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Office For Student Success

Outside Scholarships 101

What are outside scholarships?
Outside scholarships are scholarships that are not awarded by the government or by Pace University. Instead, they may be provided by a foundation, a company, or a philanthropist. Outside scholarships do NOT require repayment.

Why should I spend my time searching for and applying for outside scholarships?
Outside scholarships have many benefits. They help you to finance your education and decrease your college debt. Applying to outside scholarships enhances your writing and interpersonal skills, and recieving an outside scholarship can open the door to internship and career opportunities.

Where do I find outside scholarships?
The internet is a great place to start looking for outside scholarships. You can use free scholarship matching services, such as, to find outside scholarships, or you can use a Google search to find scholarships by searching key terms that are relevant to you (ex: "comunications scholarships for females in NYC"). There are also many books available that list scholarship opportunities and are updated yearly in order to provide the most up-to-date information. Additionally, there are scholarship matching apps, such as Scholly, that can help you find outside scholarships. Avoid appying to scholarships that require you to pay to apply to them, and avoid websites that offer guaranteed scholarships. When searching for scholarships, think about all of the things that make you uniquely you - your hobbies, talents, interests, heritage, major, hometown, location of school, etc.

What will make my application stand out?
Make sure to use correct grammar, spelling, and puctuation in your application. Have your scholarship essays proofread by at least two people before your submit your application.

What are common scholarship requirements?
It is common for scholarships to require the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Transcript
  • Letter(s) of reccomendation
  • Resume
  • Essay(s)

When is the best time to apply for outside scholarships?
Start your scholarship search early! You can apply for outside scholarships year-round, but "scholarship season" tends to be in full swing from September through April.

What else should I keep in mind?
Get organized! Make sure to take note of all deadlines, and plan your time wisely in order to obtain all submission materials, write and review essays, etc. Keep in mind that the more scholarships you apply to, the higher the likelihood that you will obtain one. Students who tend to be most successful at obtaining outside scholarships have usually applied to several scholarships per month. Additionally, don't dismiss scholarships offering "smaller" amounts - a few $500 or $1000 scholarships can add up quickly!