school volunteer in the state will receive a $1,000 scholarship and be eligible for the national award. Applications can be found at spirit.prudential.com/apply/2021.
Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student (deadline November 15)
The Elks National Foundation will award 500 four-year scholarships ranging from $1,000 per year to $12,500 per year. Applicants will be judged on scholarship, leadership, and financial need. Current high school seniors who are citizens of the United States are eligible to apply. Applicants do not need to be related to a member of the Elks. Apply at elks.org/scholars/scholarships/MVS.cfm. Children or grandchildren of dues-paying Elks can also apply for the Legacy Award at elks.org/scholars/scholarships/legacy.cfmelks.org/scholars/scholarships/legacy.cfm by Feb.5.
Oklahoma City Community Foundation Scholarships (deadlines vary)
The OCCF awards 120 different scholarships (worth nearly $2 million) to students statewide each year. Create an account at occf.academicworks.com to see what scholarships are available and how to apply. Please note that Shawnee does NOT geographically fall under the "Central Oklahoma Guidance Counselor Network" and our students will NOT qualify for any scholarship that lists that as a requirement.
Unigo.com offers several essay-based scholarships on a variety of fun topics. Scholarships range from $1,500 to $5,000. Applicants must be 13 years or older, a resident of the United States, and plan to enroll in a post-secondary school after graduating from high school. There are 12 scholarships to choose from (apply for all 12 if you want!); topics range from describing a funny incident to super powers to the zombie apocalypse. Deadlines are different for each scholarship so click here to check them out!
Check out the list of available scholarships on this website under "Scholarships Available". Scholarship opportunities are listed as they become available. This website will list all local scholarships as they become available; however, this is not a comprehensive national list because not every scholarship opportunity is sent to Shawnee High School. Fastweb.com is the most comprehensive national site. Here are some more possibilities.
http://www.questbridge.org/for-students/students-start-here (high performance/low income)
National Merit Scholars--This is probably the most coveted prize/usually full-ride. This is awarded based on test scores on the PSAT which is taken during the junior year.
Regents Scholars--These scholarships are usually full-ride. How to win? Add up each of the sub scores on the ACT (English, Math, Science, Reading) The total must add to 134. (Usually a student must score a 34 or higher to have a chance at this award.)
Institutional Awards--These are academic scholarships awarded by a particular college. These awards are based on a predetermined set of criteria such as score on the ACT or SAT; GPA; and Class Rank. These scholarships are different at each school and often have a different dollar amount for different test scores.
Performance Based Awards--These are usually awarded for outstanding achievement such as athletics, music, dance, theater, etc. These awards can be full-tuition or partial amounts. These require a high level of performance or require an audition.
Business/Corporate Awards--These are offered by a company or group. They can be national competitions or state-wide competitions. (Examples: Best Buy Scholarships, Coca-Cola Scholarships, Society for Women Engineers, etc)
These are difficult to win because the pool of competitors is usually large.
Local Scholarships--Local clubs and organizations offer some scholarships, but these are not available until the senior year (often these do not become available until the 2nd semester of the senior year.) Examples: Junior Service League, Kiwanis Club of Shawnee, Gladys Gibson Scholarship, Shawnee Regional Hospital Scholarship, etc.
Grants: FAFSA (Many times these awards are still referred to as Pell Grants.) Students can receive money based on family income by completing the FAFSA or Free Application for Student Aid. This is a government form that can only be completed by high school seniors after Jan. 1st of the year they plan to begin college. Many families will earn to much to qualify for grant money (money that does not need to be paid back), but most will qualify for student loans through the FAFSA application.
Essay Contests There are often essay contests for students in 9, 10, 11, and 12th grades. The dollar amount fluctuates and depends on the sponsoring group. Some are national scholarships, and students are competing with thousands of students from across the nation. Some are state-wide, so the pool of applicants drops. Essays are time consuming, and students need to determine how much time they have to devote to essay contests. Hint: Essay contests have strict requirements. Students may be disqualified for not double spacing an essay. Be attentive to every detail in the requirements.