• Many scholarships for college are merit-based. These scholarships might be awarded based on academic achievement, but others are based on financial need, and some scholarships are tied to a specific talent such as music, acting, debate or athletics.
• Scholarships are gifts. Students do not need to repay them. Individuals can check out the Financial Aid Office at Linfield, but they can also check with high schools, local foundations, business and civic groups, parents’ employers or churches.
• Oregon Student Access Commission offers a number of scholarships, and one application form allows students to apply for multiple scholarships. The OSAC scholarship process has a March 1 deadline. National scholarship databases such as Fastweb.com and Scholarships.com are also good places to start a search.
• Watch out for scams. Students should never have to pay to apply for a scholarship.
• Check the application deadlines and requirements. Once students identify a scholarship, they should make sure they understand the application process, and be sure to give writing references plenty of time to complete the letter or evaluation.
“It’s possible to obtain scholarships,” Preston says. “The process simply requires determination and persistence.”