Some of the best scholarships opportunities require you to think outside of the box. Why? Not all scholarship providers are great at marketing their awards. This makes them much more difficult to find—and leads to a lot of scholarship money going under-awarded.
One place to find great, hidden scholarship opportunities is Facebook. Many scholarship organizations create Facebook pages for their awards because it's easier than creating their own websites. And while this may make it hard to find these scholarships via scholarship search engines, you can find them by following these steps:
- Step 1: Search. Below, I've outlined the kinds of scholarships that are popular on Facebook and a list of keywords to find them.
- Step 2: Review. Click on each relevant result and try to find out details about the scholarship from its Facebook page. Often, a scholarship will look interesting but won't give you enough information. That's when you move on to step 3.
- Step 3: Dig deeper. Try to find a website for the scholarship provider on their Facebook page, or try searching for the name of the organization using Google. Once you get to their website, you should find more details like eligibility requirements and application details.
The Hyper-Local Scholarship
Did you know that there are scholarships available based on your city, town, and even ZIP code? These are "hyper-local" scholarships because they offer their awards to small, specific geographic locations. Facebook scholarship searches are the perfect place to find these highly targeted scholarships.
Here is an example of the kinds of local scholarships you might find: The Hollywood Florida Scholarship Foundation. Since 1964, the Hollywood Florida Scholarship Foundation has awarded over three million dollars in scholarships to thousands of students who live in Hollywood, Fla. This is the definition of "hyper-local scholarship"—and it shows the kind of scholarship you can find if you put in the effort.
This scholarship was not listed on any of the major scholarship search engines! Information about it lives exclusively on their Facebook page and the scholarship provider's website.
To find hyper-local scholarships on Facebook, try searching for terms like: "[your city] scholarship," "[your city, state] scholarship," "[your city of residence] scholarship," and other similar terms.
The Community Foundation Scholarships
Community foundations award scholarships to students within a specific geographic community. While community foundations are usually very active, there may be one in your area that you have never heard of!
Community foundations receive donations from local individuals and companies and create scholarships for students who live in specific communities. Typically, the organization will have dozens of named scholarships that students can apply to using a single application. The Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation is your quintessential community foundation: many scholarships—one application.
To find community foundations on Facebook, try searching for terms like: "[your state] scholarship foundation," "[your city] community foundation," or try just searching nationally for "community foundation."
The Industry Foundation Scholarships
Industry foundations are typically organizations created to provide resources, conferences, and information to people within a certain career field. However, they also have a habit of awarding scholarships to students who are interested in pursuing careers in these fields.
One example of such a foundation is The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF). PGSF awards over 200 scholarships each year to students pursuing careers in the fields of graphic communications, printing technology, printing management, and publishing.
To find industry foundations on Facebook, try searching for terms like: "[your major] scholarship foundation," "[your future career] foundation," or try searching for "[your major] scholarships."
The Culture Foundation Scholarships
So, we've covered hyper-local scholarships, community scholarships, and industry scholarships; now, let's dive into cultural scholarship (are you starting to see a trend here?).
Similar to the previous types of scholarship organizations, culture foundations benefit a specific set of people—in this case, those of a certain culture. Typically, these organizations do not focus on "race" per se; instead, they offer scholarships to students from a specific cultural lineage (e.g., Iranian, Japanese, Indian, Native-American).
Here is an example: The Iranian Scholarship Foundation. The Iranian Scholarship Foundation may be small, but they offer more scholarships to students of Iranian descent than any other scholarship organization!
Finding industry foundations on Facebook can be a little tricky. Try searching for terms like: "[your heritage] scholarship foundation," "your heritage] scholarship," or try searching for "[country of your heritage] scholarships."