Applying to college is an exciting yet scary time. The prospect of sending your child off to school (or leaving yourself) is daunting. It’s even more complicated to figure out just how you will pay for expensive schooling. The student loan crisis is real and not going away any time soon. Thankfully, if you know how to navigate the system, there are scholarships and funds that can help pay for all or some of your college expenses.

Scholarship Funds

These are scholarship funds you may not have heard of, many of which take applications on a rolling basis.

Golden Key International Honour Society Scholarships

Golden Key International Honour Society offers significant number of scholarships every year. In fact, it gives away $500,000 dollars a year. The Society has three cornerstones: academics, leadership, and service. If you can explain why you embody these values, you might win a scholarship.

AfterCollege/AACN Scholarship Fund


Students enrolled in a school which is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) can apply for a $2,500 scholarship. The money can be used toward completion of degrees in undergraduate, graduate or doctoral studies in nursing. Students who are aiming to become nurse educators get extra consideration, as do those converting from an RN to BSN or RN to MSN.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarships

The Ronald McDonald House Charities offers a handful of scholarships. They have also set aside awards for achieving students with specific heritages. Deadlines vary, so review the requirements carefully for the 2016-2017 year.

CollegeSTEPS Sweepstakes

There’s no reason not to enter Wells Fargo’s Sweepstakes, which is open to high school seniors and anyone who is a college undergraduate. The company does random drawings to award three high school students plus three college students $5,000 each.

Courage to Grow

Students who are in high school and those who are in college and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher can apply for a monthly scholarship award of $500. Submit a short essay each month to increase your chances.

United States Senate Youth Program

Those of you who are interested in student government and civics can apply for up to $5,000 for a scholarship from the Senate. To be eligible, you need a nomination from a teacher or principal. The scholarship includes a trip to Washington, D.C. for the Washington Week program.

“No Essay” College Scholarship

For those of you who are tired of writing essays, this is the application for you. This is a monthly drawing by This is open to any student who is planning to enroll in college during the next 12 months, and you can enter once a month. The scholarship is $2,000.

$1,000 Local Survey Sweepstakes

Tell about your neighborhood and be entered into a monthly drawing for $1,000. Submit a new entry each month for a better chance of winning.

CaptainU Student-Athlete Scholarship


Athletes should apply for CaptainU Student-Athlete Scholarship. If you are in high school or playing sports at a junior college, with plans of attending a four-year college, you are eligible to get a $2,000 scholarship. In order to qualify, you must be active on social media. The award is given quarterly.