What You Should Know About Corporate Scholarships

By Jean D , last updated September 22, 2011

Corporate scholarships may be able to provide you with the help you'll need to pay for school, but there are some things you should know before you pin your hopes on a corporate bailout. While some scholarships are easy to find and easy to win, others have hidden restrictions you may not have considered. It pays to do your homework long before you head off to school, so you'll know just how much money you have to spend on your education.

A corporate scholarship works much like any other scholarship. A company has a pool of money available to hand to students, and students apply for that money. The company cannot be discriminatory, of course, but it can put limits on who can apply for the scholarship. Many corporate scholarships are designed for employees of the company and their children, for example. If you don't work for the company, you cannot apply.

Often, it seems that corporate scholarships target young scholars who are still in high school. Some scholarships restrict students to age 18 when they apply, so older students still in school would still not be eligible to apply. If you're an older or returning student, finding a corporate scholarship might be slightly more difficult. Additionally, these corporate scholarships often have deadlines that fall in line with the traditional high school graduation date. If you're looking for new money for winter term, for example, it might be hard to find a corporate scholarship during this season.

Finding a corporate scholarship to apply for is relatively easy. If you are still in high school, ask your guidance counselor to provide you with a list of corporate scholarships you're eligible for. You may get a list that contains nationwide companies, as well as businesses that have been founded in your hometown. Ask your parents to find out if the companies they work for have scholarships you can apply for. If you know what industry you're going to study, find a local business that specializes in that industry and ask them about scholarship opportunities. Many online sites compile lists of corporate scholarships, along with guidelines about who is available to apply and when those applications are due. These might be useful searches for you to run as you begin looking for scholarships.

While some corporate scholarships provide large benefits that could pay for a big chunk of your schooling, some corporate scholarships are quite modest, offering you amounts in the hundreds instead of the thousands. While this might be discouraging, it pays to remember that you can apply for multiple corporate scholarships. Often, you're encouraged to do just that. If you win many scholarships through your hard work, you may scrape together enough money to cover your costs. To have the best chance of success, remember to fill out your applications completely and turn them in on time. Sending in applications late won't help you win friends or gain the money you'll need. Proofread your applications carefully, to make sure you've spelled everything properly. Businesses will appreciate your professionalism.

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