School’s out for summer! I’m sure by now you have reset your alarm clock to 10 a.m., found the closest swimming pool, and bought midnight tickets to Harry Potter. Summer is a great time to relax and refresh. It’s also a great time to get a jump start on one of the most challenging steps in the college search and application process…scholarships.

Searching for college scholarships is as big as searching for constellations. They are out there; you just have to know what you are looking for. Scholarships can come directly from colleges and universities, alumni clubs, corporations, and local community organizations.

Universities – Students applying to the University of Oklahoma as incoming freshman will benefit from a combined admission & scholarship application. Prospective students breathe easy knowing that when they applied for admission they have also applied for all available incoming freshman scholarships.

Alumni – Universities can also assist you in locating alumni clubs in your area. If you have the chance to visit with the clubs, they can help in your decision to attend that university. Most alumni LOVE to visit with prospective students and the more they learn about you the better they can help with scholarships and letters of recommendation. OU has alumni located across the nation that annually raise funds for local scholarships.

Corporations – Corporations post their scholarships directly to their websites. Check out the big companies that are known for community out-reach, but try not to spend too much time applying for these. The applicant pool is much larger and competitive.

Community – High School counselors can assist you in locating community scholarships. Community scholarship applications can be a bit lengthy and request more information about the student’s involvement and achievements. Again, networking with local alumni will benefit you in applying for community scholarships.

Get started early! Use your summer vacation to locate alumni in your area, sign-up on (a third party scholarship search engine most recommended by universities), and create your resume. Your high school resume does not need to read like a professional resume. It should be a concise overview of all your activities and accomplishments from your high school career. Jump on your computer and start a Word document you can edit over time. List all the leadership positions you’ve held, every club you’ve been involved with, community activities and hours of volunteerism, and awards.

Also begin thinking about something that influenced you. Whether it’s being student council president or traveling to China with your youth group. Don’t just talk about what you did, but why you did it and what you gained from it. Also begin thinking about your future goals. If you aren’t sure what your future career plans are, start small…what do you want to do in college? Join organizations, get an internship, start a new program, reach out to a community. What makes you stand out from everyone else? Every star is unique, and so is every student.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar