It is not true that millions of dollars of financial assistance goes unclaimed each year, as some private scholarship search companies claim. However, some foundations and corporations do offer scholarships and loans to qualifying students. Many places of employment, professional associations, and labor unions have programs to help pay the cost of education for employees or members (or for their children). Other possible sources include religious organizations, fraternities or sororities, local clubs, and civic groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, 4-H Club, PTA, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Elks, the American Legion, Rotary Club, and the Girl or Boy Scouts. Organizations connected with the student's field of interest (for example, the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association) may be additional possibilities.

Many private sources of aid are also listed in scholarship directories, which can usually be found in your local public library or by searching the web. A number of scholarship search sites are listed on our Web Resources page.