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      You will usually find a list of endowments from alumni listed in the financial aid section of the college catalog. Often endowments to schools are not advertised and may go uncliamed. For example, at a small school like USF, the total endowments average $20 million to $30 million per year. At Ivy league schools, endowments range from $100 million to $200 million-plus each year. Of those endowments, 10% to 15% goes to the financial aid office in the form of scholarships, fellowships, grants and loans.

You will discover that endowment sources are really just another form of private sector scholarships. The difference is that endowment money is given directly to the school and is administered exclusively by the school's financial aid office, so you must deal directly with the college.

You probably won't be able to locate endowments through scholarship search services. Use the address book to contact schools about the endowments they offer.

You'll find that the myths I talked about in the scholarship section also apply to these private endowments -- again don't exclude yourself because of those old cliches regarding your grades, financial status, deadlines or age. Read on to learn about the different kinds of endowments.


Merit scholarships are given by colleges to students on the basis of academic performance without regard for financial need. These scholarships are usually granted to the "upper crust" of entering students, academically speaking.

Currently, more than 1,000 colleges in the country offer this type of aid. In choosing merit scholars, a college usually looks at one or more of the following criteria:

  • Class standing in high school
  • Grade point average
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Depending on the college, some merit scholarships may also take into account the financial need of a student.
Always check with the colleges you wish to attend to see what factors they consider in awarding these scholarships. Remember, the more attractive you are to a college, the better the chance you have of receiving such a scholarship.


Major Specific Awards. At some colleges, scholarships may be awarded to students who have performed particularly well in a certain field.

For instance, a student who has shown an aptitude for mathematics might be awarded a scholarship through that department at the university, provided they plan to pursue mathematics as a major course of study.

Fellowships. Some students may be granted fellowship money to pursue certain projects while at the university. For example, a student interested in performing research in chemistry may be awarded a fellowship. The university will grant funds for such a student to carry out research under the supervision of a faculty member.

Athletic scholarships. Most colleges and universities offer scholarships to attract excellent athletes. The biggest scholarships usually go to athletes in major sports such as football, basketball or baseball.

Scholarships are offered in other sports as well. If you show promise as a high school athlete, you may be eligible for an athletic scholarship.

Athletic scholarships are rarely based on academic performance.


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