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Winning Scholarships: A Guide for OKC Area Students

Scholarships are an excellent way for students to ease the financial burden of college. However, winning scholarships requires a strategic approach, dedication, and hard work. Check out my blogs on How to Narrow Your Scholarship Search Using 1-2-3 Prioritization and The "Passion Project" - How to Separate Yourself from the Rest for more information on strategy.

Today, I want to give some advice specifically for Oklahoma City area students on how to win scholarships. I also have a few specific examples (46 of them, in fact!) of local scholarships.






Start Early and Be Prepared

Starting your scholarship search early gives you ample time to find opportunities that fit your unique profile and interests. Ideally, you'll begin your research during your freshman or sophomore year and keep a list of potential scholarships that fit the 1-2-3 Prioritization model. You might even create a calendar to track scholarship open dates and deadlines to make sure you don't miss any opportunities.


Create a Strong Profile

For most scholarships, your grades and test scores are simply not enough, and many students figure this out too late. As I love to remind students and parents, scholarships are awarded by people, and people are relational. So, while academic excellence is imperative, you'll also want to establish a robust resume of extracurricular involvement, community service, and leadership skills. Just look at some of the below scholarships for examples.


Craft a Compelling Essay

Nearly every scholarship requires you to submit an essay as part of the application process, so you may as well not dawdle. Start your essays as early as sophomore year. That will give you tons of time to proofread and improve your writing; to elicit feedback from teachers, family members, or friends; and to build a library of essays to quickly and efficiently address whatever prompts you encounter.


Example Scholarships for OKC Students


In honor of the 46th state, here are 46 specific Local Scholarships for OKC students:


The Oklahoma City Community Foundation offers a variety of scholarships for students in the Oklahoma City area. With over 120 scholarship programs available, students can find opportunities tailored to their unique needs and backgrounds.


Oklahoma's Promise is a state-funded scholarship program for Oklahoma residents with specific academic and family income requirements. Students must enroll during their 8th, 9th, or 10th grade year and fulfill the program's requirements to receive tuition coverage at an Oklahoma public college or university, or partial tuition coverage at an Oklahoma private college.


The Jimmie L. Dean Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships to Oklahoma high school graduates who plan to attend an accredited Oklahoma college or university. Awards are based on financial need, academic achievement, and leadership qualities.


This scholarship, administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, is available to students who have been in Oklahoma's foster care system. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, books, and supplies at any Oklahoma public college, university, or career technology center.

This scholarship, also administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, is awarded to graduating seniors from Oklahoma City public high schools. Selection is based on academic achievement, financial need, and community involvement. The scholarship can be used at any accredited college, university, or vocational-technical school in the United States.


The OEF offers several scholarships for Oklahoma City area high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in engineering at an ABET-accredited Oklahoma college or university. Selection criteria include academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and an essay.


This scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors from Oklahoma City area schools who have demonstrated a commitment to community service and voluntarism. The scholarship can be used at any accredited college or university.


Administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, this scholarship is awarded to high school seniors from rural Oklahoma communities who demonstrate leadership abilities, academic excellence, and a commitment to community service. Students must attend an accredited college or university in Oklahoma.


The Oklahoma State Fair offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors who have participated in the Oklahoma State Fair livestock shows. Applicants must be attending an accredited college or university in Oklahoma.


The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation offers several scholarships to Oklahoma 4-H members who are graduating high school seniors or current college students. Applicants must be attending an accredited college or university in Oklahoma.


This scholarship is administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and is awarded to students with a documented physical, mental, or learning disability. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors from an Oklahoma City area high school and plan to attend an accredited college, university, or vocational-technical school.


Oklahoma BPA offers several scholarships to Oklahoma BPA members who are graduating high school seniors or current college students. Applicants must be attending an accredited college or university in Oklahoma.


This scholarship is available to active FFA members in Oklahoma who plan to attend an Oklahoma college or university.


Offered by Love's Travel Stops, this scholarship is awarded to college students in Oklahoma who participate in the Love's Entrepreneur's Cup business plan competition.


ONEOK offers scholarships to children of ONEOK employees who plan to attend an accredited college, university, or vocational-technical school.


This essay contest is open to all public, private, parochial, and homeschool students in grades 5-12 from Oklahoma. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three winners in each grade category.


Offered by the Tinker Spouses' Club, this scholarship is available to dependents of military members stationed at Tinker Air Force Base.


Administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, this scholarship is awarded to graduating seniors from public high schools in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area who plan to major in music at an accredited college or university.


Chaparral Energy offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Oklahoma City who plan to attend an Oklahoma college or university.


This scholarship is available to Oklahoma college students who are studying broadcasting or a related field.


This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors in Oklahoma who plan to pursue a career in education.


This scholarship is awarded to Oklahoma high school seniors who excel in the visual arts and plan to pursue a college degree in art.


OBI offers scholarships to high school seniors in Oklahoma who demonstrate leadership, commitment to their community, and dedication to the OBI blood donation program.


This scholarship is available to members of the Choctaw Nation who plan to attend an accredited college or university.


This scholarship is awarded to Oklahoma high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in geology or a related field at an Oklahoma college or university.


The OSCPA offers scholarships to accounting students attending an Oklahoma college or university.


This scholarship is awarded to African American high school seniors in the Oklahoma City area who demonstrate academic achievement and financial need.


The Oklahoma Lions Club offers several scholarships to Oklahoma high school seniors who plan to attend an Oklahoma college or university.


The Putnam City High School Foundation offers several scholarships to graduating seniors from Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City.


OSU offers various scholarships for incoming freshmen, including the Regents Distinguished Scholarship and the President's Leadership Council Scholarship.


OU provides numerous scholarships for incoming freshmen, such as the OU Academic Scholars Program and the National Merit Scholarship.


UCO offers various scholarships for incoming freshmen, including the UCO Central Distinguished Scholarship and the UCO Central Achievement Scholarship.


Rose State College offers several scholarships, including the Leadership Scholarship, the Tinker Federal Civic Leaders Scholarship, and the All-State Academic Team Scholarship.


OCU provides various scholarships, including the Dean's Scholarship, the Faculty Scholarship, and the Provost's Scholarship.


OCCC offers multiple scholarships for incoming and current students, including the OCCC Foundation Scholarships and the OCCC Tuition Waiver Scholarships.


Administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, this scholarship is for students who have aged out of Oklahoma's foster care system.


This scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a degree in the building trades or construction industry.


This scholarship is awarded to students who have graduated from an Oklahoma high school and plan to attend an accredited college or university in Oklahoma.


The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education offers several scholarships and grants, including the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG) and the Oklahoma Tuition Equalization Grant (OTEG).


This foundation provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in geosciences or related fields.


This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors in Oklahoma who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and community involvement.


This scholarship is for students who are currently or have previously been in foster care in Oklahoma.


This scholarship is available to Oklahoma students pursuing a degree in engineering.


The OSFA provides scholarships for children and grandchildren of active or retired OSFA members.


This scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a degree in agriculture or an agriculture-related field.


This scholarship is for students who are members of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association or are involved in equine activities.


This scholarship is for Oklahoma City area high school seniors who plan to attend a college or university with National Panhellenic Conference sororities.


This scholarship is for students who are members of a federally recognized Oklahoma Tribe and pursuing a degree in the hospitality or gaming industry.


Winning scholarships takes time, effort, and dedication, but the payoff can significantly reduce the financial burden of college. By starting early, building a strong profile, crafting compelling essays, and focusing on local opportunities, Oklahoma City area students can increase their chances of securing scholarships to fund their education. Stay organized, be persistent, and remember that every scholarship, no matter the amount, brings you one step closer to achieving your educational goals.


Good luck!


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