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Privately funded scholarships are one type of financial aid for which students can apply. The funding may be national, such as Coca Cola or Gates Foundation or local, such as Rotary or Junior Auxiliary.
You can start researching early for these scholarships by checking the lists below and signing up on national search sites. For high school students, many scholarships will not post until fall of your senior year, but deadlines may be as early as October. See your high school counselor or career center manager for a list of scholarships.
State and Local Scholarships
National Scholarship Search Sites
How can you tell which scholarship offers are legitimate and which are scams?
The signs that follow many not mean an offer is a scam, but if an offer has more than one of these characteristics, it should be treated with caution.
Scholarship fees: If you have to pay money to get money, it may be a scam.
Guaranteed scholarship services: Nobody can guarantee a student any financial aid money!
Free seminars: Many scholarship services offer a “free” seminar or interview to provide information about financial aid and then they set you up to pay money for services that you can get for free.
Requests for personal information: Scholarship applications will never request your bank account numbers or credit card numbers and usually will not request your Social Security number.