Private scholarships are a form of gift aid that is awarded to students by external organizations like community nonprofits or local businesses. If you’re looking for private scholarships, or if you’ve received one, you’ve come to the right place.
Where can I find private scholarships?
Students have the most success receiving private scholarships from organizations they already know. Start your search by finding out what scholarships may be offered by:
- Your high school
- Clubs or organizations where you are a member
- Your employer or that of your parent(s)
- Other local opportunities in your area (competitions, essay projects, etc.)
If you’re currently in high school, your guidance counseling team likely has some of the best information on great, local scholarships.
Once you’ve investigated local opportunities, you can expand your search to the web. Below are links to online search engines recommended to us by current students and alumni:
- Access Scholarships Search Engine
- College Board Big Future Scholarship Search Engine
- Fastweb Scholarship Search Engine
You can find more external scholarship sources in the Frequently Asked Questions section below. We also publish a list of external scholarships we’ve heard of from organizations who reached out to us to solicit UWM applications.
You should never have to pay to search for or apply for scholarships.
Start your application early. Best of luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
We encourage you to review the following sites for even more scholarship opportunities! Remember, you should never pay for scholarship opportunities.
- Access Scholarships is a search tool striving to connect students with scholarship opportunities.
- Big Future by College Board is a database of more than 2,300 sources of college funding.
- Fastweb is a personalized search with a database of 1.5 million local, national and college-specific scholarships.
- Finaid is a comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice, and tools with a link to scholarships.
- Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides aid to undergraduates who wish to study abroad.
- Global Scholarships provides scholarships for international students.
- Peterson’s offers more than 1.7 million awards.
- Scholarships.com offers unlimited access to a database of 2.4 million scholarships.
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute provides scholarships for Latino youth.
- Pathways to Science for Undergraduates has a searchable database of 650+ summer research programs in all STEM disciplines.
- Pathways to Science for Graduates includes funding opportunities and professional development programs and resources.
- Pathways to Science for Postdocs includes programs and resources for prospective and current STEM postdoctoral researchers including postdoc positions, postdoctoral fellowships, travel awards, and professional development opportunities.
- Washington County Charitable Foundation provides scholarships to residents of Washington County.
- Wisconsin Department of Children and Families’ Brighter Star Program allows eligible youth/young adult students who have been in out-of-home care (OHC; e.g., foster home, group home, or Kinship Care) to receive up to $5000 per school year in financial aid.
The following resources may be helpful to undocumented students:
- The Dream.US Scholarships
- Golden Door Scholars
- My Undocumented Life Scholarships
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas Scholarships
- Scholarship America Dream Award
- Get Schooled DACA/Undocumented Scholarships
- UWM Roberto Hernandez Center Scholarships
- UWM Inclusive Excellence Center Scholarships for Undocumented Students
All checks should be mailed to:
UWM Office of Student Accounts
PO Box 500
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0500
NOTE: Be sure your donor includes your name and campus ID on the check in order to identify you as the recipient.
Once UWM has received your private scholarship funds, it will be applied to your financial aid package within three weeks. After this occurs, your billing statement and account activity will be updated accordingly.
If your private scholarship donor will send your check directly to UWM, you do not need to notify UWM.
If your private scholarship donor will send your check to you directly, yes, you must notify UWM using our private scholarship reporting form. Payments made directly to you are still considered financial aid according to federal law and must be reported to UWM.
You can check your Financial Aid tab in PAWS. When UWM receives and processes your check, you will see it listed there. Once UWM receives your check, it may take 2-3 weeks for it to be posted to your PAWS account, particularly during busy times of the year like the start of a new semester.
If you don’t see your scholarship, contact your private scholarship organization to make sure they sent the check. If they have and it has been over three weeks since they sent it, please feel free to contact us.
Yes. Payments made directly to you are still considered financial aid according to federal law and must be reported to UWM. Please use our private scholarship reporting form to let us know about your scholarship.
Because free and need-based sources of financial aid cannot exceed a student’s financial need, if your current financial aid offer is already meeting your full financial need and another scholarship is reported – other financial aid will have to be reduced to make room for the additional funds. UWM will always notify you via email of any changes made to your financial aid.