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External Scholarships

External scholarships are funds that you apply for and receive from an outside or external source not affiliated with Columbia College Chicago. These scholarships can be from a source in your community, religious organization, professional organization, or even your high school. Take a look around, you’d be surprised by how many awards are available.

External Scholarship Opportunities

Sometimes we find interesting scholarship opportunities and list them here and on our blog for your convenience.

Finding an External Scholarship

Locating good scholarships and scholarship finders can be tricky, so we’ve put together a list of good places to check out during your scholarship search. We’ve divided our list into sites geared towards educating you on financial aid/scholarships and the sites that link you to the actual scholarship applications.

NOTE: Before beginning your search, please visit Ten Quick Tips When Searching for Scholarships

Scholarship Finders

General Info: Salt Money is a free benefit for all Columbia students offering money knowledge for college, and beyond.  
Do you need a profile with this site? Yes

General Info: Fastweb is one of the largest providers of scholarship application information on the web. It’s easy to use and very reliable.
Do you need a profile with this site? Yes
General Info: is a user friendly site that lists if an award is renewable, the deadline, how many awards are available and how many people applied last year vs. how many people got awards.
Do you need a profile with this site? No, but you can create one to help narrow your search.
General Info: is very user friendly and provides information about amounts, deadlines, how hard it is to complete the application and the general competition for each award.
Do you need a profile with this site? Yes. To get any access to the site you have to make a profile.
General Info: is a massive database for external scholarships. They advertise having over $11 billion in awards listed on their site. This is the parent site for
Do you need a profile with this site? Yes.
General Info: allows you to search for awards by city, major, extracurriculars, religious affiliation, ethnicity and many more.
Do you need a profile with this site? No, but in order to get full access to the site and help narrow your search you can make a profile.
General Info: Unigo has some unique scholarships like the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship, the Superpower Scholarship and the Flavor of the Month Scholarship.
Do you need a profile with this site? Yes. You cannot access the site without first setting up a profile.
General Info: is run by the U.S. Department of Labor. It has links for quick access to information regarding budgeting for college, federal aid, how to avoid scholarship scams and also has a scholarship finder.
Do you need a profile with this site? No
General Info: has a lot of information on aid opportunities for minority students, students with disabilities and military veterans.
Do you need a profile with this site? No
General Info: Chegg has many different resources for students. They have a scholarship finder as well as information on career and college searching.
Do you need a profile with this site? Yes
Big Future College Board
General Info: Big Future has a ton of information on financial aid from the very basics, to searching for scholarships, to helping you put a plan together. While this site is great for continuing students, many of its resources are perfect for high school students entering college.
Do you need a profile with this site? No but it is helpful to make a profile to get more easily matched with scholarships.

Specialty Scholarships

Hispanic Scholarship Fund
General Info: The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is designed to assist Latino students in finding funding resources for college.
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association
General Info: The AFCEA offers awards based on merit and leadership. Many awards are geared towards technology or military based careers.
The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs
General Info: The NANBPWC is focused on giving professional women resources to assist them in succeeding in the fields of entrepreneurship and technology development.
Human Rights Campaign
General Info: The Human Rights Campaign is an organization dedicated to improving the rights of the LGBT community and has scholarship information for individuals who identify with the LGBT community.
American Legion
General Info: The American Legion offers a number of scholarships and other resources to assist young people in their pursuit of higher education. There are opportunities for everyone, including kin of wartime veterans and participants in Legion programs.
Paralyzed Veterans of America
General Info: The Paralyzed Veterans of America has scholarship programs devised to provide some financial reprieve for PVA members and their families so that they may achieve their goals in the academic arena.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
General Info: The Veterans of Foreign Wars has scholarships designed to assist service members and veterans with financial assistance for college as a way of saying “thank you” to our service men and women.

Informational Sites
General Info: is the Department of Education’s site on federal financial aid. It has information on preparing for college, what types of aid are available, what you might be eligible for, how to apply for financial aid and information about repaying your loans after you graduate.
Do you need a profile with this site? No, but if you have used federal aid you can sign in with your SSN, FAFSA pin and birthdate to look at the status of any federal loans you have.
General Info: is a great site if you’re looking for general information on financial aid, loans, FAFSA and/or military benefits.
Do you need a profile with this site? No
General Info: focuses on helping students find external scholarships and doesn’t deal with FAFSA or federal aid.
Do you need a profile with this site? No
General Info: is largely an informational site. They have articles about budgeting for college, how to be money smart, comparing private loan lenders, scholarship application tips as well as information on how to avoid scholarship scams.
Do you need a profile with this site? Only if you want to use their scholarship finder. The information on the site is available without a profile.