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The Fund offers a list of free scholarship searches and other scholarship tips and information.

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Scholarship Criteria, Deadlines, Scams, and Other Sources of Money

Billions of dollars in scholarships are given each year to support students in pursuing a college education. Scholarships are "free money" because they don't need to be repaid. These scholarships—from foundations, companies, unions, community organizations, churches, and other groups—range from a few hundred dollars to a free ride for all years of college.

The Sallie Mae Fund does not have any scholarship programs open at this time. These tips will help you find programs that best fit your needs.


Many scholarships are based on select criteria, like:

  • grades
  • gender
  • chosen college
  • race
  • parents' organization affiliation
  • artistic ability
  • parents' place of work
  • chosen major
  • religious affiliation
  • organization affiliation
  • leadership ability
  • military background
  • athletic ability
  • economic need

Keys to Tapping into Scholarships

  • Don't rule yourself out. Scholarships are not limited to class valedictorians and star athletes. They are awarded based on a number of factors—from your career goals to exceptional writing skills displayed in an essay contest.
  • Apply for as many awards as you qualify for. Even small awards can be helpful in covering costs, such as books.
  • Pay close attention to deadlines. Missing a deadline is a sure way to become disqualified.
  • Look for scholarships offered by a variety of sources, including companies, unions, foundations, community organizations, churches, and more.
  • Tell family, friends, teachers, and others in your community that you are looking for scholarships. They may know something you do not.
  • Understand the conditions of an award, such as maintaining a specific GPA or participating on an athletic team.
  • Make use of free scholarship directories and searches offered by reputable organizations, such as The Sallie Mae Fund.
  • Watch for scholarship scams. You should never pay for scholarship advice or information.
  • If you receive a scholarship, be sure to write a thank-you note to the organization. You may want to reapply for the scholarship in the future so it is important to make a good impression.

Scholarship Searches

Start your free scholarship search today.