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Outside Scholarships That Fill Unmet Need


This article is slated to be updated with the latest FAFSA, Scholarship, and Financial Information. For more updated information, please refer to our 2023 and 2024 articles.

A lot of families have been discouraged from pursuing outside scholarships for reasons I have already discussed in a previous blog–that the colleges will not use them to fill unmet need.

Spending hours pursuing outside scholarships–that is, scholarships that are from private organizations separate from your school– that are only going to reduce the financial aid you would have gotten otherwise, is not the way you want to spend your time. A number of colleges across the country, however, have signed a pledge with Scholarship America to provide real value from its scholarships and their list has grown substantially since it was last published.

How It Works

All of the colleges and universities on the list have pledged that scholarships earned through Scholarship America will be used to fill the student’s unmet need. Any additional money left over will be used to reduce the need for student loans.

While this pledge only applies to scholarships earned through Scholarship America, it’s worth a serious look.

Available Outside Scholarships

As I anxiously reviewed the new scholarships being offered, I was disappointed to learn that many of them were limited to certain groups-such as residents of Alabama, California, and Minnesota. Others were only available to graduate students, military students, or students already in college. There are, however,  several scholarships that might benefit you.

Check out the $10,000 to $25,000 scholarships from AXA that are awarded to students for outstanding achievement in school, community service, or in the workplace.

Exceptional students might also qualify for a $10,000 scholarship from the Reagan Foundation which is given to students who demonstrate leadership, drive, and integrity.

There are several Great Lakes National Scholarships of $2500 per year which are given to students studying Math, Science, Engineering, or Technology.

There’s also Dr. Pepper’s Tuition Give-Away which becomes available in August of this year. Pursuing scholarships from Scholarship America might be worth your time.

At least if your student wins one and gets accepted by one of the many colleges and universities who signed the pledge, they will be getting a real value for their efforts.

For more tips on finding outside scholarships check out this blog!

Jack Schacht has over 40 years in marketing, management, career development and business leadership. As president of College Funding Advisors and co-founder of My College Planning Team, he brings his unique talents to help families identify and implement strategies that can help them substantially reduce college costs.

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