When should I begin my scholarship research?
The short answer is now. You should already be applying to the schools you may want to attend. It is also the time to begin searching for scholarships that can help you pay for your education. As you search for scholarships, make a list of those you are interested in and for which you are eligible. Be sure your list includes application deadlines and information about how to apply. Scholarships are out there, but you need to look for them.
The Scholarship Search on this website is a good place to start, but there are many other places to look and options to consider:
- Check out free scholarship search websites.
- Check bulletin boards at your high school.
- Ask your parents if the companies they work for offer scholarships. Ask your own employer!
- Check with the financial aid offices of the colleges you are interested in attending.
September through November
In addition to searching and applying for scholarships, you should: Take the ACT or SAT. If you haven’t already taken the ACT or SAT, you should register to take one of these tests by October of your senior year. Most colleges require either an ACT or SAT score and many scholarship programs require that you submit these scores as part of your scholarship application. Check with your school’s guidance office to find out if it will offer a financial aid information program during the fall or winter and plan to attend if one will be offered.
The FAFSA application for the upcoming school year is available October 1. Find out the date of your high school’s financial aid night or college fair to further learn about your financial options and how to complete your application. The FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) is a required piece of nearly all of TFEC’s scholarship applications. You will need to have this item ready to submit with your online application.
All TFEC scholarship applications will be open online. Begin applying for them so you have plenty of time to get all your materials in by the deadline.
Complete and submit your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov by March 1. Before you fill out the form, you and your parent/guardian must each get an FSA ID from www.studentaid.ed.gov. Filling out the FAFSA online is the best way to do it, but you can still get a paper form by calling 1-800-433-3243 or 1-800-730-8913 if you are hearing impaired.
March 1 is also the deadline for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship.
Several TFEC scholarship applications have a March 15 deadline – but pay close attention, as there are some with deadlines before or after this date.
Many of TFEC’s scholarship applications have an April 1 deadline—but pay close attention, as there are some with deadlines before or after this date.
Most students who are recipients of a scholarship through TFEC will be notified of their award at their high school’s senior awards night. These awards nights often take place during the month of May.
This is the deadline for the Samuel L. Abrams Foundation Fund application. Decisions for this scholarship are made in early August, and recipients are notified shortly thereafter.
This is the deadline for the Pauline M. Whitekettle Scholarship Fund for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Faerie L. Angle Memorial Scholarship Fund, and the Education Matters – the J.M. Heberlig/B.J. Helterbran Scholarship Fund.
If you are a recipient of a TFEC scholarship, be sure to read the renewability criteria for your award. To claim your scholarship, you will need to send in a tuition bill for each semester. This information is further discussed in all award letters.
Complete and submit your Scholarship Acceptance Form, included in your award packet, by this date to ensure you are nominated for a PHEAA PATH Program matching grant.