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Scholarships & Financial Aid
- Begin with the colleges where you have applied because they provide many of the scholarships and grants received by students. Research scholarship opportunities in the financial aid portion of their websites.
- Follow cccunion on Twitter. Scholarships will be tweeted.
- Watch for scholarship announcements on the College and Careers calendar.
- Watch the newspapers for scholarship announcements.
- Watch for church-sponsored scholarships and for those sponsored by other groups to which you belong.
- Inquire of your parent's employers regarding company-sponsored scholarship programs for employees' children. Some company scholarships require national test scores.
How do I search for scholarships?
The problem with searching for scholarships isn’t that there are too few; it’s that there are too many. The search can be overwhelming as a result.
The Naviance scholarship list includes several hundred options, and you can limit your search to a few categories. The CCC posts a scholarship from the list almost every day on Facebook. We try to post a scholarship a month or so before its deadline.
Google is your best bet for searching on your own. Below is a list of search engines that will be useful to you. Keep in mind that you must be a careful user when it comes to providing personal information, etc. Even though these are reputable sites, you must use your good judgement any time you are using an internet source.
Speaking of Google, try searching for specific scholarships using terms such as “scholarships for high school juniors,” “scholarships with October (or any month) deadlines,” “scholarships for minority students,” “scholarships for artists,” or “scholarships for Oklahoma students.”
Most scholarships given by universities are based on your academic performance, leadership, or special programs such as athletics, band, or theater.
The federal government awards money based on financial need. All students should fill out the FAFSA to determine if they qualify.
Usually in the spring, the CCC advertises a number of local scholarships: Union PTA scholarship, the Tulsa Engineering Scholarship, the Bovaird Scholarship for students who will attend TU, the Taylor Witcher Scholarship (just for Union students), and several others. The competition for these scholarships is much lower than scholarships offered nationally or even state-wide.
How to Apply for Scholarships
Many colleges and universities offer merit-based scholarships for students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and academic achievements. Although these scholarships are based on merit, students will probably be required to complete a financial needs analysis. If a college awards its own scholarship dollars to students eligible for state or federal funds, this would eliminate the possibility of receiving outside need-based funds. This allows colleges to make the best use of their scholarship dollars and serve the greatest number of students.
Students should investigate any private sources of financial aid available, including:
- Parents' employers
- Parents' fraternal or school organizations
- Professional organizations
- Department awards within the university
- Business and service clubs
- Churches/religious organizations
- Cultural groups
In most cases, scholarship decisions are based on a variety of criteria. These are a few of the most often used:
- Grade point averages
- Class rank
- ACT or SAT test scores
- Extracurricular activities
- Letters of recommendation
- Autobiographical statement or essay
Visit the following websites to learn about additional scholarship programs:
Good sites to find financial aid for minority students include:
- Gates Millennium Scholars: http://www.gmsp.org/
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund: http://www.hsf.net/
- Japanese American Citizens League: http://www.jacl.org/
- LULAC-League of United Latin American Citizens: http://www.inesc.org/
- American Indian College Fund: http://www.collegefund.org/scholarships/main.html
- United Negro College Fund: http://www.uncf.org/
- Minority On-Line Information Service: http://www.molis.us/
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute: http://www.chci.org/scholarships/
Other good sites:
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (this site contains a section on scholarships for specific majors or courses of study): http://nasfaa.org/redesign/ParentsStudents.html