East Carolina University encourages students to search for private scholarships not affiliated with the University. Start your search early and be aware of deadlines. It does not cost anything to apply for a scholarship beyond a little bit of your time and the rewards can be significant. Small scholarships add up so don’t make the mistake of ignoring these opportunities.
Search for scholarships from a variety of sources. Ask at your parents’ places of employment. Ask your high school guidance counselors. Check with your local civic, religious, and community organizations and community foundations. Search for scholarships with companies that offer employment to graduates of your intended program of study.
Treat applying for a scholarship as a job. Make sure you meet the scholarship criteria. Learn about the organization to ensure that you are a good candidate. Evaluate your strengths. Applicants with clear ideas of their goals and talents find it easier to write meaningful essays. Make sure the reader of the essay has a clear understanding of who you are as a person. Type your application. Edit, proofread, spell check, and ask someone else to proofread your application. Be organized. Keep copies of all scholarship application materials. Make sure you send all required supplemental information such as transcripts, forms, etc. And, lastly, happy hunting and good luck!
North Carolina residents are encouraged to search for scholarships at the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (www.ncseaa.edu), the College Foundation of North Carolina (www.cfnc.org) and the North Carolina Community Foundation (www.nccommunityfoundation.org).
FastWEB (Financial Aid Search Through the WEB) is the largest and most complete scholarship search on the Internet. It provides access to a searchable database of more than 400,000 private sector scholarships, fellowships, grants and student loans. Used by schools across the United States, FastWEB is available to you free via www.fastweb.com.
There are many legitimate scholarship resources available for students and families. Unfortunately, there are also numerous scholarship scams. We encourage all students and parents to learn more from the Federal Trade Commission about common scholarship scams. By becoming aware of the strategies and techniques used, you can learn how to protect yourself and identify potential pitfalls during your scholarship search.