College Financial Scholarships For Later College Years


Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jul 24, 2003
Pasadena CA
Most college scholarships are keyed to students in their junior or senior year of high school. But there must be some to apply for in your 2nd, 3rd or later years of college.
Younger son is finishing his second year of college, a music major at a California state school. It looks like his college requirement will extend to 5 years, I had only budgeted for four. He is doing well overall (dean's list) and in his music evaluations ('juries"). We made just a bit too much to qualify for financial aid when he was in high school. Now I am retired and making less but the window of senior year of high school has passed.
He works part time and we know all about loans, I am just trying to figure out how to pursue financial scholarships. Must be something out there. Anyone have experiences in this area?
I actually got a lot of scholarships (11 or so) in my 2nd and 3rd years of college and zero scholarships my first year (no 4th year of college for me at all). They were mostly from professional organizations in my discipline (engineering). A few were from the college of engineering itself too. Being a music major means there are probably less companies and wealthy donors out there sponsoring scholarships I would think. So YMMV. A couple of my scholarships came from essay writing. Many times, there are only 5-10 applicants for 1 or more essay-based scholarships and anyone remotely talented at writing can have a good shot at securing one. Just cater your response to the agency or organization that sponsors the contest and focus on responding to their essay prompt and/or questions. A few hours writing can net you $1000-$2000 pretty easily.

I also had probably the top grades in my department (near 4.0), excellent extracurriculars, and the active support of many faculty members across multiple departments so this helped immensely too.

There were also many scholarships open to non-whites and non-males in my discipline but I did not meet the criteria. YMMV for music majors.

In summary, check out professional societies. Check out the financial aid office. Look for essay contests. Ask around in your academic department. Ask professors. I know that in the professional societies I am involved with, we actually have a hard time giving away money ($1000-$3000) because there are not enough applicants. I actually got two scholarships one year from one particular professional society simply because there were not enough qualified applicants to spread out the scholarships more.
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