One scholarship resource that students often overlook is private scholarships. Many students are unaware that these scholarships exist. However, many private companies have created scholarship funds in an effort to give back to the community. Some of these scholarships provide a few hundred dollars to defray the cost of college tuition while others provide several thousand dollars. The best way to search for private scholarships is to create a profile with a scholarship search engine. These profiles are free and quickly help students weed out scholarships that are not a good match for their background. In addition to using a scholarship search engine, students may wish to check out these private scholarships:

The Lightfoot Foundation: For more than 20 years, the Lightfoot Foundation has been providing small scholarships to students who are located in Treasure Valley, Idaho. Grants are also provided to individuals who come from a disadvantaged background and to promote environmental sustainability. In order to qualify, all applicants must be a graduating high school senior and live in one of the approved towns or cities in Idaho (a full list can be found here). The application cycle for educational grants runs from March 1st through April 15th. Students who wish to apply should create an application using this website.

Hispanic Scholarship Foundation: This foundation offers hundreds of scholarships to students of Hispanic heritage. In order to be eligible for these scholarships, students must hold at least a 3.0 high school GPA or a 2.5 college grade point average. Additionally, the applicant must be currently enrolled in college on a full-time basis or plan to enroll on a full-time basis for the following fall semester. Only applicants who have completed a FAFSA and who are a legal resident or citizen of the United States are eligible for the award. Scholarships are available to students from any major, although more funding is available for students who are majoring in a STEM field. The value of these scholarships range from $500 to $5,000. Students who are interested in applying can submit an online application anytime between January 1st and March 30th. Additional information about these scholarships can be found at this link.

First in Family to College Scholarship: This scholarship provides a $1,000 award to students who are the first one in their family to attend college. In order to be considered, all applicants are required to hold at least a 2.7 grade point average and be a citizen of the United States. Additionally, the applicant must plan to enroll in a technical school, college, or university that is located in the U.S. Only students who have demonstrated involvement in the community and in their school will be considered for this award. In order to apply, students are required to submit brief demographic information along with a short essay. The essay requires students to describe their career goals and their academic interests. All applications must be received prior to December 31st. Additional information about this award can be found here.