"Education is the seed that provides spiritual and individual growth."
Formerly known as the Native American Scholarship Fund,
HOW TO FIND AND WIN SCHOLARSHIPS
Someone on the campus is in charge of scholarships. On a small campus this person may be in the Financial Aid Office. On a large campus this person will probably be separate from Financial Aid. What you want to do is find this person, and have a complete list of scholarships sent to you. That way you will be the person who decides which ones you will apply for, and not someone else.
The tendency of the scholarship officer will be to send you a list of the ones she thinks you are eligible for. Be polite, but ask for the whole list. The University of Oregon, for instance, has a 32-page booklet listing all scholarships on the campus school by school and department by department.
Students living on reservations should realize that the nearest town to the reservation is part of the reservation community. For instance, Pine Ridge residents are part of the communities of Gordon and Chadron, Nebraska. The residents of the Navajo reservation are part of the communities of Holbrook, Page, Gallup, Grants, Farmington, and Flagstaff—whichever is closer.
Some of the scholarships in your community are the Elks, the Masons, the Lions, the VFW, the Moose, the Optimist, the Soroptimist, the Rotary, the American Association of University Women, the Business and Professional Women, the Civitans, Wal-Mart, department stores, and the Toastmasters. Others such as women’s groups, men’s groups, church groups, business groups, professional associations, and special interest groups also frequently raise money and administer scholarship programs.
To find them, you will have to play detective. For instance, the Rotary Club will meet once a week in a certain restaurant. Often, as you drive into a town, a sign along the highway will note the location of the Rotary weekly luncheon. You will have to contact that restaurant to learn the name and phone number of the president of Rotary. Then you call that person to get the name and phone number of the scholarship chairman. Then call that person to get a scholarship application. Be very aggressive and persistent in this search, but also be very polite. Do not insult anyone.
One of our applicants found 22 local scholarships in Chadron, Nebraska. Another found 12 local scholarships in Yankton, South Dakota. Six years ago, the Elks Club in Holbrook, Arizona had three scholarships available, and no one applied. We hate to hear things like that.
Most of our applicants, however, have not even looked in their local communities. Don’t make this mistake. Remember, there is no limit to the amount of scholarship money you can win!
GETTING READY TO APPLY
Now that you have used all four ways of finding scholarships, you are ready to put your plan into action. Put the scholarships from all four sources together in one place. The best place to store your information is on your computer. Contact the scholarships no more than eight weeks in advance to ask for an application form and guidelines. DO NOT contact them all at the same time. The scholarship “season” is January 1 through April 30.
We recommend that your first contact be eight weeks before the deadline. The second contact, if they have not sent you the materials, should be five weeks out. The third contact, if you still do not have the materials, should be three weeks out.
You will want to keep track of your scholarships carefully. You do not want to miss any of them, and you do not want to offend any of them. Put them in chronological order by the date they are due. Use a form something like this form to keep track of them:
Name and Date First Second Third DateAddress Due Contact Contact Contact Sent Results Amount