Scholarships are additional funding sources for you to be able to pay your college tuition. There are many different kinds of scholarships available for you. Some types of scholarships are described below. Use the CIS (Oregon Career Information System) Financial Aid Sort to find scholarships that you are qualified to apply for from Oregon to across the US.
How to use CIS Financial Aid Sort
Financial aid sort helps you search through thousands of scholarships and find one that may match you.
How to create a portfolio in CIS
Creating a portfolio will allow you to save the results of your scholarship sorts.
Institutional Grants and Scholarships
Almost 36% of student financial aid comes from colleges, universities, and programs that offer a variety of need-based grants and merit-based scholarships that students do not have to repay. Search for opportunities and application guidelines on the college or institution websites.
- Note that many institutional scholarships have application deadlines prior to January 1 of senior year.
- Most institutional aid money is only for incoming freshman and not available to transfer students.
- Check if award/grant/scholarship/loan package is for one year or renewable and what students need to do to renew it each year, (i.e., maintaining a minimum GPA or full-time student status).
- Generally your college gives you an aid package that is a 4 year plan, but recognize that tuition, fees, and other costs tend to increase annually.
- Speak with your school counselor about questions and guidance on which options meet your needs.
- Merit-based awards and scholarships have minimum GPAs and ACT/SAT scores, which are often posted on the college websites. Currently there are 22 times more merit aid scholarships being awarded than athletic scholarships.
Institutional financial aid is determined either by information submitted in the FAFSA or the CSS PROFILE. Most public school use the FAFSA while the CSS PROFILE is used by many private schools and a few public schools. The CSS PROFILE is the College Board's online financial application that collects information used by almost 400 colleges and scholarship programs to award financial aid from sources outside of the federal government.
Private scholarships are offered by organizations and individuals. They are also called “outside scholarships because they are not offered through the school. These scholarships vary quite a bit with a range of eligibility, funding, and application criteria. Because of the wide range of available options, researching scholarships that meet your needs is important.
Statistics show that students have the best chance receiving scholarships that require an essay as part of the application or those that are local and have more locally targeted qualifications.
Note whether the scholarship is for one year or renewable. If it is renewable, understand what students need to do to renew it each year (i.e., minimum GPAs or full time student status). If you have received federal or school-based financial aid, consider that students must report these “outside scholarships” to the college’s financial aid department. Schools sometimes elect to reduce their financial award package, although many schools will work with the student to minimize this.
Some “outside scholarships” come with non-monetary perks, such as mentoring, leadership development, summer employment, and networking opportunities.
Beware of scholarship scams. As a general rule, you should not have to pay money to get a scholarship or for a scholarship search.