Private Scholarships

Private Scholarships are scholarships offered by providers who are not directly affiliated with Western Illinois University and the recipients may or may not be WIU students. There are many private scholarships available, as well as national scholarship search organizations. However, it is important that you educate yourself with the scholarship provider ensure the company is reputable before completing an application. Because these scholarships are through private sources, the WIU Scholarship Office cannot always verify their validity.

Avoid Scholarship Scams

Be aware of financial scams when researching and applying for private scholarships. Avoid scholarship agencies and applications that require a fee, guarantee financial assistance, or require attendance at a seminar. Be wary of completing an application or process that asks for personal information such as bank account number, credit card number, or Social Security number. Read the fine print!

Scholarship Searches

There are a number of national scholarship databases available to students. Some common scholarship search companies are Fastweb,, SallieMae, Gates Millennium Scholars Program,, SchoolSoup, AfterCollege, Zinch, CollegeResourceNetwork,, CollegeBoard, GoodCall, Cappex and BankingSense. Minority scholarship websites include Saludos,, and Black Excel.

 Broaden your scholarship search:

  • Contact local and national organizations and foundations that may have opportunities that match your qualifications. Ex. American Legion, Sheriffs' Association, etc.
  • Check with your high school/community college counselor for area scholarship information.
  • Inquire about employers, clubs, or groups to which your parents or relatives may belong.
  • Research scholarship books in your library.

Be sure to reapply for scholarships each academic year.

Foundation and department scholarships that require an application are available on the Scholarship Portal.

Application Tips

How to Write a Thank You Letter

Facts and Figures

Cost Estimator

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Office Hours and Contact Information