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The Ultimate List of Hidden College Scholarships

Jamie Kirby December 01, 2023

The Ultimate List of “Hidden” College Scholarships
Are you looking for additional money for college?  While many colleges offer automatic consideration for scholarships based on your application for admission, many also have scholarships with additional application requirements and/or deadlines that vary from the published application plans.  As if the college search and application process isn't complicated enough, the ease of finding these opportunities adds another layer of complexity. The location of this info on college websites can vary; some are front and center, while others take a bit of detective work to uncover.  But, don't worry! We crowd-sourced our independent educational consulting colleagues in both IECA and HECA to put together a list of “hidden” scholarship opportunities. While this list isn't exhaustive, it's pretty robust! 

Arizona State University

Arizona State has their own scholarship search database (linked above) which includes both internal ASU awards and external scholarships.  Students can apply for the internal awards within their ASU Scholarship Portal.  Individual scholarship deadlines vary.

Boston College

The Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program does not have a separate application, but students must submit their admissions applications by November 1 regardless of application plan to be considered.

Boston University

Boston University’s Trustee and Presidential Scholarships have an application deadline of December 1 regardless of application plan to be considered for these scholarships.  For the Trustee Scholarship, complete the additional Trustee prompt in your Common App.  Nothing additional is needed for the Presidential Scholarship, other than meeting the December 1st submission deadline.

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western offers a select number of scholarships, including full-tuition awards, that require you to provide additional information and respond to an essay prompt.  A complete application for admission should be submitted by the applicant deadline and a complete scholarship application must be received by February 1 to be considered for these special awards.

Centre College

Centre College offers Premier and Special Interest scholarships with additional applications.  For Premier scholarships, applicants may select any application plan (an early plan isn’t required), but the Common App must be submitted prior to December 1 to ensure that the scholarship application can be submitted by December 1.  The Special Interest scholarships each have their own unique application for consideration.  Applications for Special Interest scholarships are due by January 15th after submission of the Common App.

Colorado School of Mines

All prospective students will be invited to complete the General Scholarship Application (available through Trailhead).  Accepted students will be notified by email when the application is available, usually in December. The priority date for completion will be March 1.  Along with foundation scholarships, students may also apply for E-Days Scholarship, the Harvey Scholarship Program, the Grewcock Presidential Scholars Program, and the Starzer Service Scholarship Program through the General Scholarship Application.

Colorado State University

The CSU Scholarship Application is a competitive online scholarship application for many of the scholarships at CSU. The CSUSA will be available online on students’ RAMweb beginning October 1. The deadline is March 1 at 11 p.m. (MST). Log in using your eID and then select the CSU Scholarship Application link.

Davidson College

Davidson college has several scholarship opportunities that require either a nomination or an additional application.  See the website link for information specific to each opportunity.

Drexel University

In order to apply to the Liberty Scholars program, complete the Drexel Liberty Scholars application and essay online via the Enrichment & Scholarship Applications tab in Discover Drexel.  The scholarship application must be submitted by November 15 for ED applicants or February 1 for EA and RD applicants.

Emory University

Emory University offers partial to full merit-based scholarships as part of the Emory University Scholar Programs. No additional application is needed, but to be considered for any and all scholar programs, students must select one of the three admission decision plans (Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision) and submit all required application materials by November 15.  Those applying Early Decision I must apply by November 1.  You also must answer "yes" to the question on your application that says, "Do you wish to be considered for merit scholarships?"

George Washington University

George Washington University has several scholarship opportunities with additional application requirements.  Review the individual scholarship information and application requirements on the website.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Students must apply by the Early Action deadline to be considered for the Stamps President’s Scholars Program.  No additional information is needed at the time of application other than meeting the early deadline, however, finalists will be invited to participate in Stamps Scholars Weekend in March for additional activities and interviews.

Indiana University 

After receiving admission to IU Bloomington, students will be instructed to set up their Computing Account, which will be required to access and submit the General Scholarship Application.  Students should submit the scholarship application by February 1. 

Kansas State University

Competitive scholarship awardees are selected by committees who review additional supplemental application materials and/or administer a selective interview process. All competitive scholarship applications are due by 5pm on December 15.

Montana State University

The general scholarship application platform, Cat Scholarships, opens to admitted students on November 1 and has a priority deadline of February 1.  Students are encouraged to complete the Cat Scholarships application to be considered for departmental scholarships.  Submitting a general Cat Scholarship application will provide students the ability to apply for some of MSU’s highest value scholarships in time to meet their application deadlines, such as the Presidential and Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), which have strict application deadlines of December 1 and January 3, respectively.

New York University

New York University offers five scholarships in honor of fire, police, and emergency workers who were killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center. The scholarship is intended to enable their children to attend the university and supports the cost of tuition, registration fees, and room and board.  New York University scholarship funds will be used to pay any remaining balance up the full cost of education.. Dependents and spouses of uniformed members of the Fire Department of the City of New York, the New York Police Department, the Port Authority Police Department, and other emergency response workers who died at the World Trade Center are given preferred consideration.  There is no New York State residency requirement, but most require that you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.  Students must submit all financial aid applications by their deadlines and apply for the New York State World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship.

The Ohio State University

Students must apply by November 1 for merit scholarship consideration.  Two scholarships involve additional applications.  For the Stamps Eminence Scholarship, students must apply to the honors program on the Common App and then complete the separate Stamps Eminence Scholarship Application by November 15.  For the Morrill Scholarship, students must indicate interest in the Morrill Scholarship Program and complete the MSP essay on the Common App.  Be sure to include leadership and diversity involvement on the Activity List.  

Ohio State also uses ScholarshipUniverse for additional scholarships.  Log in using your Ohio State username (lastname.#) and password, create or log in to your account and answer questions about yourself to build your profile. Once you are matched to a scholarship, follow prompts to complete any application requirements.  February 15 is the priority date for OSU ScholarshipUniverse applications.

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine’s Scholarship Opportunities page offers a listing of available scholarships with a brief listing of qualifications. To apply, you must first sign in using your WaveNet credentials. You will then have the opportunity to complete a general application and, if applicable, apply for specific scholarships. 

Purdue University

Students should complete the Purdue Departmental Scholarship Application in ScholarshipUniverse by February 15 to be considered for additional college and school scholarships.  Students can access ScholarshipUniverse through the admissions application portal login.  ScholarshipUniverse will also match students to outside scholarships for which they may be eligible.

San Diego State University

Sign in to the scholarship application portal using your SDSU email address and password.  Submit one General Application, and the system will automatically match you to all scholarships for which you are eligible (you will not see this list of auto-matches). The system will then provide you a list of recommended scholarships where you meet the basic requirements, but additional information must be submitted to apply.  Applications will be available in the spring.  Important: Incoming students MUST submit their Intent to Enroll to be matched to and awarded any scholarships through Aztec Scholarships.

Tulane University

Academic, Leadership, and Service Scholarships require the Tulane Scholarship Application.  Artistic scholarships require either an audition or portfolio and in some cases, an interview.  Complete the Tulane Scholarship Application, audition, or portfolio on your Green Wave Portal by December 5.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Students can complete the BSMART Scholarship Application for consideration for scholarships offered by various departments and organizations across UAB’s campus.  The application submission deadline is March 1.

University of California Berkeley

Some merit scholarships at UC Berkeley are only available to students who apply for financial aid.  It is recommended that all students apply for financial aid to be considered for all scholarship opportunities.

Additionally, UC Berkeley has scholarship applications available from outside resources, including the UC Berkeley Alumni Association, on the website under “Search for Outside Scholarships”.

University of California Irvine

UCI uses ScholarshipUniverse for students to apply and match to campuswide and external scholarships.  Students can log in to ScholarshipUniverse with their UCInetID and password.

University of Colorado - Boulder 

The CU Boulder Scholarship Application allows you to both apply for multiple CU Boulder scholarships with a general application and gain access to additional scholarship opportunities. The application opens Nov. 1 with most scholarship applications due between Feb. 15 to March 15. 

CU Boulder offers a limited number of scholarships to academically promising new first-year students who are members of a federally recognized tribe. For those who are a member of one of the 48 tribes with historical and present ties to Colorado, they also offer in-state tuition rates whether you are a resident of Colorado or not.  Provide one of the following documents proving tribal affiliation in a federally recognized tribe to the Office of Financial Aid (upon request) prior to scholarship offer being finalized: a copy of your tribal citizenship card (front and back) or a copy of your Certificate of Indian Blood (CDIB), which must contain a tribal seal or be on tribal letterhead, and must include your official identification number (e.g., census number, tribal citizenship number, enrollment number, certified tribal council number)

University of Illinois

University of Illinois has a scholarship database.  This is a dynamic list which is continuously updated to bring students the most current and accurate information.  Students may search for scholarships alphabetically, by category or by all or part of the scholarship name.  If searching by category, be sure to check University Scholarships for campus-wide scholarships as well as scholarships available in your college.

University of Kansas

University of Kansas has UKASH, the University of Kansas Award & Scholarship Hub.  This site will allow you to view and apply for many of the scholarship opportunities available.  For additional scholarship opportunities, contact your academic department.  Deadlines vary by scholarship and new opportunities are posted as they become available.

University of Maryland

University of Maryland uses ScholarshipUniversity for both UMD scholarships and outside scholarships.  You can be matched with scholarships based on your major, minor, college, department, academic merits, financial need, hobbies, interests, affiliations and more.

University of Michigan

Students should complete “My Scholarship Profile" in the Campus Finances section in Wolverine Access by February 15 to ensure full consideration for scholarships for the upcoming academic year.  Some donor-provided scholarships awarded by the schools and colleges and the Office of Financial Aid require this additional detail.

University of North Carolina

In addition to automatic Academic Scholarships, UNC also offers the Carolina Covenant Scholars Program, Kessler Scholars Program, Kenan Music Scholars Program, Thomas Wolfe Scholarship for Creative Writing, Chancellor’s Science Scholarship, Morehead-Cain scholarship and Robertson scholarship. These scholarships may require supplemental applications, interviews, or financial aid information.

University of Oregon

Before applying for scholarships, you must submit an application for admission to the University of Oregon.  Watch your email for an invitation to enter the UO Scholarship Dashboard.  Log into the UO Scholarship Dashboard and set up your profile by filling out the general application, and look for additional opportunities in the portal for which you may qualify.

University of Puget Sound

The Lillis Scholarship and Matelich Scholarship require a separate application due by Dec 1 for consideration.  Talent scholarships in art, forensics, and theater have separate applications with a Jan 15 deadline.  Music scholarships have various audition dates depending on your application plan; see the link above for the latest information.

Additionally, as part of the Posse Scholarship Program, Puget Sound selects 10 public high school students from the San Francisco Bay Area and awards each student with a full-tuition scholarship, regardless of financial need. The application and nomination process is coordinated by the Posse Foundation.

University of Richmond

There is no separate application for the Richmond Scholars program, however, all interested students must submit a complete admission application by December 1 regardless of application plan.

University of Rochester

Merit scholarships at the University of Rochester do not require additional applications, however, students must submit their admissions application by December 1 for maximum scholarship consideration, regardless of the application plan you choose.

University of Southern California

Administered through the Office of Admission, USC Merit Scholarships do not have an additional application, but require students to apply for admission to the university by either November 1 or December 1, depending on their intended major.  

Some USC scholarships are administered by organizations outside the Office of Admission. These generally require a separate application, have varying deadlines and eligibility requirements and may or may not require an interview.  Review the information for each specific scholarship available on the link.

University of Toronto

To be eligible for the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships at the University of Toronto you must be nominated by your school and apply to undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto. Once you’ve been nominated and have submitted your admission application, you will be sent a personalized, secure link to the scholarship application.

University of Virginia and UVA Alumni Association

University of Virginia offers various scholarships that require students to self-identify.  A list is available at the link above.  All students who believe they meet a scholarship's qualifications should email, indicating the scholarship for which they believe they are qualified. SFS will reply with further instructions.

The UVA Alumni Association offers various scholarships with their own application process, available at the UVA Alumni Association link above. 

University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin has the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH).  To begin applying to scholarships, sign in with your NetID and complete the brief General Application. Based on your answers in the General Application, you will be directed to fill out more specific scholarship applications for which you are eligible.  Deadlines vary by scholarship, but scholarships available to incoming freshmen typically open in October-November and have deadlines in early February.

Vanderbilt University

The application for the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship is required; you must apply to be considered. For the Ingram Scholars Program and Chancellor's Scholarship, the application is strongly encouraged; preference is given to those who apply.  Students must first apply for admission.  Once the student receives access to their MyAppVU portal, they will be able to apply for scholarships under the Scholarships tab.  The scholarship application is due December 1, so students must submit their admissions application early enough to allow time to receive portal access and to submit the scholarship application by the deadline.

Villanova University

Villanova has several scholarships with additional application requirements, including the Presidential Scholarship, Maguire Foundation Scholarship, and Hovnanian Scholarship.  Visit the link for specific information on each scholarship, including requirements and deadlines.

Wake Forest University

Most scholarships (including the full-cost of attendance Signature Scholarships) do not require a scholarship application, but only a completed admission application by November 15, even if applying under regular decision.  Finalists for scholarships that require comprehensive interviews or auditions are notified by April.

Washington & Lee University

Washington & Lee’s Johnson Scholarship recognizes and rewards students on the basis of academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and integrity, and their potential to contribute to the intellectual and civic life of the W&L campus and the world at large in years to come.  Applying for the Johnson Scholarship requires submission of a complete Common Application and the W&L Johnson Scholarship supplement, which consists of a second personal essay found in the W&L section of the Common App.

Washington State University

Washington State University has a general scholarship application for students to complete to become eligible for multiple scholarship opportunities.  Academic interests, talent, financial need, community service, leadership, career ambitions, campus involvement—any of these could qualify you for scholarship awards from WSU or from outside sources.

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis offers several scholarship opportunities with additional application requirements.  If you are submitting the Common Application, you can find the prompts in the optional Writing Supplement section. If you’re submitting the Coalition Application, you will apply through the WashU Pathway after you’ve submitted both your profile and the Washington University-specific questions.

Did we miss any "hidden" scholarships offered by a specific college or university? Let us know and we'll add them! Email us or comment below. This page will be updated over time so be sure to bookmark it for easy reference.

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