Outside Scholarships: Celebrating National Scholarship Month
One of this year’s Founders Memorial Scholarship recipients and a Foundation Scholar Blogger, Kelly Cosgrove, Gamma Tau/Tulsa, knows a thing or two about applying for scholarships. Luckily, she has agreed to share her knowledge with you during this special month—National Scholarship Month!
Sponsored by the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA), “National Scholarship Month is about building an awareness of scholarships. Whether you are a scholarship provider, an institution of higher education, a student, a parent, or a business, National Scholarship Month is a way for all of us to celebrate our work and our common goal of helping all students get to and through college.”
As a scholarship provider and advocate for quality education for all Theta members, Theta Foundation is excited to take part in this initiative. We hope Kelly’s experience of applying for Theta Foundation’s and other organizations’ scholarships will help you learn about some of the resources out there for students.
According to Kelly, the biggest challenge to applying for outside scholarships is visibility. Like many students, she wishes she had known just how many scholarships there are earlier on in her college career. “There are so many opportunities out there to receive financial aid, but most students do not take advantage of them because they aren’t well advertised!”
Kelly recommends talking to those who have been there, done that to get the inside scoop about scholarships that may be available to you. “I have talked to my family friends, older members in my Theta chapter, and my academic advisor. Talking to older students, especially older Theta sisters, can be the most helpful way to find out about scholarship opportunities because they will have diverse, first-hand experiences with applying to various scholarships.”
And, although we can’t possibly list every scholarship opportunity out there, we can certainly try to point you in the right direction. To get you started, we have compiled a list of resources we think could be helpful when exploring outside scholarship opportunities:
Of course we had to mention our own scholarships! Theta Foundation encourages all members of Kappa Alpha Theta—collegians and alumnae—to apply. Look for the 2017 Scholarship Application to be posted on our Apply Now page in January 2017.
Kelly found out about Theta Foundation scholarships by simply talking to older members in her chapter. She noted that Theta Foundation’s scholarship application is “by far the most comprehensive scholarship I have applied for. I admire that it focuses on all four points of the kite and not just on one’s academic record. This should be encouraging to all Theta members because we each have different strengths, and each woman can highlight hers throughout the application.”
Many students are often unaware of the number of scholarships offered by colleges and universities. Ask your academic advisor what opportunities are available through your institution!
- Major-specific opportunities: Talk to professors in your major about scholarships available specifically for students in your field.
- Institution-wide scholarships: Talk to a representative with your school’s scholarships office. You can also contact your school’s foundation for information about its scholarship opportunities.
- Study abroad scholarships: Thinking about studying abroad? Look to the Study Abroad Office at your institution, or research programs that offer funding for studying abroad.
NICF Balfour Fellowships
Scholarships for graduate study are available each year through the North American Interfraternity Conference Foundation for initiated fraternity and sorority members; applications are typically due in late May.
In 2015, five of the 10 NICF Balfour Fellowship recipients were members of Kappa Alpha Theta!
Alumnae Panhellenic Associations
Kelly received a scholarship from her own local alumnae Panhellenic association, the Tulsa Area Alumnae Panhellenic. “For my application, I had to complete a form online that asked about my academic record, my campus involvement and leadership, community service, and service within my chapter. Additionally, I had to write an essay about how my experience in Greek Life has enhanced my college experience.”
Look up your local Alumnae Panhellenic Association and be sure to check eligibility requirements for scholarships carefully.
A local community foundation
Community foundations often have numerous scholarship opportunities for those who live in the area. Contact your local community foundation to learn more about application deadlines and requirements.
Now, take these resources and run! There is so much funding out there for Leading Women like you—why not apply for it?!
Theta Foundation strives to promote scholarship all year, but especially during National Scholarship Month, an initiative of the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA). The mission of the NSPA is to "advance the collective impact of scholarship providers and the scholarships they award," with a vision of "college success for all students through the power of scholarships." Theta Foundation is a proud member of the NSPA.
This blog post is part of the Scholar Blogger series, showcasing four of Theta’s leading women who are sharing their experiences, insight, and advice on topics relevant to all students. Learn more about the Scholar Blogger series and this year’s bloggers here.