Read an Excerpt
While getting a college degree may be the best investment you will ever make, paying for it is another matter. Going to college is expensive. It can cost $100,000 or more just to complete a bachelor's degree. That's more than most students can afford to pay on their own. What can they do?
Fortunately, money is available. According to Anna and Robert Leider in their book Don't Miss Out (published annually by Octameron Associates), there is more than $85 billion in financial aid available each year. Of this, at least $54 billion comes from federal loans and grants, $16 billion from the colleges, $6 billion from tuition tax credits, $5 billion from the states, $3 billion from employer-paid tuition plans, and $2 billion from private sources.
How can you find out about financial aid that might be available to you? For some sources of funding, it's not difficult at all. To learn about federal resources, you can either call (800) 4-FED-AID or visit the U.S. Department of Education's Website. To find out what your state is offering, turn to the appendix in this book; you'll find contact information there. You can also write to the colleges of your choice or check with your employer to learn about funding from those sources.
But information on private sources of funding is much more elusive. That's where this book can help you. Here, in one place, you can get detailed information on more than 3,000 of the biggest and best scholarships available to fund education after high school. These programs are open to high school seniors, high school graduates, currently enrolled college students, and those returning to college after a break. They can be used to support study in any area, in junior and community colleges, vocational and technical institutes, four-year colleges, and universities. No other source can match the scope, currency, and detail provided in this book. That's why we have a satisfaction guaranteed or your money back offer (see details on the inside front cover).
What's Unique about This Book?
All scholarship directories identify funding opportunities. But, there are six important features that make this book unique.
* The directory covers only programs open to support college studies. Most other directories mix together programs for a number of groups -- high school students, college students, and even graduate students or postdoctorates. Now, you won't have to spend your time sifting through programs that aren't aimed at you.
* Only free money is identified. If a program requires repayment or charges interest, it's not listed. Here's your chance to find out about more than $1 billion in aid, knowing that not one dollar of that will need to be repaid, provided stated requirements are met.
* The funding opportunities covered in this book are not all based on need or on academics. You'll find many sources that award money based on career plans, writing ability, research skills, religious or ethnic background, military or organizational activities, athletic success, personal characteristics, and even pure luck in random drawings.
* You can take the money awarded by these scholarships to any number of schools. Unlike other financial aid directories that often list large numbers of scholarships available only to students enrolled at one specific school, all of the entries in this book are "portable."
* Only the biggest and best funding programs are covered in this book. To be listed here, a program has to offer at least $1,000 per year. Many go way beyond that, paying $20,000 or more each year, or covering the full cost of college attendance. Other scholarship books are often bulked up with awards that may be worth only a few hundred dollars. While any free money you can get your hands on for college is good, you will have to be careful that you don't waste your time and energy chasing scholarships that will hardly put a dent in your overall college cost burden.
* The directory has been designed to make your search as easy as possible. You can identify funding programs by discipline, specific subject, sponsoring organization, and where you live. Plus, you'll find all the information you need to decide if a program is right for you: eligibility requirements, financial data, duration, special features, limitations, number awarded, and application date. You even get fax numbers, toll-free numbers, e-mail addresses, and Website locations (when available), along with complete contact information.
What's Not Covered?
While this book is intended to be the most current and comprehensive source of free money available to college students in the United States, there are some things we've specifically excluded from the directory:
* Funding not aimed at incoming, currently enrolled, or returning college students. If a program is open only to a different category of student (e.g., graduate school students) or if it is not specifically for college students (e.g., a photographic competition open to adults of any age), it is not covered here.
* Individual school-based programs. The directory identifies "portable" programs -- ones that can be used at any number of schools. Financial aid administered by individual schools solely for the benefit of their own students is not covered. Write directly to the schools you are considering to get information on their offerings.
* Money for study outside the United States. Only funding that supports study in the United States is covered here. For information on sources of funding to go abroad, see the "Reference Service Press" section in this directory.
* Very restrictive programs. In general, programs are excluded if they are open only to a very limited geographic area (a medium-sized city or a couple of counties), are available to a very limited membership group (e.g., a local union or a tightly targeted organization), or offer very limited financial support (under $1,000 per year).
* Programs that did not respond to our research inquiries. Despite our best efforts (up to four letters and three telephone follow-up calls), some organizations did not supply information and, consequently, their programs are not described in this edition of the directory.
How to Use This Book
We've divided this book into four sections: introductory materials; a detailed list of free money available for college, organized by discipline; an appendix listing federal and state sources of educational benefits; and a set of indexes to help you pinpoint appropriate funding programs.
The first section of the directory, written by Douglas Bucher, the Director of Financial Aid Operations at New York University, offers tips on searching for scholarships, applying for aid, and avoiding scholarship search scams.
The main section of the directory, prepared by Gall Schlachter, R. David Weber, and the staff of Reference Service Press, describes more than 3,000 scholarships, forgivable loans, competitions, and awards that provide free money for college. The programs listed are sponsored by federal and state government agencies, professional organizations, foundations, educational associations, and military/veterans organizations. All areas of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities are covered.
To help you tailor your search, the entries in this section are grouped into four main categories:
Unrestricted by Subject Area. Described here are 1,264 funding opportunities that can be used to support study in any subject area (although the programs may be restricted in other ways).
Social Sciences. Described here are 544 sources of financial that 1) reward outstanding speeches, essays, organizational involvement, and other activities in the social sciences or 2) support college studies in various social science fields, including accounting, business administration, criminology, economics, education, geography, home economics, international relations, labor relations, political science sales and marketing, sociology, social services, sports and recreation, and tourism.
Sciences. Described here are 859 sources of free money that 1) reward student speeches, essays, inventions, organizational involvement, and other activities in the sciences or 2) support college studies in a number of scientific fields, including agricultural sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental sciences, food science, horticulture, mathematics, marine sciences, nursing, nutrition, pharmacology, and technology.
Humanities. Described here are 491 funding programs that 1) reward outstanding artistic and creative work by students or 2) support college studies in the humanities, including architecture, art, creative writing, design, history, journalism, languages, literature, music, and religion.
Each program entry in the first section of the guide has been prepared to give you a concise but clear picture of the available funding. Information (when available) is provided on organization address and telephone numbers (including fax and toll-free numbers), e-mail address and Website location, eligibility, money awarded, duration, special features, limitations, number of awards, and application deadline. The sample entry opposite illustrates a typical entry.
Appendix: Federal and State Financial Aid
In this section, sources of information on federal and state educational benefits are provided. Use this listing as the first step in your search for federal and state-based financial aid. You'll find here the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and Website (when available) of the agencies in your state that administer educational assistance and loan funds for college students.
To help you find the aid you need, we have included four indexes; these will let you access the listings by specific subject, residency, sponsoring organization, and tenability. These indexes use a word-by-word alphabetical arrangement. Note: Numbers in the index refer to entry numbers, not to page numbers in the book.
Subject Index. Use this index when you want to identify funding programs by specific subject.
Residency Index. Some programs listed in this book are restricted to residents of a particular city, county, state, or region. Others are open to students wherever they live. This index helps you identify programs available only to residents in your area as well as programs that have no residency restrictions.
Sponsoring Organization Index. This index makes it easy to identify agencies that offer free money for college. Sponsoring organizations are listed alphabetically, word by word. In addition, we've used a code to help you identify which programs sponsored by these organizations fall within your general area of interest (any subject area, social sciences, sciences, or humanities).
Tenability Index. Some programs described in this book are restricted to persons attending schools in specific cities, countries, states, or regions. This index will help you locate funding specifically for the geographic area where you attend or plan to attend school.
Copyright © 2001 by Reference Service Press