A few helpful tips for applying for a scholarship.

 1. Get friendly with your own neighborhood. Your community is one of the biggest sources of scholarships. Find out about these kinds of awards by contacting your local Chamber of Commerce and by reading your community newspaper.

2. Choose quality over quantity. You’ll need to prioritize which scholarships to apply for. Instead of trying to apply to as many scholarships as possible, try to apply to the scholarships that best fit your strengths, interests and qualifications.

3. Understand the purpose of the scholarship. Scholarships may be designed to encourage students to enter a specific career field, to reward students who contribute to their communities or to help under-served students enter higher education. Use this information to guide how you write your scholarship application.

4. Follow the directions. Make sure you take the time to ensure every i is dotted and t is crossed. Include all the information and forms requested, and answer every question.

5. Write an essay that demonstrates why you should win. The scholarship application gives the scholarship judges a sense of who you are and what’s important to you. Think about what skills and qualities the scholarship judges seek and then describe how you match them.

6. Get feedback from editors. You can’t write a strong scholarship essay in a vacuum, and editors are the best people to help. Friends, teachers and even parents can make great editors.

7. Proofread. No matter how strong of an applicant you are, it would be difficult for a scholarship judge to overlook spelling or grammatical errors. Proofread your application and essays carefully, and have your editors do the same.

8. Practice for interviews. Ask a friend or parent to do a mock interview with you to prepare for the real thing.

9. Ask your parents for help. Mom and Dad are capable of doing more than writing the tuition check. They can help you find scholarships, keep track of deadlines and give you feedback on your applications and essays.

10. Brag a little about yourself. You need to let your best self shine through in your scholarship applications. Don’t be bashful about discussing your accomplishments.

Tips for Getting Scholarships and Other Financial Aid:

Work hard to get and maintain good grades in school. Perform as well as you can on your ACT or SAT exam. Start early looking for scholarship money: Internet, library, your community, etc. If a scholarship requires a letter of recommendation, ask your teacher or counselor EARLY. If a scholarship requires you to write an essay, have a teacher or counselor read your essay before you submit it. Read the forms, applications, and deadlines carefully. Save time: File your FAFSA electronically as soon as possible after October 1st. Complete a FAFSA each year that you are in college and follow through on submitting all of the required documents for financial aid. Ask questions when you are unsure.

Suggested Websites

Suggested Books For Research

  • College Board Scholarship Handbook  By: The College Board Scholarship Book By: Daniel J. Cassidy Scholarships, Grants & Prizes, 2011 By: Peterson’s 2004 Hispanic Scholarship Directory By: WPR Publishing
  • How to go to College Almost for Free By: Ben Kaplan Money –Winning Scholarship Essay and Interviews By: Gen S. Tanabe and Kelly Y. Tanabe

Training, Internships, Other

AmeriCorps Program

Info: Full-time members who complete their service earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans; members who serve part-time receive a partial Award. Some AmeriCorps members may also receive a modest living allowance during their term of service.

Federally Funded Scholarships, Grants & Internships

Native Waters Organization-Internship Program

Info: With generous support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Native Waters partnered with the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center (YERC) to bring Native American students to Yellowstone National Park to learn global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) techniques using NASA tools. Students returned their respected reservations or Tribal communities with the ability to implement techniques benefited their tribes.

Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research at Berkeley (SUPERB)

Contact: Beatriz Lopez-Flores, 510-643-6443, 222 Bechtel Engineering Center #1702, Berkeley, CA 94720-1702,; Eligibility: Open to underrepresented students focusing in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering. Award: $3,500 stipend and $600, traveling allowance. Deadline: February 13