It is important to search for scholarships (free money) before the student’s senior year. They should look often and apply for as many as possible as due dates arise. They should not wait until the spring of Senior year to begin their investigation. The best resources for scholarships are the colleges where the students have applied and the high school Guidance Office. For scholarship eligibility, colleges or organizations may require that students file the FAFSA in addition to the scholarship application.
Institutional Scholarships (from the college)
Scholarship dollars from the college are often best source of monies awarded to a student. Often the college application must be submitted by a certain deadline in order to be eligible. Some colleges will review the admission application and automatically award scholarships based on GPA, ACT/SAT scores or other criteria. Some colleges may require an additional application or hold a required on-campus competition. Check with all colleges to which the student applied and find out scholarship application procedures and deadlines.
Local scholarships are awarded by area businesses, clubs, foundations, and civic and social organizations. This type of scholarship will be awarded on criteria that may include community service, leadership, activities, honors, grades, etc. Learn where your high school keeps the applications. Your high school may post scholarship information on its website. Students should check for new ones throughout senior year. Check the Scholarship Search Websites below.
National scholarships are competitive because students are competing nationwide with high quality applicants. In researching national scholarships, details such as previous winners or winning essays may be available for viewing. It is a good idea to read everything available – especially to see deadlines and who successfully won the scholarship in the past. The best place to search for national scholarships is online.
Check the Scholarship Search Websites below.
Warning Signs of Scholarship Scams
- Guaranteed winnings
- Application or loan origination fees
- Nonspecific or contradictory information
- Willing scholarship money without applying
- Claims of influence over scholarship sponsors
- Time pressure, such as “first come-first served”
- Lack of contact information for scholarship provider
- Requests for unusual personal or household information
- Requests for credit card numbers or bank account routing numbers
- Statements like “We apply on your behalf” or “Everyone is eligible”
- Finaid.org indicates a disproportionate amount of scholarship scams originate in FL and CA.
Meet Our Scholarship Recipients
Our scholarship recipients have gone on to do some great things that our community can be proud of. Here’s a snapshot of where they are today.
Brittany RayburnWilloughby South High School, Class of 2003
Glen Caroff Scholarship Recipient
“The Glen Caroff Scholarship helped support my transition from high school into higher education. The education I received at Willoughby South provided me with a solid foundation and the extra support of the scholarship made me feel proud and confident in the first steps along my journey into higher education.”
Riverside High School, Class of 2011
Lubrizol Corporation Scholarship Recipient
“I am truly grateful for having the LEAF program in my life, and I couldn’t imagine where I would be today without the continued assistance of the LEAF team who has gone over and above to ensure my success as an individual. I am the son of two heavy drug users and hadn’t seen anyone in my family go to college; so, college wasn’t something I thought I could accomplish until I found LEAF. They helped me continue my education to John Carroll University and now to a professional career in business.”