Thanks to the Internet, you’re one Google search away from feeling overwhelmed in your hunt for scholarships and grants. While it’s easy to type in “nursing scholarships” and hope for the best, a more strategic approach will help you find opportunities tailored to your academic and career goals.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t look for every opportunity, simply that you’ll want to spend your time and energy wisely. Finding the right scholarship opportunities is in many ways as important as putting together a stellar application.
As you begin to consider your academic financial aid options for 2016, consider these three tips for adding some precision to your search.
Start with opportunities at your school
Your college or university likely offers more scholarship options than you may be aware of, especially as new opportunities become available. Sitting down with an adviser is the best way to learn about your options, some of which will be specific to your school and thereby right in your wheelhouse.
At Herzing, we have national scholarships available to students on all of our 11 campuses, but also are constantly working with local organizations to benefit students in our different communities. For example, in Kenosha, we recently partnered with the Mary Lou & Arthur F. Mahone Fund to bring 16 scholarships to local students and are continuing to work with the organization to host educational events in the area. These scholarships are only available to students around Kenosha and based on the goals of the Mahone Fund and our local campus.
Local nonprofits, businesses, churches and clubs are great places to look for scholarship opportunities. Don’t be afraid to tap your network and also make sure to scan through local newspapers and other regional publications.
When you do broaden your search, especially if you use a scholarship database, include as many details as possible to refine your results. Otherwise, you may end up scrolling through dozens of scholarships and grants for which you’re not qualified or that have expired. It’s good to widen your net, just make sure not to wear yourself out on opportunities that may not be a good fit.
Jennifer Paugh is the Campus President of Herzing University’s Kenosha and Brookfield Campuses. She brings 17 years of experience in higher education to her role, including experience in teaching, admissions and student services. In her free time, Jennifer and her partner, Rob, enjoy traveling and hiking with their three pups, Porter, Hudson and Etta.