A Helpful Guide to Local Scholarships
National scholarships can be pretty competitive. There are so many people applying from all over the US. This adds stress to an already difficult situation, when all you want to do is secure funds for school. The good news is “you don’t need to stress.”
That’s because of local scholarships. They can be harder to find out about but that also means they have fewer applicants and so it’s worth the effort to find them!
Local Means Less Competition
Local scholarships tend to be smaller and less known. These local scholarships tend to advertise in newspapers, websites of local small businesses, or community organizations. The reach of these local outlets does not extend far.
In fact, the reach is not meant to go beyond a certain point. Scholarships guidelines will limit applicants to residents from a certain state as eligible to apply. If the scholarship is hyper-local, the eligibility can become more specific.
You may notice a specific city, county, or neighborhood mentioned when you view the requirements for the scholarship. This means the local scholarship only provides the opportunity to students residing within the mentioned city, county, or neighborhood.
In addition, it is not unusual to see a scholarship requiring applicants to be students of a certain high school, middle school, or elementary school. Subsequently, there will be less competition, which is great as the scholarships are meant to cater to a specific community.
Local Means Lighter Requirements
If a GPA requirement seems too burdensome for you, try local scholarships! You can find scholarships geared more towards extracurricular activities or community service. Seeing an applicant’s involvement within the community leaves a huge impression when applying to local scholarships
Some local scholarships still have a GPA requirement, but it is typically lower. A GPA requirement of 2.5 is more flexible and welcoming than 3.0.
The requirements are lighter, but still expect to see the staple submission materials in the scholarship guidelines. Applications may ask for an essay, letters of recommendation, or resume, so be sure to have the materials ready and available.
Where can I Find Local Scholarships
A local scholarship seems to be in an obvious location (“locally”), but can be a bit tricky to find. Similar to the scarlet letter, local scholarships can be found in the most reasonably obvious places without anyone noticing.
You can check the following locations for local scholarships.
Newspapers are the classic “can’t go wrong” option for local scholarships. There is usually a small section in the newspaper outlining any local scholarships for local residents to apply for. You can find newspapers at grocery stores, hotels, or local businesses.
Community Boards can be a direct way to find local scholarships. Check near by cafes, at place of worship (if religious), or a community recreation center. Community boards also exist on websites of local organizations.
Local Organization Websites are actually perfect for finding scholarships. Organizations sometimes have lists filled with scholarships for multiple counties or neighborhood. Check out the RI Foundation as an example.
Neighbors are always a good source for hidden gems. Ask around to find out what local scholarships are available for your area. In addition, letting others know you are searching for scholarships could help you in the long run. A neighbor might come to you later on with information on a new local scholarship they happened to see that looked perfect for you.
Local Scholarship Amounts
You will see a range of amounts for local scholarships. Local scholarships are often smaller money awards. Awards for local scholarships can be as low as $200. This amount may seem little, but every bit of help counts when paying college expenses. Money received from local scholarships can be used for books, lunch, grocery shopping.
The local scholarships with larger money awards are around $5,000. This factor depends on the scholarship provider, and how the provider secures funding.
Check around your neighborhood and city for local scholarship opportunities. You can even go as far as checking state-level community organizations for any scholarships local to your area.
One of the special features in Going Merry is a filter for finding local scholarships! Our app helps match you to local scholarship opportunities that you might not know about. At Going Merry, we continue to look for scholarships to provide you multiple scholarship opportunities without the stress.