ABCs of Scholarships
As you consider your scholarship options, you will find two categories: Merit scholarships offered by a college or university and other scholarships typically referred to as “outside” or “off-campus” scholarships. Find more information on these scholarships below.
Scholarships offered by a college or university typically include awards for:
Excellent grades in high school
SAT/ACT test scores
In addition, many schools – including several Adventist colleges – offer scholarships for:
- Enrolling in specific degree programs, such as nursing or business or engineering or music
- Significant leadership roles while in high school, such as student association or class officer
- Summer camp work experience
- Mission, church and/or community outreach work
Merit scholarships offered by colleges are typically described in college brochures and on their web sites.
Other or “Off-Campus” Scholarships
In addition to scholarships offered by individual colleges, there are a significant number of off-campus scholarships available. Off-campus scholarships are typically provided by the following types of organizations:
- Community or civic organizations, such as Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, etc.
- Local businesses and major corporations
- Foundations or other nonprofit organizations
- Religious or church-based entities
Scholarship scams are everywhere, but applying for reputable off-campus scholarships is free. The following web sites are a great place to start applying:
- Mach25 – Database containing over 600,000 awards totaling over $1.6 billion. You can search for various scholarships by keyword, but it is not a true search engine so it can take more time to find scholarships your student qualifies for.
- CollegeBoard’s Scholarship Search – Database with more than 2,300 sources of grants, loans and scholarships offering over $3 billion in assistance. You complete a profile for your student, and the site will provide closest matches.
- FinAid.org – Excellent, one-stop shopping for information about financial aid. Includes links to multiple scholarship sites.
Many families overlook assistance offered by their local church. While technically not considered a scholarship, many churches provide need-based grants for students to attend an Adventist college or university.
In addition, many Adventist colleges offer a matching grant to students who receive help from a local church. Each college has a different policy on how much they will match and who qualifies, but it is one more way to make an Adventist education more affordable.
Finally, it’s important to determine if an outside or “off-campus” award will reduce other financial aid offered by the college being considered. Check with each financial aid office to find out their policy.