Where to find scholarships

When hunting for scholarships, colleges are your best source for financial assistance, awarding merit- and need-based aid. Never exclude a college from your list of choices just because of its sticker price. Financial aid officers are dedicated to helping you pay for college, and they put together “aid packages,” including institutional scholarships, grants and loans.

BUT ... aid from your school and from TOPS may not cover your full costs of attending college, so it pays to be creative and resourceful in looking for scholarships from the business, nonprofit and professional worlds as well. Winning more aid could even change which colleges you are able to choose from.

There are literally hundreds of organizations, from clubs to churches to corporations, that offer scholarships. Here's a sampling:

• Girls interested in engineering, find scholarships engineered for you: societyofwomenengineers.swe.org

• Students interested in pursuing a nursing career can apply for a scholarship from Prime Medical Alert if they are working toward a two- or four-year college degree: primemedicalalert.com/scholarship/

• If you love math, financial aid just may add up: m3challenge.siam.org

• The artistically inclined can draw or paint their way to scholarships with the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts original art contest: georgerodriguefoundation.org

• If you’re headed for a community or technical college, you may just prefer nuts, bolts and thingamajigs: nutsandboltsfoundation.org/scholarship.cfm

Are you or your parents involved in local clubs or religious organizations?

• Rotary: mandevillerotary.org (check with the Rotary club in your area)

• Knights of Columbus: kofc.org/un/en/scholarships

• United Methodist Church: gbhem.org/loans-and-scholarships

• Elks Most Valuable Student: elks.org/enf/scholars/mvs.cfm

Corporations also love to recognize hard-working students:

• Discover: discover.com/company/corporate-responsibility

• Kohl’s: kohlscorporation.com/CommunityRelations/scholarship

• Marriott (for Hispanic and African-American students pursuing degrees in the hospitality management, hotel management, culinary, and food and beverage fields): uncf.org/scholarships or hispanicfund.org

• Coca-Cola (achievement-based): coca-colascholarsfoundation.org

Don’t overlook LOCAL or regional scholarships:

• An example is the Bayou Industrial Group’s scholarship for graduating seniors from Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Mary and Assumption parishes: bayouindustrialgroup.com

• For students in the greater Baton Rouge area with financial need, a great one is the Boo Grigsby Foundation Scholarship Contest:

• If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer: ulmanfund.org/scholarships

If you have a disability and are attending an HBCU: uncf.org/scholarships

• QuestBridge provides awards to outstanding low-income high school students: questbridge.org

Check out heritage scholarships:

• The Hispanic Scholarship Fund: hsf.net

• National Italian American Foundation:

• United Negro College Fund: uncf.org

• Gates Millennium Scholarship (awarded to 1,000 deserving minority seniors each year): gmsp.org

Sports could be your ticket, too:

• State Farm Insurance, Fox Sports New Orleans, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Louisiana High School Coaches Association all award scholarships to deserving Louisiana high school athletes: lhsaa.org/schools/students-and-parents/scholarships-and-awards

• Career Compass keeps a fresh list of good scholarship ideas, curated by a Career Compass coach: careercompassla.org/scholarships