Finding Scholarships

You have multiple options for financing your education. One option is scholarships, which can lessen the amount you personally pay or borrow to cover expenses such as tuition, fees, books, or housing.

Be sure to explore all scholarship opportunities including those through your home university, outside organizations, and Great Plains IDEA. Keep reading to learn some tips for finding scholarships.

Types of Scholarships

Some scholarships have specific qualifications and others are more general. Exploring many scholarship options increases your chances for awards. Types of scholarships include:

Private scholarships

Many organizations and corporations other than the federal government or schools provide scholarships. These scholarships include, but are not limited to, merit scholarships for individual accomplishments, need-based scholarships, diversity or minority scholarships, and scholarships for students with disabilities.

Start with Our Scholarship - the Great Plains IDEA Student Excellence Award

Each spring semester, the Great Plains IDEA Cabinet will grant five (5) $1,000 awards for a total of $5,000.  Funds may be used for educational expenses such as tuition and books, or towards other costs of attendance like childcare or educational technology.  Learn more about the Student Excellence Awards.

University scholarships

Many students are eligible for university scholarships based on their unique characteristics. Check your home university financial aid or scholarship page for more information.

Federal grants 

The federal government offers grants rather than scholarships. Typically, grants are awarded to students based on financial need, determined by the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can also apply for research grants by writing their own proposals.

Sources of Scholarships

Search in a variety of places for scholarships to increase opportunities.

Within your own network

Ask friends, family, members of organizations to which you belong, and your employer what they know about scholarship sources.

At your home university

Use the resources available to you through your home university.  Most universities have a scholarship webpage with information about scholarships available only to students at that school.

In your local community

Many organizations, businesses, and individuals offer scholarships to assist students in their communities. Contact these groups or persons directly for information, or look to social media. Some organizations offer scholarships on their website. Others advertise awards through Facebook or Twitter.

Professional associations

Some professional associations offer scholarships to their student members. If you belong to associations related to your field of study, current or future career, ask if they sponsor scholarships.

Online Resources for Finding Scholarships

General Information

Free Scholarship Search Engines 

Scholarships for non-traditional students