A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education at a post-secondary college, university, or other academic institution. Scholarships are awarded based on various criteria, such as academic merit, diversity and inclusion, athletic skill, and financial need, among others. Criteria usually reflect the values and goals of the donor or founder of the award. While scholarship recipients are not required to repay scholarships, the awards may require that the recipient continue to meet certain requirements during their period of support, such as maintaining a minimum grade point average or engaging in a certain activity. 

Scholarships Explained


GVSU Institutional Scholarships

Check out these scholarship resources offered through Grand Valley State University!

myScholarships: once admitted to GVSU, you can apply to over 400+ institutional scholarship opportunities. Deadlines vary between February 15 and March 1.

Admission Scholarships: students must be admitted to GVSU by December 31. Based on a combination of high school academic history and test scores. 

Local Scholarship Opportunities

Below are some scholarship resources in the local region: these scholarship applications are for graduating seniors and close March 1. 

Battle Creek Community Foundation

Kalamazoo Community Foundation

Michigan Student Aid

Scholarship Search Self-Service Finder 

National Scholarship Resources

Below are national scholarship search websites. They may ask for you to create an account to complete applications. Be careful to not provide personal information such as social security numbers and credit card information. 

Career One Stop Scholarship Finder

Chegg Scholarships

College Board's Scholarship Search

Niche Finder College Scholarships

Scholarship Tips

Organization is Key:

  • Create a list of scholarships with application requirements either in a planner or through an online spreadsheet.
  • Make note of essay requirements including topic and word limits.
  • Keep track of deadlines.
  • Submit applications early.

Does the Scholarship Application require Letters of Recommendation?

  • Determine who you need to ask for a letter of recommendation - can a teacher, counselor, coach, or community member write a letter for you?
  • Ask early: at least 4-6 weeks before the deadline.
  • Be prepared to provide your reference with information about the scholarship and your application including the due date you need the letter, how to turn in the letter, as well as the personal highlights you'd like them to note in the letter.

Writing Scholarship Essays: 

  • Use your experiences to share your story - incorporate extracurricular involvement both in school and in the community. 
  • What are you passionate about? Use personal experiences to demonstrate academic and career interests. 
  • Show VS Tell - show your story by making the reader immersed in your essay. Include descriptive details to give context to your story. 
  • Writing is a process - Create a first draft and share it with other readers to receive their feedback. Another set of eyes is helpful! Work on the new draft and share it again with another reader to review. Once ready, use your final essay in submitting your final scholarship application. 
  • Save your essay for other scholarship applications! Make sure to edit the essay to address each specific scholarship application's prompt. 

Page last modified June 27, 2022