Scholarships for Summer
Although most of the scholarship deadlines you’ll come across will fall in the spring or autumn (November is National Scholarship Month, after all), the approaching summer months don’t mean you should necessarily rule out scholarships as a means of meeting next fall’s college expenses. There are plenty of awards out there that, while not summer-themed or summer-specific, will ask you to turn your application materials in during those lazy summer months. A slower application season may even work to your advantage. With fewer applicants going for summer scholarships, you may be up against a much smaller pool of qualifiers than you would once college classes are back in session. So take advantage of your time off, bring those application materials to the pool, and apply for a few scholarships this summer. You may find yourself in much better financial shape come fall.
Finding Summer Scholarships
The easiest way to find scholarships offered in the summer – or any season, for that matter – is to conduct a free scholarship search. Once you do that, you’ll get a list of awards filtered by the criteria and student-specific characteristics that you provide. We’re constantly updating our awards to make them accurate and up-to-date, but it’s always a good idea to double-check that the summer scholarship you’re applying for still has their deadline in the summer. Some awards will also have quick turnaround times offered to their winners, so if you land a summer scholarship early on in the season, you could be looking at your award check by August. The only way you’ll find summer scholarships is if you put in the time to research and look for them, so make sure you’re not blowing off summer as a bad time to look for free money for college.
Paying for Summer Programs
If you’re part of the unlucky group that has to take summer classes, you may be worrying about more than when you’ll fit time in the sun in to your schedule. You’ll also have an additional semester to cover the college costs of, so you’ll need to make sure you budget for those extra classes if you haven’t already. Many students take classes in the summer, though, whether they’re on an early graduation plan or wish to take their required courses outside of the traditional fall and spring semesters. Look into whether the financial aid you’re already receiving will cover the costs of a summer semester; you may already have enough allocated, especially if your college costs are based on how many credit hours you’re taking and your summer classes are replacing courses you’d normally take in the fall or spring. If you find that you’re still coming up short, it may be that you’ll need to find other ways to cover those summer expenses. In that case, it’d be wise to begin searching for scholarships well before that summer semester, as it often takes scholarship administrators several months to announce their award winners and distribute scholarship funds.
If you’re pursuing a summer abroad program, there are awards out there specifically for students wishing to study abroad. You will also usually be able to use award money from scholarships based on other criteria to cover study abroad expenses, especially if the program is run by your school or another accredited college. If you’re pursuing a summer internship opportunity that is unpaid (yes, even in a bad economy, many internship providers still run unpaid internship programs), you may have no choice but to come up with enough money to cover your expected expenses for the duration of the summer. If the internship is related to your college or university, contact them about potential financial aid options related to that opportunity. If the internship is run by an outside program or individual, covering your expenses will be up to you, so save save save and apply for as many scholarships as you can ahead of that summer experience to cover more of your college costs so that you can budget for your summer more easily.