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ABC's of Scholarships

To begin with, it’s important to distinguish between merit scholarships offered by a college or university and other scholarships typically referred to as “outside” or “off-campus” scholarships.

College Scholarships
Scholarships offered by a college or university typically include awards for:

  • Excellent grades in high school
  • Class ranking
  • SAT/ACT test scores

In addition, many schools – including several Adventist colleges – offer scholarships for:

  • Enrolling in specific degree programs, such as nursing or business or engineering or music
  • Significant leadership roles while in high school, such as student association or class officer
  • Summer camp work experience
  • Mission, church and/or community outreach work

Merit scholarships offered by colleges are typically described in college brochures and on their web sites. Click here for links to the scholarship pages of each Adventist college.

Other or "Off-Campus" Scholarships
In addition to scholarships offered by individual colleges, there are a significant number of off-campus scholarships available. Off-campus scholarships are typically provided by the following types of organizations:

  • Community or civic organizations, such as Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, etc.
  • Local businesses and major corporations
  • Foundations or other nonprofit organizations
  • Religious or church-based entities

Scholarship scams are everywhere, but applying for reputable off-campus scholarships is free. The following web sites are a great place to start applying:

  • FastWeb – Compares your student’s background with a database of 1.5 million+ awards. Those awards fitting your student’s profile are identified as matches. Since so many students use FastWeb, your best bet is to focus on scholarships offered in your area. Please note: FastWeb has many marketing partners that it shares your student’s information with, so read their privacy policy, help your child use good judgment in choosing scholarships and set up a separate email address just for this purpose.
  • Mach25 – Database containing over 600,000 awards totaling over $1.6 billion. You can search for various scholarships by keyword, but it is not a true search engine so it can take more time to find scholarships your student qualifies for.
  • CollegeBoard's Scholarship Search – Database with more than 2,300 sources of grants, loans and scholarships offering over $3 billion in assistance. You complete a profile for your student, and the site will provide closest matches.
  • FinAid.org – Excellent, one-stop shopping for information about financial aid. Includes links to multiple scholarship sites.

Church Grants
Many families overlook assistance offered by their local church. While technically not considered a scholarship, many churches provide need-based grants for students to attend an Adventist college or university.
In addition, many Adventist colleges offer a matching grant to students who receive help from a local church. Each college has a different policy on how much they will match and who qualifies, but it is one more way to make an Adventist education more affordable.
Finally, it’s important to determine if an outside or "off-campus" award will reduce other financial aid offered by the college being considered. Check with each financial aid office to find out their policy.