All students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarships. Students are responsible for informing the Financial Aid Office when they are notified of scholarship awards, regardless of whether they are receiving a financial aid package from the College, so that the outside scholarship can be properly noted on the student’s Financial Aid Summary and/or Payment Plan and Promissory Note. Outside scholarships can be used to reduce the expected family payment, except for federal and state grants. (Federal and state grants are used to fill demonstrated financial need.) If an outside scholarship, combined with institutional gift aid and other state and federal gift aid, results in gift aid that exceeds the cost of attendance, then institutional aid may be reduced.
Where can you find outside scholarships and grants?
First, students should check with their state postsecondary education agency to see if their home state’s Higher Education Agency offers any financial assistance.
Second, students should look for scholarships offered by organizations in their local community. You may find scholarships sponsored by your parish, high school, local businesses, or local service organizations such as the Rotary Club, the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, etc. Learn about the availability of such scholarships by contacting someone from the specific organization or by directly contacting its main headquarters.
Third, students can look for scholarships that are offered by organizations that are located outside of their local community. For that, online scholarship search services can be helpful.
There are many scholarship search services online. Below is a list of several reputable, no-fee services. The best search services are free, so there is no need to spend any money to use a search service. The following list is in alphabetical order, not in any order of preference.
Tip: You may want to set up a separate e-mail address to receive information from these search services and scholarships so that your regular inbox is not filled with advertisements from sponsors. Here are other valuable tips (PDF).
- College Board
- Going Merry
- MEFA Pathway
- U.S. Labor Department Free Search Tool
- Ventura County Community Foundation
A scholarship blog site maintained by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) lists scholarships (many of which can be used in Massachusetts and in California)“, and it posts updates on upcoming deadlines for scholarships.