Scholarships, fellowships, and grants are available from private sources, such as organizations or companies, and from state and federal governments. Provided here are resources to help you locate sources of and obtain external funding.
How to Find Funding Opportunities
1. Use a free online matching service. Matching services require that you complete a profile in order to find scholarships that you may qualify for. Be sure to answer all questions - including optional questions - for the maximum number of matches.
- Scholarship Experts
- College Board
- Job Applications.com
Visit www.Scholarships.net for an unbiased ranking of the most popular online scholarship matching services.
2. Search databases that require no registration.
- GRAPES (database provided by UCLA Graduate Division)
- GrantsNet (search engine for both research funding and student support in the sciences)
- Funding Opportunities (database provided by Duke University)
- Graduate Fellowship Database (Notre Dame University)
- Fellowship Database (provided by Cornell University)
- Grants for Individuals (database provided by Michigan State University Libraries)
3. Find funding opportunities on your own by using a search engine such as Google. When performing your own internet search for scholarhsips, fellowships, and grants, use keywords that apply to your situation, including your field of study, you gender, your age (especially if you are a non-traditional student), you ethnicity/minority status, any disability you have, your veteran status, skills or activities that you enjoy, etc. To narrow your search, add words such as:
- financial aid
Use multiple terms to further refine your search. 4. Look for scholarship listing books in libraries or bookstores. The Graduate Student Center has acquired a variety of scholarship directories for your use here in the Center.
Additional Search Resources
Lists of Funding Opportunities
- Nationally Competitive Fellowships (list compiled by North Carolina State University)
- Fellowships (list of nationally competitive fellowships compiled by the Council of Graduate Schools)
- Graduate Fellowships (list compiled by GradSchools.com)
- Scholarships for Graduate Students (Hispanic Scholarship Fund)
- Scholarship Opportunities for Grad School (list from CashCourse website)
- Nationally Coveted College Scholarships, Graduate Fellowships & Postdoctoral Awards (list created and maintained by Francisco Alberto Tomei Torres, Ph.D.)
Tips for Winning Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants
1. Start searching for scholarships, fellowships, and grants as soon as possible.
Application deadlines often occur well in advance of the actual award. Waiting until spring to search and apply for money you will need in the fall will result in numerous lost opportunities.
2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as you can each year.
Filing a FAFSA is a something that should be done by every college student in need of money for college. Even if you assume (or are told) that you will not qualify for federal financial aid for college, it is still recommended that you file a FAFSA. Filing the FAFSA is free, and students have nothing to lose by filing. Visit www.fafsa.ed.gov for filing instructions.
You cannot apply for, or receive, any financial aid from any institution of higher education without completing this form. Many U.S. Department of education runs a variety of student financial assistance programs, including grants, and loans. Your eligibility for aid is determined by the information that you provide in the FAFSA. Sul Ross will also use your FAFSA to determine your eligibility for scholarships, grants, and institutional aid.
3. Apply to every funding opportunity for which you are eligible. Pursue less competitive opportunities, such as small awards and essay contests, since they are easier to win. The money adds up and helps you win bigger scholarships. 4. Don’t miss deadlines. Use a calendar and checklist to get organized. 5. Tailor your application to the sponsor’s goals. Read and follow the instructions carefully. 6. If you have difficulty writing essays, try recording yourself as you answer the question out loud, and transcribe the recording later. Most people can think and speak faster than they can write or type. Create an outline afterward to organize your thoughts. 7. Personalize your essay and be passionate. Write about something of interest to you. Make your application stand out from the crowd. Talk about your impact on other people. Give examples and be specific. 8. Google your name and make sure you have a professional online profile. Use a professional email address, such as email@example.com. Clean up the content of your Facebook account, removing inappropriate and immature material. 9. Proofread a printed copy of your essay and the application for spelling and grammar errors. 10. Make a photocopy of your application before mailing it. Send the application by certified mail, return receipt requested or with delivery confirmation.