Calling All Seniors: Check Out These Scholarship Opportunities!

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Sofia Farres, Editor-in-Chief

College application season is in full force and along with the seemingly endless supplements and forms seniors have to complete, they must start looking into potential scholarship opportunities. ILS Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Laura Moya has been sending out weekly emails informing students of a multitude of scholarships that may be available to them. 

“Mrs. Moya’s emails have been a huge lifesaver for me,” said senior Fernanda Valdez. “I’ve been able to find a bunch of different scholarships and have begun applying already.”

Most scholarships have different criteria that determine whether a student is eligible to win or not. Some scholarships are school-specific, while others are available to anyone that meets their criteria. 

Here are some of the more general scholarships Mrs. Moya has sent out to the seniors:

  • Brooks Law Group’s Fall 2020 Scholarship: To apply, submit an essay about the following prompt: How have you personally been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and what have you learned? What have you done to help others in your community during this time? If you were in charge, how would you have addressed the concerns we’ve seen? Deadline: Nov. 6, 2020.
  • OppU Achievers Scholarship: High school seniors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0; U.S. citizen or resident. Students submit a short response to the question “What makes you an achiever?” Deadline: December 31, 2020
  • 10 Top-Dollar Fall Scholarships for High School Seniors: Check out this website for 10 different scholarship opportunities for seniors.
  • The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s College Scholarship Program: An undergraduate scholarship program available exclusively through CommonApp to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend and graduate from the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities. In addition to the monetary award, Cooke scholars receive comprehensive educational advising, significant cohort-based programming, and graduate school funding, as well as access to a thriving network of more than 2,600 fellow Cooke scholars and alumni. Deadline: closes October 30, 2020.
  • JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest: Several awards given! Deadline is January 15, 2021.
  • Equitable Excellence Scholarship: Students across the country work hard to make a positive and lasting impact in their communities and beyond. Deadline: Dec. 15, 2020.
  • Burger King Foundation Scholar Program: Offers multiple scholarship opportunities.
  • Prudential Spirit of Community Awards:  For students leading by example through their volunteering. Deadline: November 10, 2020.
  • Course Hero:  Three merit-based scholarships. Deadline: December 20, 2020.
  • Voice of Democracy Scholarship: Audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. The national first place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The 2020-21 theme: Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned? Deadline: October 31, 2020.
  • The Elks National Foundation: Opportunity for high school seniors to apply for their Most Valuable Student Scholarship. Deadline: November 15, 2020. Applicants do not need to be related to a member of the Elks.

Make sure to look into the specific schools that you are applying to because many of them also offer merit-based scholarships for students planning to attend. 

Here are some other ways to find scholarships that could be a perfect fit for you:

  • Scholar Snapp – A free, simple to use data standard that allows students to reuse their application information – including contact information, essays, transcripts, etc. – from one scholarship another thereby streamlining the college scholarship application process.
  • Scholly – A mobile app that provides students with a fast and simple way to find scholarships for college. (Created by Christopher Gray, a Coca-Cola Scholar!)
  • Peerlift – Proven scholarships, internships, summer programs, and more gathered by fellow students like you. (Founded by a team of 2017 Coca-Cola Scholars!) Learn more about the creation of Peerlift.
  • FastWeb – Create a profile and let FastWeb do the research on scholarships, internships colleges and more for you.
  • CashCourse – Information that helps college students stay financially informed.
  • Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation – Educational and scholarship opportunities for students of all levels.
  • Cappex – A free website where you can learn which colleges want you, before you apply and learn about more than $11 billion in merit aid scholarships.
  • Scholarships.com– A free college scholarship search and financial aid information.
  • Scholarship America – Provides information and resources for your scholarship search.
  • KnowHow2GO – Complete information on college prep, whether in middle school or seniors.
  • HS Finder (Hispanic Scholarship Fund) – Scholarship information for Latino students.
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund – Provides scholarships, programmatic and capacity building support to the 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
  • Gates Millennium Scholars – Provides outstanding low income African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline they choose.
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund – The nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
  • American Indian College Fund – Provides Native American students with scholarships and financial support for the nation’s 33 accredited tribal colleges and universities.
  • Dell Scholars Program – Recognizes academic potential and determination in students that have a definite need for financial assistance.
  • UNCF – Awards 10,000 students each year through 400 scholarship and internship programs so that students from low- and moderate-income families can afford college tuition, books and room and board.
  • Chegg – A place to connect with scholarships and learn about colleges.
  • Reagan Foundation Scholarships – Scholarship opportunities for outstanding student leaders.
  • Goizueta Legacy Scholarship – Provides scholarships for the children of Coca-Cola employees.
  • American Indian Graduate Center & AIGCS – The largest scholarship providers to Native students in the United States, awarding $15 million in scholarships annually and more than $200 million since inception. For almost 50 years, AIGC has funded students pursing undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in any field of study at any accredited institution of choice, working with over 500 tribes in all 50 states.
  • National Society of High School Scholars – NSHSS and its partners offer more than $2,000,000 in scholarships annually. All students are eligible to apply for high school and college scholarships in the areas of academic excellence, entrepreneurship, leadership, literature, medicine, music, STEM, sustainability, visual arts, and more.

Finally, here are some scholarship tips from Mrs. Moya: 

“When filling out scholarship profiles (like in a search engine), do not narrow your interests/hobbies or choose a career that will most likely change by the time you are in college, that way you will be matched with more scholarships,” Mrs. Moya said via email.

She also said: “Don’t pass on applying to scholarships that seems small (like $1000.) Think about how much you would have to work, at a part time job, to save that much. Every little bit helps!”

Seniors, make sure to continue checking your emails for these incredible opportunities throughout the year! Many different scholarships become available at different times during the year so don’t miss out.