What is an “Outside” Scholarship?

A piggy bank sitting outside -- what exactly is an outside scholarship

Flickr user Krissy Venosdale

During your research into financial aid opportunities to help fund your college education, you may have come across the term “outside scholarship.” Scholarships are, without a doubt, the best way to pay for college—but what exactly does “outside” mean in regards to scholarship opportunities?

What is an outside scholarship?

Simply put, an outside scholarship is any college scholarship not awarded by a school or the government. A scholarship that comes from an “outside” force. These are sometimes also referred to as “private scholarships” since they come from private sources.

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Where do outside scholarships come from?

Private sources can include (but are certainly not limited to): your high school, a local business, a national company, a church group, a charitable foundation, associations, etc. Most scholarships come from the government and colleges themselves—despite popular belief—and should be the first type of scholarship a student should apply for.

File the FAFSA!

For federal funding, students (EVERYONE) should file their FAFSA and CSS. For school funding, reach out to the financial aid office of colleges you’re interested in—even if you haven’t been accepted yet.

Outside scholarships are great opportunities to help pay for your higher education, and you should apply for those regularly. Remember, there are scholarships for just about every type of student—happy hunting!

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