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Scholarships, Grants and Loans

 
The only way to have a shot at obtaining scholarships is to apply for scholarships.  Scholarship sponsors, school administrators, and counselors will not track you down and hand you free money. You as a student must put in your own individual effort to apply for scholarships. Your parents cannot apply for scholarships on your behalf, you have to put in the time to apply.   It may mean writing essays, filling out forms and requesting letters of recommendation from counselors, teachers and members of the community.  Applying for scholarships takes work !
 
 
Some scholarships for college are merit-based. You earn them by meeting or exceeding certain standards set by the scholarship-giver. Merit scholarships might be awarded based on academic achievement or on a combination of academics and a special talent, trait, or interest.
 
  • For example, students who are in the California Scholarship Federation are eligible for the club scholarships only if they have been in the club for at least four semesters starting their sophomore year AND if they can show that they have been an active member/leader of the club.  Just being a member for four semesters makes a student eligible, but to win the award you have to prove you did something meaningful in the club!
 
Other scholarships are based on financial need.  Many scholarships are geared toward particular groups of people; for instance, there are scholarships for women, or a particular ethnicity. And some are available because of where you or your parent work. 
 
The Counseling office will receive information from scholarship sponsors through out the year and will post their application and deadline information on the PHS scholarship bulletin.  Most of the local organizations within Woodland and Yolo County that offer scholarships to Pioneer students use the Local Scholarship Application which is available in the early part of the spring semester. 
 
The Counseling office generally does not receive scholarship information from specific colleges/universities. That information is sent by the colleges/universities to students who have been accepted. 
 
Below are other resources for you to look for scholarships you may be eligible to obtain. Remember, you can't win if you don't apply. 
 
Special Note: Applying for Scholarships or requesting scholarship information should be free. If a site requires you to pay a fee, we cannot recommend using that resource. 
 
 
Financial Aid & Scholarship Resources on the Internet:

 

  • Academic Competitiveness & National SMART Grants Current college students and high school seniors to apply for new Academic Competitiveness Grants and National SMART Grants. Students who completed rigorous coursework in high school or who are pursuing degrees in math, science and critical foreign languages are eligible for a portion of $790 million in new federal funding for higher education.
  • California Student Aid Commission This site is for the student or parent to assist in your search for State, federal and institutional financial aid information for funding post-high school education.
  • Collegenet.com allows you to search for scholarships two ways - A Keyword Search
  • If you already know something about the scholarship you are looking for. Enter a series of keywords to find all scholarships that contain those same words in their name or description. A Profile Search looks for scholarships that match your personal profile. Provide as little or as much information as you want to find the scholarships that you are most qualified to receive.
  • College Scholarship Guide offered by "The Simple Dollar" has created a very helpful guide to the college scholarship process
  • College Toolkit is one-stop resource for life after high school allowing students to find and apply for scholarships, search through a database of more than 4,000 colleges, and explore 900 careers all in one location. It is one of the most comprehensive sites for life after high school... and everything on the site is free for students to use!
  • FASTWeb is a free searchable database of more than 600,000 private sector scholarships, grants, fellowships and loans. It is absolutely the most "cutting edge" method of researching scholarship information, and it is updated daily (approximately 1,200 per day). For more information on fastWEB call 1-800-327-8932.
  • Finaid.org is an overall financial aid site with information on loans and scholarships, and a financial aid calculator that can help you determine whether you qualify for need-based aid and what your family's (EFC) Estimated Financial Contribution will be.
  • Financial Aid Online Calculator The FinAid.org website also includes a custom financial aid calculator.
  • Financial Aid Letter.com is a website where you can read real college financial aid award letters. Decode confusing (and sometimes misleading) loan and scholarship information. Translate financial aid jargon and acronyms into plain English. Get great tips on raising extra college cash, cutting costs, and making that degree more affordable. Find out why you deserve clear and complete cost information, and why colleges aren't delivering it.
  • HISPANIC SCHOLARSHIP FUND The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is the nation's leading Hispanic scholarship organization, providing the Hispanic community more college scholarships and educational outreach support than any other organization in the country. In its 34 year history, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund has awarded close to $280M in scholarships to more than 90,000 students in need. Two-thirds of these students were the first in their families to go to college.
  • IRS TRANSCRIPT Get a record of your past tax returns, also referred to as transcripts. IRS transcripts are often used to validate income and tax filing status for mortgage applications, student and small business loan applications, and during tax preparation. You can download and print your transcript immediately or request the transcript be mailed to your address on record.
  • Kaarme.com provides free college and scholarship information for high school students. Unlike other college and scholarship websites however, Kaarme.com does not profit from the sale of student information to third parties. Begun by a group of concerned parents who were dissatisfied with the status quo, Kaarme.com’s Scholarship Section is the only one available that does not require students to register and submit personal information which is then sold to any company willing to pay for it.
  • Golden State ScholarShare College Savings Trust is California's state and federally tax-free "529" college savings program. At this website you can also learn more about the Governor's Scholarship Program. Although the program has not been funded since 2002 awards granted in prior years can be claimed online at this site as well.
  • MeritAid.com is the Web's first comprehensive directory of merit scholarships from colleges. We want to make it easy for you to understand how much merit aid is available to you from colleges across the country before you apply.
  • National Center for Educational Statistics This web site tells you the average award amount at each school, how many students receive aid and various other statistics. You can also find this information in many college handbooks.
  • Scholarships.com Each Scholarships.com user answers a detailed questionnaire, providing information about their academics, extracurricular activities, and individual background. We then use this data to generate a customized list of grant and scholarship opportunities that match the student's qualifications. At the heart of this process is our industry-leading scholarship database–the most comprehensive and accurate compilation of national, state, local, and college-based scholarships and grants available anywhere
  • Scholarship Hunter is a free service that allows you to search for scholarships by major and by state. It also has a comprehensive listing of scholarship sweepstakes & essay contests.
  • SchoolSoup has the largest scholarship database in the world. Their search engine will find scholarships that match your interests and profile by searching through $32 Billion worth of scholarships. They also provide links to Test Prep services, online textbooks and a college search engine!
  • SimpleTution.com Borrowing for educational expenses leaves many students and their families feeling lost - and they are not alone. With so many lenders offering so many versions of basic loan types, it can be hard to find the financing option that's best for each individual's situation. That's where SimpleTuition comes in. SimpleTuition is designed to help students and families find their way to the ideal student loan or financing option for educational expenses, and to help them take action.
  • Student Scholarship Search provides students and parents with a FREE searchable database of college scholarships and grants. No registration required. Scholarships updated daily.
  • The U.S. Department of Education site has information about federal aid programs, and includes recommendations and tips for parents and students on how to pay for college.
  • Web Grants 4 Students is where you can check the status of your Cal Grant application and access your grant information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The WESTERN UNDERGRADUATE EXCHANGE (WUE) is a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Students who are residents of WICHE states are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state.