Thinking about scholarships, part two

Last week I wrote about scholarships and a few big-picture guidelines to use when searching for funding. Think like a donor to understand why the big money is probably going to be at the college itself. Look to the organizations you already belong to. Understand how much you need and what you’re willing and able to do. This week I’d like to give three specific examples of what I’m talking about to see how this works.

The KU Excellence scholarship

Who is it for? Out-of-state students applying to the University of Kansas as freshmen. They also have a set of scholarships for Kansas residents.

How much is it worth? It lowers your tuition to be the same as in-state students. That’s currently a discount of $16,210 per year, or $64,840 total. That’s a lot of money.

What do you have to do to qualify? Have a 30 ACT score or a 1360 SAT score, and also have a GPA of 3.75 or higher. If your scores or grades don’t meet that standard, they also have some smaller scholarships with a lower score/grade threshold. There’s no extra work to qualify—no essays or interviews—and every out-of-state student who qualifies gets the scholarship.

How did I find it? I just went to the University of Kansas website, clicked on Admissions, and then clicked on Tuition and Scholarships. Whatever schools you’re thinking about apply to, you should do the same. They’re not hiding their big scholarships, because they’re trying to use them to entice you to apply and enroll. Ironically, it’s often the biggest scholarships, like this $64,000 one, that have the least amount of extra work or luck involved. Don’t pass up these opportunities.

 Screenshot from  KU website

Screenshot from KU website

The Stephanie G. Hoffman Scholarship Fund

Who is it for? Jewish college students from the San Francisco area.

How much is it worth? $2,000-$5,000.

What do you have to do to qualify? “Major in library science, English literature, or related field, with the intention of working with underserved children to excite them through reading to pursue higher education.” This is quite specific.

How did I find it? I wanted to show that religious organizations are a great place to check for scholarships, and that they are often regional instead of national. So I Googled “scholarships for Jews in San Francisco.” Sure enough, the top hit is the website for the Jewish Community Federation & Endowment fund of San Francisco, The Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. They list the Hoffman Scholarship fund as well as 10 other scholarships specifically for Jewish students in the San Francisco area. Whatever your religious affiliation and geographic region, there’s probably a similar site for you.

 Screenshot from  JCF website

Screenshot from JCF website

MyProjectorLamps.com Scholarship

Who is it for? High school or college students. Must be at least 14 years old to apply.

How much is it worth? $500.

What do you have to do to qualify? You must have at least a 3.0 GPA, like or follow MyProjectorLamps.com on Facebook, and write an essay on “your ideas about the use of multimedia and data visualization in K-12 classrooms.”

How did I find it? Just out of curiosity, I Googled “scholarships for average students.” That led me to a whole section on FastWeb for scholarships for average students. The one from MyProjectorLamps.com is a great example of the corporate scholarships I talked about last week. They give away $500 a year, and they gain Facebook followers and consumer research about how to keep projectors useful in classrooms. One essay for a possible $500 doesn’t seem like much, but imagine you’re trying to win a dozen of these to really make a dent in your tuition bill—it will take a lot of writing, and there’s no guarantee with any of them.

 Screenshot from  FastWeb.com

Screenshot from FastWeb.com

Thanks for reading! Please share this with everyone you know, or at least with someone you think will find it helpful. Next week, I’ll have two more Meet the Class updates. There are lots of ways to get regular updates from Apply with Sanity: like me on Facebook and Twitter, get the monthly newsletter, or connect on LinkedIn