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Finding grants and scholarships for foreign language study



Finding free money for foreign language study 101
On campus | At the library | Local organizations | Federal and State Financial Aid | Free online scholarship databases
Grants for Foreign Language Study | Study Abroad Scholarships
Grants & Fellowships for Graduate & Post-Graduate Foreign Language Study


Finding money for foreign language study:
Where should I begin?


Every year, 1000s of dollars worth of scholarship and grant money goes unclaimed simply because nobody applies for it. Some of that money could be yours. You just need to know where to start looking for it. These pages are meant to put you on the right path to finding those funds. Use our resources to find scholarships to fit your needs. Then complete and send the applications and wait for the money to roll in!

Use free scholarship search databases

The Internet is an excellent resource for locating scholarship monies -- but remember, these databases are available internationally and you are far from the only one looking. However, some programs award multiple scholarships every year -- sometimes dozens. In addition, your individual situation might give you the edge you need to win an award. We've screened and listed the best free scholarship databases below. Each contains detailed and up-to-date information on 100s of thousands of scholarships.
FastWeb: Free scholarship search to find information on more than 1.3 million scholarships specifically matched to your qualifications and needs. Free registration required -- the benefit of which is that you can return to your list later with your username and password without re-entering the information needed to match you with scholarships every time. It also keeps track of new scholarships that you qualify for and adds them to your profile and even e-mails you notifications, if you choose. After checking several free scholarship databases, this is by far the most streamlined, most accurate, most robust free scholarship search engine available.

Other benefits of free registration: an opt-in newsletter with tips on applications, admissions, career planning, etc.; access to articles and resources containing expert advice on scholarship applications, internships, finding a job, etc.; access to tools such as cost calculators, glossaries, and sample scholarship essays; opt-in e-mail notification of new scholarships you are eligible for; opt-in e-mail reminders of approaching scholarship deadlines. And there's even more. And because registration is free, you have absolutely nothing to lose and lots of free money to gain!

Mach25 Scholarship Search: Simple scholarship search database. In a Keyword Search, type in the name of the language you are interested in. Because the search is free and no registration is required, the search engine turns up scholarships you might not be eligible for (e.g. university specific, region specific, etc.). Browse through the list to narrow it to those you qualify for.

Finding money for language study
Top | On campus | At the library | Local organizations | Federal & state aid | Free online scholarship databases
Grants for language study | Study abroad scholarships | Graduate and postgraduate fellowships


Ask on campus

Though most people nowadays begin online, truly one of best places to focus your search for financial aid for foreign language study is right on your home campus. Visit your campus financial aid office, study abroad office, and foreign language departments and inquire about available funding. Some scholarship monies are need-based, others are awarded based on academic merit. Some awards might be limited to foreign language majors or minors. If you haven't done so already, consider declaring a primary or secondary major in a language; this might make you eligible for scholarships -- both on and off campus -- that you would otherwise not be qualified to receive.

Also don't overlook the possibility that other departments are offering assistance for foreign study. Scan your college catalogue or visit other departments that interest you for information about department-specific programs and scholarships. Many times scholarships and programs of foreign study are available to students in such fields as business, engineering, anthropology, art history, and music.

Because campus-based scholarships are much less competitive than those that accept applications on a national level, the probability that you will receive one is much higher.



Finding money for language study
Top | On campus | At the library | Local organizations | Federal & state aid | Free online scholarship databases
Grants for language study | Study abroad scholarships | Graduate and post-graduate fellowships


Visit the library or bookstore

While you're on campus, don't forget your university or local library as a useful source of information. Most libraries will have on hand the latest or at least recent copies of financial aid, scholarship, grant, and fellowship directories. Most such books will be located in the reference area of the library and will have a call number starting with LB. Or you can buy yourself a copy. Used copies are often available at a discount.
Peterson's Scholarships, Grants & Prizes 2010. This Peterson's guide has not only a section on Foreign Language grants but also sections devoted to area studies scholarships, including African Studies, Area/Ethnic Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, German Studies, International Studies, and Near and Middle East Studies.

The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2010, by Gen & Kelly Tanabe: Another directory-type book that lists 1000s of scholarships, grants, and prizes and includes details about eligibility and how to apply. Scholarships are indexed by career goal, major, academics, talent, religion, ethnicity, and more, making it easy to find awards that match personal criteria. Also includes some general tips about applying for scholarships and avoiding scams.

Scholarships 101: The Real World Guide to Getting Cash for College, by Kimberly Ann Stezala. This guide helps students get started in the scholarship process. The author walks students through the process of searching for and identifying the right scholarships to apply for and writing winning applications.

The Scholarship and Financial Aid Solution: How to Go to College for Next to Nothing with Short Cuts, Tricks, and Tips from Start to Finish, by Debra Lipphardt. The book is intended to be a guide for students and parents to locate and successfully apply for free money for college. A wealth of information, sample applications and resumes, and lots of helpful advice and time-saving tips.

While the general books contain information about grants that that can be used for foreign language study, books specific to study abroad almost always contain information about financing study in a foreign country. Some useful books are:
Financial Aid for Studying and Training Abroad, 2010-2012, by Gail Ann Schlachter, R. David Weber, 331 p. (2010)
Describes the 1,000 biggest & best scholarships, fellowships, loans, and grants that Americans can use to support study abroad, including money for formal academic classes, courses of study or training, degree-granting programs, independent study, seminars, workshops, and student internships.

Financial Aid for Research and Creative Activities Abroad 2010-2012, by Gail Ann Schlachter, R. David Weber (2010).


Finding money for language study
Top | On campus | At the library | Local organizations | Federal & state aid | Free online scholarship databases
Grants for language study | Study abroad scholarships | Graduate and postgraduate fellowships


Check local organizations

After taking inventory of all the resources available on campus to financially support your language study, start looking around in your local community. You might inquire on campus or browse the telephone book for names of local or regional heritage groups or language associations: Sons of Italy chapters, German clubs, Hispanic heritage groups, Chinese-American associations -- heritage groups such as these abound, as do regional language associations of foreign language teachers, some general and some language-specific. Be sure to check in your hometown as well as in the town where your college or university is located. Local organizations tend to like to support people from their locale.

After gathering a list of organizations, call or visit each group that is relevant to your studies and inquire about scholarship opportunities. And don't overlook other community groups and local chapters of national and international associations such as the Kiwanis, the Lion's Club, the Rotary Club, and Knights of Columbus. Like the campus-based scholarships, a great advantage to these types of scholarships is that they are awarded on a regional basis; application pools are much smaller than for national scholarships and your chances of being awarded grants are much greater.



Finding money for language study
Top | On campus | At the library | Local organizations | Federal & state aid | Free online scholarship databases
Grants for language study | Study abroad scholarships | Graduate and postgraduate fellowships


Apply for federal financial aid

You have absolutely nothing to lose, except perhaps a few hours of your time, by applying for financial aid from the federal government. And you have everything to gain. The US government sponsors several kinds of need-based aid packages to finance your college education, from Pell Grants, to Work Study, to Stafford Loans. Many students don't realize that government educational grants and loans may also be used to study abroad. You can fill out the application, known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA, online at the US Department of Education FAFSA website.

When you fill out the FAFSA, you are not only being considered for federal funding, but also state financial aid programs. The federal government forwards your information on to your state for evaluation. Because state deadlines differ, be sure you get your FAFSA in early to be eligible for state aid awards -- by March 1st is early enough for most states, but double check with your state to be certain. You can obtain information about your state's financial aid programs by contacting the Department of Education in your state. Contact information and web addresses for state departments of education are here.


Finding money for language study
Top | On campus | At the library | Local organizations | Federal & state aid | Free online scholarship databases


Finding money for foreign language study 101
Grants for Foreign Language Study | Study Abroad Scholarships
Grants & Fellowships for Graduate & Postgraduate Foreign Language Study



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