March and April can be prime time for students to apply for as many outside scholarships as possible. WSU’s Student Financial Services has a new scholarship search engine to help students discover additional scholarships from private donors and foundations.

Additionally, we accept any outside scholarships you receive, and highly encourage your student to apply to local scholarships. Your high school college and career counselor can be a great resource to notify students of opportunities that may be available. Though local scholarships tend to offer smaller amounts, the applicant pool is typically much smaller and students have better odds of receiving awards. The small amounts can add up quickly! Your student might consider asking about scholarships available at non-profit organizations, special interest groups (i.e. 4-H, the American Legion, FFA, the Elks Club), churches, and locally-owned businesses. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

We encourage students to think of applying for scholarships like it’s a part time job that will have lasting dividends! Make it a goal for your student to apply for at least 2-3 scholarships every week. It can be time consuming to get started, but once your student develops a few strong essay responses, they’ll find they can adjust and apply their responses to many common scholarship questions.

There are also reputable scholarship search engines online such as fastweb.com or washboard.org. Keep in mind that many national scholarships will have large applicant pools which can reduce the odds of receiving an award. Remember, you should never pay to apply or search for scholarships.

Now is the time to encourage your student to apply for as many scholarships as possible. These scholarships can go a long way in helping to reduce college expenses.

If your student receives an outside scholarship, please notify SFS by completing the Notification of Estimated Financial Assistance form. This will add the outside scholarship to the student’s financial aid award. Please share the Scholarship Designation Form with your donor so that your scholarship funds can be sent to WSU and properly applied to your account.

As always, we’re here to help! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. by calling 509-335-9711 or emailing financialaid@wsu.edu. If you are on the Pullman campus, you can also schedule an appointment to meet with a Student Financial Services advisor, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. by visiting financialaid.wsu.edu.