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Merit-based, Geneseo-awarded scholarships were offered to approximately 10-15% of students accepted for Fall 2018. There is no separate application process for these scholarships; they are awarded by the College based on applications for admission.

Both current SUNY Geneseo students and high school students thinking about attending college have a variety of resources to discover outside (i.e. non-Geneseo awarded) scholarships to assist them in making college more affordable.

Current Geneseo students should begin their search by contacting their academic major department. High school students should begin their search with their school's guidance counselor, who has knowledge of their students' academic abilities, achievements, and college goals. They may be able to help guide students toward scholarship opportunities.

Students studyings

Advice for All Students

In general, all students should start the scholarship search on a state and local level first before searching nationally. Your best chance of earning an outside scholarship will be through those resources closest to you. Start with your employer(s) and your parent's employer(s) for tuition benefits and scholarships. Check any clubs, memberships, unions, churches, and organizations to which you and your parents belong.

Remember, don't sell yourself short. If you meet the basic criteria that the scholarship has, you should submit an application. You won't know the outcome unless you apply.

SUNY Geneseo consistently ranks well among all colleges and universities according to several national publications. To learn more about our achievements, review our latest rankings.

Scholarship Search Tips

  1. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year at Some scholarship applications will ask you for information or the organization will request certification from the school requiring information that is found on the FAFSA.
  2. Beware of any services that require payment for finding scholarships - most don't offer you anything that you cannot do on your own. For more information on scholarship scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission's scholarship scam page.
  3. Look early. Start looking for scholarships a year before you anticipate needing them.
  4. Be prepared to meet the deadlines for letters of recommendation, transcripts, essays, etc. Start thinking about and getting to know teachers or professors whom you can ask to write a letter of recommendation for you. You may also want to write a few goal-oriented essays in advance.
  5. Application deadlines can occur any time of the year so be sure to look for the date listed for the scholarship and prepare at least 2 or 3 months before the deadline to get essays, letters of recommendation, and other material together to submit for the application. Most, but not all, scholarship applications have deadlines between October and June.
  6. If you meet the basic criteria for the scholarship, do NOT assume you won't win the scholarship just because you feel your GPA is not high enough. Several factors besides the GPA may be a part of the evaluation that the scholarship committee uses such as extracurricular activities, leadership, recommendations, how well you articulate your goals in your essay, participation in community service, mood of the committee, etc.
  7. Applying for scholarships and grants doesn't cost you anything except a few hours of work and, if applicable, the price of postage. After all, scholarships are free money for college so the time and effort you put in is worth it.
  8. To prepare yourself for completing scholarship applications, evaluate yourself in relation to the following:
  • What career do you hope to pursue?
  • How do your goals and ambitions relate to the implied goals of the scholarship?
  • How will the scholarship help you meet your goals?
  • How do your qualifications compare to the requirements of the scholarship?
  • What are your past successes, achievements, honors received and positions of leadership held?
  • What are your abilities and potential?
  • Where do you want to see yourself in five years? Ten Years?
  • For what accomplishments and in what way would you like to be remembered?

Tips for Completing Scholarship Applications

  1. Apply only if you are eligible. Seek opinions from others if you are not sure of your eligibility.
  2. Be aware of and meet all deadlines. Allow enough time to acquire letters of recommendation or transcripts.
  3. Read and follow all instructions.
  4. Complete the application. Don't assume a question can be left blank unless you are specifically instructed.
  5. Seek assistance if you feel you need it.
  6. Submit a clean and neat application.
  7. If an essay(s) is required, submit a well-composed essay that makes a definite impression. Have a teacher, professor, similar professional, or a parent look it over and give you feedback.
  8. Give your application materials a final review. Have a parent or relative review it as well.
  9. Make sure you're proud of and satisfied with your application submission.
  10. Send your application to the proper address. If using postal mail, be sure to have the proper postage affixed. Follow up with the organization a week later to insure they have received it.

Community Foundations

Community Foundations are philanthropic organizations that serve a county or a group of counties near major cities. Citizens, businesses, and nonprofit groups establish funds within community foundations into which they can contribute a variety of assets to be used for charitable purposes. These organizations then assist those who have needs or provide grants to support development projects. Some, but not all, community foundations will also be a source of scholarships. These organizations can be an excellent place to search; since they oftentimes restrict their scholarships to those students whose families are residents of those counties. In some cases, though, scholarships are also available to students who attend a college located within one of those counties even if the student is not a resident of the surrounding area but you will have to check the terms of the scholarship.

List of Community Foundations

Scholarship Search Engines

There are a variety of Internet websites that provide a search tool to help you find scholarship opportunities. Many offer free on-line searches (for example - Fastweb Scholarships) so beware of any websites that require payment to find scholarships for you. For more information on scholarship scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission's scholarship scam page.

We provide a link below to a list of a handful of the hundreds of scholarship search engines that can be found on the Internet. These websites are presented as a guide to assist your search; the Office of Financial Aid receives no benefit from listing these sites. You may want to do additional searches on the Internet to find scholarship search engines that suit you.

Keep in mind that these websites may require you to register with them so that they can use your profile to present you with scholarship opportunities that already exist or present new opportunities to you that occur later on after you have registered. In deciding which search engine(s) to use, consider the following factors: how often is their database updated, the security of your private information if you submit your profile to them, and what services they provide to their subscribers (e.g. email you when new scholarships arrive, online social networking, 24 hour service, online chat assistance, etc). They have thousands of scholarships in their databases so it is highly likely that your profile will match up to more than one scholarship offer. The possibility exists that these scholarships could be highly competitive so know the submission deadline and be sure to devote considerable care and effort into your application.

What Happens After You Earn an Outside Scholarship

If you are a proud and well-deserved winner of a scholarship, no matter what the size, you need to write a thank you letter to the donor or foundation (depending on the scholarship, this may also be done via e-mail). Scholarships are not possible without the generosity of donors who are looking to help improve the lives and fortunes of others. Receiving a thank you letter from scholarship recipients is meaningful to the donors amd their relatives. It encourages them to continue their generosity knowing how well it is appreciated. These letters also give the donors the opportunity to see the impact the scholarship has made in the life of a student recipient.

Please follow the payout instructions provided by the scholarship organization. Some scholarships require certification from the school before payment can be made. Payments may be done as an electronic fund or may be a check that is co-payable to the school. Be sure to call Student Accounts at (585) 245-5621 or email them at if you need any assistance to facilitate the payment of the scholarship. Review the scholarship information to see if it is renewable and how to apply next year.

Be aware that scholarships and/or awards may impact your previously awarded financial aid. As a result your award may be adjusted. We will send you a notification of the revision, if necessary. Please contact us at or call us at (585) 245-5731.

Also, we welcome your feedback! If you have any suggestions about the information we provided or other scholarships you are aware of that would be of benefit to our students, please contact us.