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Scholarships are considered "merit-based" financial aid because they are awarded to students based on meeting specified criteria. They are considered gift aid because they do not have to be paid back.

Scholarships recipients are selected for a wide variety of reasons. Common reasons include superior academic or athletic performance or capability. However, there are many other reasons that scholarships are awarded, and there are thousands of different ones available. It is important you begin your scholarship search early and spend an adequate amount of time to be very thorough. There may be many scholarships for which you qualify. Each scholarship has it's own eligibility requirements and application deadline.

Most scholarships require completing an application and many request that you write an essay about yourself. Some scholarships will ask you to include letters from people who know you (reference letters) stating why you should be selected, among many applicants, to receive the scholarship.

Scholarship Tools on CollegeInColorado.org

College In Colorado stores tens of thousands of scholarship listings, including assisted searches into two national databases as well as Colorado regional and local opportunities. It can help your search to select information about yourself to find scholarships most applicable to you. Also, don't forget to contact the financial aid office at your college or university to find out about other Colorado businesses that provide scholarships to students attending that institution.

CollegeInColorado.org scholarship search engine - browse this national database or enter your characteristics to find scholarship opportunity matches and check out additional off-site scholarship resources.

Scholarships by career cluster -  Within the introduction for many career clusters there are local and regional scholarships offered by businesses and associations in that industry.

There's more information on scholarships available on the Find Scholarships page.

Other trustworthy Websites for scholarship searches:


Remember four very important rules about scholarships:

  • Never pay a fee to search for scholarships or submit an application;
  • No one can guarantee that you will receive a scholarship;
  • If a scholarship sounds too good to be true, it probably is;
  • Your high school guidance counselor can help you find scholarships.



Many corporations in Colorado offer paid and unpaid internships - a great way to learn necessary skills for a successful career. Working as an intern may also help you win a scholarship and make important contacts for letters of reference and recommendation.

Every college has a list of internships available for students. Contact the Career Center at your college for more information.

Good luck in your scholarship search!