Degree Canyon

Find My Perfect School :


Degree Levels

Top Specializations


Financial Aid: Private Sources

Private scholarships can be obtained by students who put some time and effort into the search. These scholarships include aid provided by:

  • your own high school,
  • local community organizations,
  • service clubs,
  • private companies, and
  • other philanthropic organizations not affiliated with your target colleges.

Currently, with federal and state funding being cut, interest is growing in the private sector as a source of financial aid. You may be surprised to find that private funding criteria are quite different from more typical need-based requirements. Your family background, as well as your grades, hobbies and accomplishments may be relevant. While there are, in fact, untapped sources of financial aid, much of it is relatively difficult to get your hands on. Private sources outside your own community may have very restrictive requirements to qualify for aid, and many scholarships are highly competitive based on grades and achievements. It is important to find out relevant information about the scholarships before applying to ensure that you are not wasting your valuable time.

Questions to consider:

  • Should I use my counselor or Career Guidance Specialist for help finding local scholarships?
  • Who provides private sources of scholarships?
  • What are the eligibility requirements for private scholarships?
  • How large are private awards?
  • How do private scholarships affect my eligibility for college aid?


Should I use my Counselor or Career Guidance Specialist for help finding local scholarships? Without a doubt. These professionals will be able to guide you towards a variety of scholarships that are available in your community. Banks, service clubs, and organizations of all types frequently set aside money to help a wide range of students afford some of the cost of college. Do not forget the most obvious: Does your high school provide any grants or scholarships? Do your parents work for a company that provides aid for employee children going to college? Be sure to explore all your options by working closely with your school professionals and your parents. Who provides private sources of scholarships?

  • Funds are offered by a wide variety of private sources including:
  • Community organizations such as Rotary, Elks Club, Chamber of Commerce, and PTA employers
  • Professional, career and trade associations such as unions
  • Churches
  • National foundations.

Also, your high school or school district may participate in a community scholarship program. What are the eligibility requirements for private scholarships? Awards may be based on grades, entrance test scores, rank in class, leadership ability, country or state of birth, ethnic background church affiliation, artistic talent, athletic abilities, special skills, special examination scores, career goals, college major, an essay on a selected topic, a research project, parent organization membership, or a combination of these criteria. Additional Requirements and information- Scholarships from private sources are often small. Researching them requires time and effort. Budget your time carefully; applications may require you to write an essay or autobiography and/or obtain recommendations. Your first priority is to apply for the major sources of aid: Federal Pell Grants, State Grants, and campus-based financial aid programs. How large are private awards? Awards vary considerably from one hundred to several thousand dollars, but generally are not sufficient to cover all of your college costs. However, the amounts you receive from several scholarships do add up. Furthermore, they provide needed moneys that would otherwise be borrowed and repaid at a later time. These awards can also reduce the number of hours you might have to work a week to help support yourself. Payment of awards- Some awards from private sources are paid directly to you; others are paid to the college financial aid office after you have sent the scholarship source proof of your enrollment in the college.

How do private scholarships affect my eligibility for college aid? Colleges ask that you inform them of any awards made directly to you. These scholarships are taken into consideration in calculating your total financial aid package. More information available-Click here.