What is a Private Scholarship?
A Private Scholarship is an award a student receives from a source outside of the university. Private Scholarships are also called "Outside Scholarships" and are awarded by businesses, organizations, civic groups, high schools, religious organizations and many other agencies.
Students apply for these scholarships on their own by communicating directly with the agency offering the award.
How do I search for Private Scholarships?
Students should contact their High School Guidance Counselor's office during their senior year of high school, to determine if there are any scholarship opportunities available.
Students may want to check with Community Service organizations, their Church or religious organization, or with Civic Groups in which they are involved to ask if they offer scholarships.
A student's parent may want to check with his or her employer or union to determine if the employer/union offers scholarships for the dependent children of their employees.
Students may search for scholarships on their own on the Internet. There are several sites available on which to search for scholarships.
What about Scholarship Scams?
BE AWARE OF SCHOLARSHIP SCAMS! Some of the scholarship opportunities that are offered through online scholarship searches may be scams. Keep the following tips in mind before applying for a scholarship. If you receive information stating any of the following, chances are it is a SCAM!
"A service needs your credit card or checking account information" - Applying for scholarships should be FREE! You should NOT pay money to apply for scholarships!
"A scholarship is guaranteed" - No service can guarantee it will get you money.
"The service will do all the work" -No service can provide all of the personal information required, fill out essays, or supply the references a scholarship may require.
"You can only find this information here" - Scholarships, grants, and awards for school are available in directories and all over the web. No one organization has a monopoly on the information.
"Being a finalist in a contest you never entered or randomly being selected by a national foundation to receive an award" - Most organizations only contact you AFTER you have made an inquiry.
What do I do if I know I am receiving a Private Scholarship?
Once you have received a letter from the agency indicating the amount of the scholarship you have been awarded, you should forward a copy of that letter to the Financial Aid Office. Private scholarships may affect your eligibility for the other financial aid programs you have already been awarded. The sooner you provide a copy of the letter from the agency regarding your private scholarship award, the quicker the Financial Aid Office can determine if adjustments to your financial aid award are necessary. If an adjustment to a student's current financial aid award is necessary, the Financial Aid Office will communicate the changes to the student via a revised financial aid award notification.
Outside scholarships do NOT include: tuition exchange scholarships, any or all tuition remission benefits, ROTC or Vocational Rehabilitation benefits. These types of awards will be substituted dollar for dollar from any institutional grant eligibility, including merit scholarships.
Outside scholarships that are specifically designated for tuition costs will be substituted dollar for dollar from the university's merit scholarships, since those are specifically applied to the institutional tuition, once the tuition cost is met. It is important that students provide the award letter they receive from any scholarship agency so the financial aid award is adjusted appropriately.