Applying for Private Scholarships

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  • 0:02 Private Scholarships
  • 0:55 How to Find
  • 1:41 When to Look
  • 2:12 Best Shot
  • 4:40 Things to Avoid
  • 5:44 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Private scholarships award the recipient with financial aid that does not have to be repaid. This lesson covers some of the ways to find private scholarships as well as tips for increasing your odds of winning private scholarships.

Private Scholarships - Overview

We all know that getting a college education can be very expensive. Sure, you might qualify for student loans, but that would mean you would have to pay back all the money with interest. Did you know that there is a way to get money for college without going into debt? A scholarship is money awarded to an applicant that does not have to be repaid.

Wow, free money for college - that is certainly worth a good look into! College scholarships or grants can be sponsored by many groups, but today we will be discussing the process for landing private scholarships, which are scholarships that are sponsored by private companies and organizations. We will review how to find private scholarships, when to look for them, how to determine your best shot at getting them, and some general things to avoid related to your search.

How to Find Private Scholarships

While there are many private scholarships for which you can apply, private scholarships really only make up about 4% of the total number of scholarships available. These scholarships are offered by private organizations, such as Rotary, Lion's Club, and even corporations, like your local grocery store.

To find a private scholarship, try looking in your local paper and on search engines, such as,, and You can even check out your local library reference section. Your school's financial aid office or the guidance counselor's office (if you're still in high school) are great sources of information as well.

When To Look

Remember, all scholarships have deadlines, which is the last day that an application will be accepted. Many deadlines are about a year ahead of the actual award for the time of the scholarship. Some scholarships are based on events or contests that occur annually. Beauty pageants are contests that are an example of this category of private scholarship. Make sure you keep track of all your application deadlines as you go along.

Best Shot

So, after you have found some private scholarships, how do you know which to apply for? Because of the effort you must put into each and every application, you want to make sure you are making the most of your time by only submitting those applications that have a very good chance of succeeding. Here are a few tips for making sure you give yourself the best shot at winning a scholarship:

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