Private scholarships are available from many sources and can be based on a variety of criteria. Check with businesses, civic groups, banks, credit unions, schools, associations, churches, etc. Many of these local groups will offer annual scholarships, so keep your eyes open for opportunities throughout the year.
For more information about private scholarships, including a comprehensive list of scholarships that are available, visit FSU Student Business Services Private Scholarships.
Check nationally through valid, free search sites that will point you to scholarships that may match your interests or attributes. Some of the best web searches include:
Private scholarships must be reported as outside aid. They are a financial resource that will be used in determining your need for other aid. Your financial aid award may be adjusted based on receipt of scholarships at any time during the academic year.
Beware of any scholarship search service that charges a fee. The information that you are paying for could be obtained through another source at no cost. Visit the Federal Student Aid site on How to Avoid Student Aid Scams for guidance on how to identify and avoid scholarship scams.
Submitting Scholarship Letters
This sample scholarship letter provides a sample format for inquiring about private student aid funds. Of course, you must first identify foundations and organizations which offer such assistance in advance of any application deadlines. You can get help finding the names and addresses of private aid sources by conducting a scholarship search on the Internet or from a reference librarian in your public library or local school. Once you have obtained contact information you will need to customize this letter to reflect your own background and needs.