The majority of private funding opportunities are directed at nonprofit organisations, so how can students access financial support to assist them with their academic careers? Securing funding is often highly competetive and it can be difficult to know where and when to look. We’ve put together this quick guide to support current and aspiring students to access individuals funding that can make their academic and career ambitions become a reality.
The first thing any aspiring or current student should do is to begin researching available opportunities as soon as they possibly can. Individual funding opportunities are almost always over subscribed and deadlines can come and go if you don’t act quickly. We would suggest keeping a record of where you have looked and who you have contacted to make sure that you don’t waste time repeating yourself. Whether it is pen and a notebook or a computer, you will most likely need something to help guide you through the funding maze.
By far the best place to find funding to support your academic career is at the financial aid office at the college or university you plan to attend. Most offices will have an established portfolio of different funds that are available to different students. These may be broken down into financial assistance for certain subjects, different nationalities, age groups, sex, experience and wealth amongst other things. If you are lucky your educational institution may even be able to provide help and advice from experienced staff who are familiar with the different funds that can be applied for.
Many educational institutions will maintain their own funding opportunities for certain students that exist to support people with lesser financial means to participate. Programs such as direct financial assistance may be available from the college or university but they are likely to be snapped up early so be sure to act as soon as you know which educational institute you wish to attend. Your college may also be able to provide you with information and application forms for loans and grants offered by your local government. Student loans of this type are normally much more affordable than private money lending facilities and in many cases you will not be required to start paying them back until after you have graduated.
Another option for students are work-study programs where you will be employed in a limited role at the university or college in order to earn money to support your studies. Again, these opportunities can be very competitive but can provide an excellent method of generating funds whilst gaining valuable experience at a reputable institution. You should enquire with the administration office at your institute to check on whether any opportunities are available to you. Be warned, often these opportunities are only made available to the best performing academic students to reward them for their excellent performance.
Often groups and societies associated with academic institutions offer financial support to eligible students. Sports clubs, alumni associations and religious and community groups are all known to manage funds for students involved in their societies but often the amounts available are much smaller than the other funding opportunities we’ve discussed. You should look to exploit every opportunity at the college or university before looking elsewhere.
The other places that you can look include corporations and private charitable foundations. Corporations sometimes offer support for the children or relatives of employees. Certain private foundations may offer very specific support for students from particular backgrounds. At this point the internet is going to be the most valuable tool at your disposal. Using a search engine to hunt for opportunities in your area and field opens up opportunities from around the world.
Another great place to check is right here at FundsforNGOs at our Scholarships page. Our team of researchers collect every academic funding opportunity they can find and you can view all of the latest opportunities using the link below.