1.11.20

Finding and applying for local scholarships

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Consumers Scholarship program graphic
Consumers Scholarship Program

This year, Consumers is offering 10, $1,000 scholarships and one $20,000 scholarship. Applications are open to all full-time high school seniors with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and who are active Consumers members with their own account(s).

Apply here

College- or trade-bound students: Reduce your out-of-pocket costs and student loan debt by pursuing local scholarships with these tips.

If you’re college bound, you already know that the cost of tuition, room and board requires an investment of tens of thousands of dollars. (This infographic shows you exactly how much!) One way to limit out-of-pocket spending and student loans is through scholarships. Yes, the competition for scholarships is fierce, but there’s one kind where you have the advantage: local scholarships.

By their very nature, local scholarships will have fewer applicants than national scholarships—and that means less competition for available dollars. Local organizations and businesses offer scholarships because they want to see students in their community succeed. (We are one of them! Learn more about the Consumers Credit Union Scholars program) Local scholarship awards may be less than the national awards, however, if you garner multiple local awards you could substantially reduce your college costs. Even one modest scholarship will reduce your financial burden.

Here are some scholarship application tips to help you find the money to pay for college and manage the process.

Start with your school

Guidance counselors at your school will be in the know about scholarships specific to your school and community. And, since they’ve helped other students identify and apply for scholarships, guidance counselors are well-prepared to help you with tips and advice that can save you time.

Check with local businesses

Some employers offer scholarships for children of their employees. Ask your parents to inquire about such programs with their human resources department.

If you have a job, check with your employer about scholarships and tuition reimbursement for college or other training.

Contact local employers about scholarships even if you or your parents don’t work for them. Many businesses have scholarship programs that are specifically earmarked for area high school students. For example, in 2020 Consumers is offering 10, $1,000 scholarships and one $20,000 scholarship. Applications are open to all full-time high school seniors with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and who are active Consumers members with their own account(s).

Talk with local organizations

Organizations dedicated to service often award scholarships to students in their community. Check with your local:

  • chamber of commerce
  • community foundation
  • veterans organizations
  • PTA and academic boosters club
  • local chapters of large organizations, like the Lions, Rotary and Elks Clubs
  • religious centers, including churches, synagogues and mosques

Take your search online

A general scholarship search on Google or another search engine will produce numerous results. Narrow your search with [your town], [your county], [your state] and [your high school]. For example, “East Kentwood high school scholarships” brings up scholarships from the East Kentwood Academic Boosters, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and more. Dig even deeper by adding search terms that reflect your skills and interest, such as [sports], [art], [dance], [gaming], etc.

Stay organized to stay on track

As you locate scholarships, you’ll also discover that each one has its own criteria and deadlines. To make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunities, you’ll need a tracking system. This could be a notebook, file folders, a spreadsheet or even an app. Here are some free scholarship application tracking resources you might try:

Good luck with your search for local scholarships!

Consumers provides banking services for more than 100,000 members, including many college students. When you need a checking account with debit card or savings account, call us at 800-991-2221. We make it easy to bank how you want, when you want.

Federally insured by NCUA

Consumers Scholarship Program

This year, Consumers is offering 10, $1,000 scholarships and one $20,000 scholarship. Applications are open to all full-time high school seniors with a GPA of 2.5 or higher and who are active Consumers members with their own account(s).

Apply here

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