Usually, every college student aspires for expensive national and international level scholarships offered by some of the largest academic institutes, small and giant businesses, and even individuals. All it takes is a thorough search of the internet, and you will be presented with an array of scholarships with wavering grant amounts.
However, most educational experts indicate that local scholarships are much better to start with because they are less competitive and offer a much better chance at succeeding.
Many scholarship providers prefer to see individuals within their own community succeed. Hence, they habitually offer these scholarships to the citizens residing within a specific geographical region.
The chances of getting a local scholarship are far higher than getting a national scholarship, primarily because the number of qualified students is determined on a regional basis. This tends to make local scholarships a straightforward and attractive option to pay for your education. However, if you have no idea how to find local scholarships in your area, we are here to help!
Why Should You Look For a Local Scholarship?
Local scholarships are specifically offered to local residents and businesses. If you are a local citizen or a community member, you are most likely to qualify. Based on these criteria, only a handful of individuals are eligible, which automatically ups your chance to win.
There are numerous reasons why specific individuals, groups, communities, and companies host scholarships in your hometown for students.
For instance, some companies might want to endorse a particular model they own, progress an individual’s education who might be attracted to their field or simply motivate local high school students to take up further studies.
Take advantage of small local scholarships!
They typically range anywhere between $100-$1,000, and sometimes even beyond. Though local scholarships are not as renowned as other scholarships, they clearly aren’t worth missing, and you should definitely take your chance on seizing them.
Small scholarships like these have far lesser competition than the bigger ones that everybody wants to get their hands on; naturally, the odds of getting selected are higher. Even the smallest amounts can sum up to a significant amount of money and provide you with a massive financial aid boost to help you with your college expenses.
Where can I find Local Scholarships?
Know that the number of local scholarships might be limited where you reside. Also, most of them might not appear online, so you will ideally have to spend some time finding them. Here are the best places to check for opportunities:
Your High School Counselor Office
One of the easiest and fastest but least-used options is to go to your high school counseling office. These counselors can give you meaningful information regarding school and college applications.
Whether you require data on local scholarships or internships, many local firms, individuals, and businesses inform these high schools about scholarship offers on a first-hand basis. Hence, you should first seek help from them and also keep watch of any boards or announcements on their behalf.
Check the Local Newspaper
Some local companies rather not publicize their programs on the internet. However, they do share this information in local magazines and newspapers. You can always take out a few minutes of your day to skim through your local newspaper.
Who knows, you might just land across an attractive scholarship opportunity that you are fully eligible for.
Your Parents’ Employers
Several companies put a certain amount of funds aside every year, making them a very reliable information source for local scholarships. This amount is then offered to the needy dependents of their employees. Parents can always ask the HR office or senior management if there are any opportunities their children could apply for.
Explore Previous Local Scholarships
Another very effective method to get some leads on local scholarships is to research your local scholarships and their winners last year. You can call up your high school counselor’s office and ask for the senior awards program held in the previous year.
This way, you can get a list of all the local organizations and businesses that volunteered to offer money as local scholarships. So, some of them might be offering scholarship funds to local citizens this year as well. It is best to reach out to those companies before others do.
Check Your Religious Centers
You can also come across numerous faith-based scholarships provided by religious centers and organizations. Most of them apply to members who follow that specific religion or faith despite where they live.
However, there are many localized ones too. If you and your family are from a particular religious community, you should definitely ask them if they have set aside and dedicated some amount to give as a scholarship.
➔ READ MORE: Best Colleges and Universities with Scholarships In US.
How to Be Eligible For the Pell Grant
The Pell Grant is an exciting grant program that typically offers financial aid to families with low-income earnings, who are otherwise unable to afford higher education expenses.
They are granted by the federal US government to help students financially to pay for their vocational school or colleges. However, it can often be confusing to know if you are eligible or not. Firstly, to qualify for any type of financial assistance (federal student loan or Pell Grant), you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This demonstrates which type of financial aid you are qualified for.
When it comes to a Pell Grant, students must match the following eligibility criteria:
- You must be an American resident or a qualified noncitizen with an authorized Social Security Number.
- You should at least have a high school diploma or an equivalent.
- You must not have acquired a professional, undergraduate, or graduate degree beforehand.
- You should be registered as an undergraduate student in a qualified degree-awarding program.
- You must not be locked up in prison for a violent or non-violent sexual offense.
- By default, you must not be on a federal student loan.
- If you are a male between 18-22 years of age, you must be registered with the Selective Service.
- Some Pell Grant money is set aside for the students of a post-baccalaureate teaching certification program.