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.
Some helpful information regarding the scholarship process:
How to Apply for a Scholarship (CollegeBoard)
Scholarship Application Tips (fastweb.com)
NHS 2019-2020 Scholarships (deadline December 6, 2019)
The National Honor Society has scholarships available to current NHS members. The pillars of NHS, scholarship, service, leadership, and character, are the selection criteria for reviewing the applications. Information was emailed to students on November 7th with application instructions.
Shawnee Kiwanis Club (deadline March 27, 2020)
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. The Shawnee Kiwanis Club awards three $1,000 scholarships to Shawnee High School seniors based on need and scholastic merit. When applying, please include the following:
- List academic awards and accomplishments
- List student activities and involvement at Shawnee High School
- List interests and involvement in the community, church, and other areas
- List at least four references: Include name, position, address, and phone number
- Write a paragraph in which you describe your financial need
- Write a paragraph in which you describe yourself, your family, and its activities
- Recipients will also be expected to attend the December 2020 Kiwanis Club meeting, speaking to the club about their college experience so far and their future plans
Return application to Mrs. Floyd in room W25.
Oklahoma Junior Chamber International Senate Club (deadline January 24, 2020)
The Oklahoma JCI Senate Club joins the US JCI organization in presenting $1,000 scholarships to selected high school seniors. The top 2 applications from Oklahoma will be submitted for national judging. Go to usjcisenate.org/scholarship-program and click on the link to the 2019-2020 Scholarship Application.
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!
OSU Theatre Department Scholarships (auditions November 9, 2019 and February 22, 2020)
OSU’s Department of Theatre is offering auditions for high school seniors. Scholarships are available in four categories: Performance, Musical Theatre, Design Technology and Stage Management, and Arts Administration with a Dance Emphasis. Auditions and portfolio reviews will be held in Stillwater. See Mrs. Floyd in room W25 for more information or email email@example.com to apply.
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.
Oklahoma Youth With Promise Scholarship(deadline June 1, 2020)
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.
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic All-State (deadline December 5, 2019)
All-State Awards honors 100 outstanding high school seniors with a $1,000 scholarship. Oklahoma public high school seniors who meet any one of the five criteria listed below are eligible for this award:
- Composite ACT score of at least 30
- Combined SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math score of at least 1340
- National Merit Scholarship Program semi-finalist
- National Achievement Scholarship Program semi-finalist
- National Hispanic Scholarship Program semi-finalist
In addition to the minimum criteria, students will be evaluated on the basis of their leadership abilities, motivation, academic achievement and character as maximized within each student’s learning environment. Qualified students must nominate themselves through the OFE website and scholarship portal at ofe.org/index.php?application-forms.
Wichita State University
If you are interested in attending Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, see Mrs. Floyd in room W25 for scholarship information.
ECU Instrumental Scholarship Auditions (Nov. 23, Jan. 25, Feb. 8, or Mar. 7)
East Central University School of Fine Arts in Ada, OK is offering auditions for their instrumental scholarships. For more information or to reserve a time, please contact Dr. Nicholaus Meyers, Director of Bands, at 580-559-5390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Junior Service League (deadline Dec. 13)
The Junior Service League of Shawnee is accepting applications for their scholarships for seniors with a GPA of 2.7 or higher. Varying scholarship amounts will be awarded to students based on demonstrated financial need, community involvement, extracurricular activities, and academics. Applications were sent to all seniors through email on Sep. 11.
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. (For the 2013 graduating class, the form cannot be submitted until Jan.1st of 2013.) 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.