Big national scholarships tend to get all the attention in the media, mass-market publications, and online databases like fastweb. On the whole, however, most of the funds won in your area probably came from local sources. Most towns have service clubs, charities, and hobby enthusiasts that establish numerous scholarships and only accept applications from local kids. This brings up two key points for those looking to earn some bucks for college:
- These scholarships may never show up in the bigger, nationwide resources. Local philanthropists post their notices on bulletin boards, in local papers, and through distribution to local schools. As such ask around at school or in the greater community about what’s available.
- Also be sure to research past awards for clues on what the future may hold. If your local newspaper has a web presence, use its internal search feature to look for notices and articles about past recipients to figure out who the local givers are and whom, what, and when they tend to award. A quick search of articles from the past year at my local paper’s website yields valuable information on scholarships given by a Western Heritage Foundation, an antique auto club, American Legion auxiliaries, a local manufacturer, the Yavapai Tribe, county endowment funds and many more. Once armed with such information you can make more direct inquiries to the sources themselves.
When it comes to scholarship efforts go ahead and research those funds available to the rest of the world at large. But also do yourself a favor and don’t neglect to shop local.