There is a tremendous amount of information available on scholarships. Start your search early and contact the financial aid office at the UW campus you're considering attending for help answering any questions.
Successfully locating, applying for, and receiving a scholarship will require time, energy, and patience. Begin your search early (for example, during your junior year in high school) and well in advance of any application deadlines.
Start at the local level. Listings of community scholarships are often available in high school guidance offices. Students with special talent in art, music, athletics, or a particular academic area should speak with their appropriate teacher or coach about possible scholarships with professional organizations they or their family belong to or are affiliated with. Scouting organizations, labor temples, religious organizations, ethnic clubs, or civic groups may have a scholarship competition or fund. Check with employers: In some instances, employees or children of employees can apply to private companies or organizations for scholarships.
While you're searching for scholarships, contact the financial aid office at the campus you're considering attending. Your campus may have a separate application that must be completed before you can be considered for a campus-based scholarship. Some UW campuses post listings of scholarships on their Web sites or publish listings and application instructions for available scholarships.
A thorough search will also include research at a library or bookstore. The following books provide a good starting point:
Kaplan Scholarships: Billions of Dollars in Free Money for College
Scholarships, Grants & Prizes
Many companies promise to provide lists of scholarships for a fee. In some cases, you are paying for just a list of possible scholarships: some of which may be obsolete, impossible to locate, or limited to applicants who have very specific academic or personal characteristics. Or you may be paying for information that is available at no cost from your financial aid office or the Department of Education. Students and parents are encouraged to read the Federal Trade Commission's warning on scholarship scams.
Each of the following sites allows you to search for possible scholarships based on personal information. Once a posted application is complete, you can search for scholarships using different criteria.
Careers and Colleges offers a searchable database that has over 200,000 available scholarships. The search is performed in two comprehensive scholarship databases.
CollegeBoard enables students to match their educational goals with internships, scholarships, and loans. It offers a wide variety of facts and tips to aid students when planning for college.
College Data uses a simple one-page profile with keyword search. The database is owned by First Financial Bank USA, an education lender.
Fast Web (Financial Aid Search through the Web) is a database of more than 270,000 scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans.
Scholarships.com has good coverage of awards. The database is available to undergraduate and graduate students.