Scholarships are available for attendance at Universities/Colleges, Community Colleges and for Technical School. People want to support all kinds of students, so don't screen yourself out before you even get started. It just takes a little detective work.
Visit CALocalscholarships.org, where our community organizations list their scholarships. Create a profile, follow the instructions, and pay attention to deadlines. If you look only one place for scholarships, this is the place to look! If you have any questions, come to the Career Center. Also plan to attend the weekly scholarship workshops at lunch during January and February.
Get creative with your internet searches. Try key words like "northern california," "sierra nevada," "sacramento area," etc. Some scholarships are not listed anywhere. Ask parents & other relatives about professional organizations or clubs they belong to that might offer scholarships.
Search for scholarships that relate to your activities, interests, or family - like golf, catholic, architect, cancer, tall, aviation, asian, journalism, asthma, bagpipes, etc. Use a national scholarship database. The one on Naviance is as good or better than most. Other popular ones are scholarships.com and fastweb.com. Also note that scholarships.com has a free phone app.
Always be aware of who is asking for your personal information and what they are doing with it. Never pay money to apply for a scholarship, and be wary of scholarship "guarantees."
Don't forget that each university/college/technical school will usually offer scholarships - this is typically where you will find some of the high-dollar scholarships, especially at private institutions. Check their financial aid websites. Some scholarships are automatic if you meet the criteria when you are admitted, others require a separate application. Pay attention to deadlines. Also consider a simple web search with your college's name, city or region, or an affiliated Greek organization.
Applying for scholarships is a little like applying for jobs. First get your skills & experience firmly set in mind. Second, find places that are a good match for you. And finally, begin filling out applications.
Most scholarships tend to require the same information - so once you've completed one scholarship application, the others take much less time. Be systematic about keeping track of deadlines & which scholarships you have already turned in - but don't get too wrapped up in organizing & forget to apply!! Here is a list of the most common items: