Need Help Finding Good Scholarships?

The Charger Bulletin

Paying for college can sometimes be a hassle, but don’t let that stop you from achieving your educational goals. There are many ways in which you can receive financial help to pay for school. One of the most easy and often overlooked ways to pay for college is through outside scholarships. Outside scholarships are different from those given out by the University. They are provided by outside organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, professional organizations, community organizations and more. These scholarships give the extra financial assistance you may need when paying your bill, and there are so many different outside scholarships available for many different kinds of students. This week’s theme is about searching for outside scholarships, and the Financial Aid Office is here to teach you how to search for them. We can even provide you with some outside scholarships that we have already found.

Searching for outside scholarships can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. The most common question people ask when looking for outside scholarships is, Is this a legitimate scholarship?” There are websites out there that may try to trick you into paying in order to apply. If any scholarship asks you to pay, it is not a legitimate site and you should get off of the website immediately. According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), perpetrators of financial aid fraud often use the following telltale lines:

  • The scholarship is “guaranteed or your money back”
  • You can’t get this information anywhere else
  • “We just need a credit card” or bank account number to hold this scholarship
  • We’ll do all the work
  • There is a fee to apply for the scholarship
  • You’ve been selected by a “national foundation to receive a scholarship” or “You’re a finalist”; in a contest you never entered

If you happen to come across a website with any of the above lines or something similar, it is most likely a fraudulent website and you should avoid it and exit the browser immediately. For more information, or to file a complaint, you should call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or visit: http://www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams.

A good way to begin your search is by checking well known educational sites like www.collegeboard.com. Most students know Collegeboard is a real organization because they may have used it to help search for colleges when applying as a senior in high school or when taking the SAT’s/ACT’s. Some other websites that provide good outside scholarship opportunities are www.ecampustours.com, www.fastweb.com, www.collegeanswer.com, www.brokescholar.com, and www.petersons.com/finaid. The first step for most of the websites above is to create a log in name and profile. This will allow you to save potential scholarships you find to a favorites section of your profile, and you can also customize your profile so that the website can match you with scholarships that fit your needs. For example, if you’re an engineering major, and you create a profile based on that, the website will be able to match you up with scholarships related to your major. The same applies for business majors, criminal justice majors and so on. They can also match you based on your year in school, such as freshman or senior. This process is easy and quick, especially since once created the profiles are doing all the searching for you and sending it to your e-mail address. All you have to do is sit back, relax and let the outside scholarship matches come to you!

Not only can you search for outside scholarships on your own, but if you are having difficulty finding them, then the Financial Aid Office can help! Recently, the financial aid student workers have spent a lot of time researching outside scholarships that can help any UNH student pay for college. We have created two binders full of outside scholarship information, so that anyone can easily access them. We’ve also created a bulletin board inside the office lobby that displays several of the outside scholarships that may be targeted toward your major!

IMPORTANT: If the total of all of your outside scholarships exceeds $5,000 then it may  have an affect on your financial aid award.  Please contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if your individual financial aid will be affected.

Outside scholarships can really help take the weight off your shoulders when trying to pay for college. Please take advantage of the information given above, and use these websites to help you find what you’re looking for. The outside scholarship binders will be located in the Financial Aid Office, Maxcy Hall Room 118B. Stop by during business hours, Monday through Friday 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. and check them out! Also, check out our Facebook page, University of New Haven-Financial Aid Office, for updates and information regarding financial aid. You never know what you might find!