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)
AGC Education and Research Foundation Scholarship (deadline June 1, 2021)
The AGC Education and Research Foundation offers Workforce Development Scholarships to students enrolled in accredited technical schools or craft training programs in any discipline of commercial construction. Students in technical or approved craft training programs will have until June 1st to apply for $1,000 scholarships (renewal for up to two years) from the AGC Education and Research Foundation. To review the complete list of criteria click here. Students can click here to apply.
Z-NEF Scholarship Program (deadlines vary)
The mission of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.'s National Educational Educational Foundation is to support higher education achievement through scholarships and conduct community education programs and related research. This site provides you with access to 15 scholarships. Click here to apply.
Big Sun Athletic Scholarship (deadline June 19, 2021)
The Big Sun Athletic Organization is dedicated to providing an opportunity for young athletes to learn and to excel. In order to do our part, we are offering an annual scholarship to a deserving student. All student athletes are eligible regardless of the sport they are engaged in or the capacity in which they participate. Click here for the application.
Oklahoma Youth With Promise Scholarship (deadline June 1, 2021)
One of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation scholarships is for students in foster care. This scholarship is for $3,000 per year. Create an account at occf.academicworks.com and apply for the Oklahoma Youth with Promise Scholarship by answering the supplemental questions.
Community Foundation of Oklahoma Scholarships (deadlines vary)
The Community Foundation of Oklahoma handles 170 different scholarships available to Oklahoma students each year. Fill out the 2021 Universal Scholarship Application and it will select state scholarships for you. Go to www.cfok.org/apply and click on 2021 Universal Scholarship Application.
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.