Every student should complete the FAFSA even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for grants. Some federal aid is not based on need. Some university scholarships require that you complete the FAFSA. See “FAFSA Guide” for more info.
Many scholarships require an ACT or SAT score, so don’t wait too long to take this test. See “ACT and SAT Info.”
Where do I find scholarships?
The top priority is at the university you will be attending. In most cases you must first apply for admission, so be aware of scholarship deadlines so you can have your admissions application in well before the scholarship deadline. If you are in the top 25% or so, you maybe be eligible for guaranteed scholarships.
Another good place to look is local pools of scholarships. These allow you to apply for many scholarships at once. Don’t miss these! See below.
Also listed on this website are local scholarship opportunities under “local scholarships.” These are highlighted because they are from local organizations for local students.
Finally, use the websites below to find hundreds of possible general scholarships.
Keep track of scholarship deadlines!
Find a connection
Look for scholarships at places where you or your parents are involved such as clubs, civic groups, religious or community organizations, professional associations related to your field of interest, ethnicity-based organizations, your employer or your parents’ employers. For example, there are scholarships for the children of Amarillo city employees, for students who are into dove hunting or the NRA, for minorities pursuing studies in engineering, for members of a Methodist church, and for students whose lives have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Look for connections.
Why do scholarship applications get thrown out?
Be sure and fill out applications completely, correctly, neatly, and include all documentation by the deadline.
What all will I need to fill out scholarships?
Scholarship forms can be a simple as a 1 page application, but typically require much more like a transcript and essay. Find out well before the deadline so you can be prepared. Some require a great deal of work. For example, the Sybill Harrington Foundation requires a 2-page application,a 2-page reference form, a statement of personal need form, a 2-page essay, a tax return, a photo, official transcript and ACT/SAT scores.
What kind of students are scholarships looking for?
Scholarships can be from anyone for anything. Some are actually contests or essay competitions. Many have specific students in mind, like Hispanic students who want to be teachers, or females in business. However, in general most are looking for involved students with good grades. Involvement both in school and in the community is great to have. Leadership experience is an excellent attribute. Leadership is not limited to official jobs like being a club officer, but also includes informal activities like initiating a blood drive, or being a leader in a church youth group. Keep track of all you’ve done throughout your school career.
Watch out for scams.
You should not have to pay for any scholarships.
Seven basic warning signs (College Board) (Federal Trade Commission)
Sybil Harrington Foundation 2/1 – www.actx.edu/foundation
Amarillo Area Foundation February – Amarillo Area Foundation Scholarships
Opportunity Plan 4/1 – opi.publishpath.com (cover sheet under ind. list)
FastWeb Scholarship Search – www.fastweb.com
Student Scholarships – www.studentscholarships.org
Scholly App (small fee) – home.myscholly.com
The Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TG) – www.aie.org/scholarships
BigFuture (College Board) – bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search
Every Chance Every Texan (Texas-focused index) – www.everychanceeverytexan.org/
Cappex – www.cappex.com/scholarships/
College & University Financial Aid/Scholarship Webpages
West Texas A&M University
Eastern New Mexico University
Lubbock Christian University
New Mexico State University
Oklahoma State University
Univsersity of Oklahoma
Texas A&M University
Texas State University
Texas Tech University
University of Texas
University of Texas at Arlington