Last month we visited the New Orleans and Baton Rouge college fairs in Louisiana to speak with students who were applying to college. Many of them were concerned about affording higher education. Besides filling out the FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid, one of the possibilities, we explained, is applying for private scholarships.
Winning a scholarship means that you receive money for college that you do not have to pay back. There are thousands of funding opportunities out there, some for students nationwide, but narrowing down your scholarship network minimizes the competition and increases the likelihood you’ll win. If you’re in the Pelican State, check out these opportunities to earn free money for college.
Lela Quarterly Scholarships
The Louisiana Education Loan Authority (Lela) is a nonprofit public trust that aims to provide financial assistance to students of Louisiana. If you are a high school senior registered with the class of 2017, you can win a $1,000 scholarship from Lela. Winners are announced on a quarterly basis: March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. To be eligible, you must enroll in a college or university within the academic year immediately following high school graduation. Apply here.
The Peter C. Bertucci Scholarship Program
Established by the Jefferson Financial Credit Union, the Peter C. Bertucci Scholarship Program offers scholarships, each worth $1,000, to 12 graduating high school seniors. The mission of the scholarship is to enhance a student’s secular and financial education. The application, which is due May 15, 2017, requires three letters of recommendation, official high school transcripts, and an essay. The winners of these scholarships must be members of the Jefferson Financial Credit Union (you can sign up at any time), who demonstrate academic excellence and school/community involvement. Apply here.
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Thanks to the support of donors, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation is able to provide nearly two dozen scholarships to local high school and college students. Some of the scholarships prefer applicants in a specific field of study or school system while others do not. Luckily, when students fill out an application, the application system automatically determines their eligibility for each scholarship opportunity. This means that by filling out one application, you could have the chance to win multiple scholarships! In addition to completing the application form, submitting your school transcripts, and writing a personal statement, you must submit a letter of recommendation, so be sure to start as soon as possible. Apply here.
Louisiana Go Grant
On a mission to support nontraditional and low-income students in need of additional financial aid, the Louisiana Go Grant offers awards ranging from $300–3,000! If you are a Louisiana resident, have filed the FAFSA, have received a Pell grant, and still have a remaining financial need, you may apply. Even part-time students can apply as long as they attend an eligible Louisiana institution for a minimum of six hours a week. Apply here.
Church's Chicken Community Scholarship Program
The Church’s Partners Foundation, Inc. established a scholarship program open to high school seniors in Louisiana and 15 other states. Students must be planning to continue their education either part-time or full-time at an accredited college or vocational school program. Applicants must maintain a GPA of at least 2.7 and be a legal resident of the United States. The application becomes available in January 2017. Apply here.
Do you know of any other scholarships for students from Louisiana? Let us know in the comments below!