Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

How to Conduct a Successful Scholarship Search

Develop your Scholarship Game Plan

  • Plan to apply for as many scholarships as possible
  • Plan to invest some time into the project; repeat your search every month or so.
  • Develop a portfolio of reusable materials (e.g., essays, descriptions of yourself, goals etc.)
  • Learn from past scholarship winners.
  • Take stock of yourself. What makes you, well, you? Think about religion, hobbies and interests, ethnic background, geographics, family affiliations, physical attributes, educational goals - get to know you and use these attributes to conduct your search. Look for family connections, community service achievements, disabilities, and special talents.
  • Know how to Google Don't just search "scholarship"; make it descriptive — Try "Scholarship Foundations", "health professions scholarships", "scholarships for military children", "Scholarships for non-traditional students", "Occupational Therapy Scholarships".

Search Known Sites

Financial Aid Page
Free Scholarship Info
College Answer (Click on Scholarship Search)
The College Board
College Net Mach 25
The Scholarship Page
Scholarship Resource Network

Beware of Scams!!

  • "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
  • "You can't get this information anywhere else."
  • "I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship."
  • "We'll do all the work."
  • "The scholarship will cost some money."
  • "You've been selected by a 'national foundation' to receive a scholarship"
  • "You're a finalist in a contest you never entered."
  • FACT - don't ever give your SS# or date of birth, to any scholarship program.
  • FACT - never pay an agency to conduct a scholarship search for you.
  • Investigate who you are dealing with.
  • Get information in writing about the awards you win.

Resource Articles

Check these out!

  1. 10 Tips for Winning Scholarship Applications by Kay Peterson, PhD
  2. Scholarship Tips for Nontraditional Students by Jose Vasquez, author of Free Cash for College: The everyday Students' Guide to Financial Aid
  3. Where the Scholarships Are by Tavia Evans