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Exploring Your External Scholarship Opportunities

by Tracey A. Maine on March 4, 2020

What are External Scholarships?

External scholarships are financial resources for students that have no connection to the government or the secondary school they plan to attending.

Also called to as “outside scholarships,” their sources can be one of the following:

  • Agencies
  • Private sector company
  • Religious organization
  • Professional organization
  • Foundation
  • High school.

What are the pros and cons of external scholarships?


  • Fewer students apply for external scholarships.
  • Some external scholarships are need-based.


  • Many external scholarships have very rigid requirements.
  • External scholarships can impact a student’s financial aid package.

Where can I search for external scholarships?

The following resources can connect students with external scholarships:

"When you look back on your life in 30 years, what would it take for you to consider your life successful? What relationships or accomplishments will be important on this journey?"

  • Educators and Community Helping Hispanics Onward: ECHHO’s objective is to help guide Hispanic students and their families through the financial aid process and make them aware of their scholarship options.
  • Fastweb: Students will need to fill out a profile in order to gain access to Fastweb's database of more than 1.5 million scholarships.
  • FinAid: Students who visit this site will be able to access information on scholarships and military aid.
  • Foundation for Appalachian Ohio: The FOA supports over 280 donor-established scholarship funds.
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: The JKCF is an undergraduate scholarship program that assists high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities.
  • Ohio Board of Regents: Many of the grants and scholarships available on this site are based on the following factor: areas of study, academic merit, financial need, military status, etc.
  • StudentScholarships.org: In order to access this free scholarship database, students must first fill out a profile and become a registered user. Afterward, they can search through the scholarships, bursaries and grants.
  • UNCF Scholarships:  The UNCF website offers students information on scholarships, internships and fellowships website. To be eligible students must also fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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