Need Money for School? Launch Into the ScholarshipUniverse

Written by Chris Pasion, graduate assistant to The Graduate School.

A piggy bank with a hand inserting a coin.

Are you looking for some extra funds to support yourself through school? Higher education is an expensive endeavor, even without the added financial stressors from living during a pandemic. But a monetary boost to the pocketbook can make things much more manageable. One of the best ways to seek supplemental income for education is to apply for scholarships, and UC has a resource that makes finding scholarships that are tailored to you and your interests easy: ScholarshipUniverse

An icon with a graduation cap next to a dollar sign. Above it reads "Scholarship Search."

As a UC student you already have an account on ScholarshipUniverse, which you can access by logging into Catalyst and clicking on the “Scholarship Search” option. The scholarships you will find on ScholarshipUniverse are from UC and other, external organizations, and they vary in award amounts from “smaller” offerings like $500 to upwards of several thousand dollars. They also vary in terms of what they require in the application; some require you to write an essay in response to a prompt you are given, others may have you create a topic-based video, write a song, or craft a presentation. Regardless of what the applications require, you can be sure to find a great variety of scholarships on ScholarshipUniverse. 

The types of scholarships you will find on ScholarshipUniverse are wide ranging; some will require you to display discipline-based knowledge you have gained in school to respond to their prompts, whereas others are outside of academic background or specialization. For example, the organization We’re All About Cats is currently hosting the "A Voice For Cats": Essay Contest, which asks applicants (applicats?) to write an essay on the importance of feline welfare and the humane treatment of cats. While most of us are not pursuing degrees in veterinary science, those among us who are cat owners can certainly weigh in on these topics and offer their experience or point of view. Some scholarships will be tailored towards whatever specialized field, such as in STEM, business, or design, requiring you to write about your research and how it furthers your field or discipline. Others may ask for your input on things that apply to anyone in higher education, such as living a healthy lifestyle or eating a balanced diet. The many varied topics and prompts on ScholarshipUniverse allow anyone to log on and find something they can speak to or write on, and there are usually over a thousand scholarship postings on ScholarshipUniverse at any given time. 

With all these different types of scholarships at your disposal, finding the ones that will be the best fit for you and give you the best chance of success can seem like an overwhelming task. To filter the options down to just the scholarships that outwardly apply to you, the “Questions” section is here to help. When you first log onto ScholarshipUniverse, go to the “Questions” section to answer a number of demographic- and interest-based queries to match you with scholarships. It is important to answer these first so that you can be matched with scholarships that you are a good fit for without having to sort through all of the ones that are less relevant to you and your goals; the more questions you answer in detail, the better your odds of being matched with relevant scholarships will be. With over a thousand scholarships to choose from and apply for, this is a useful tool for finding the ones that are best suited for you, your education, and your goals

Scholarship deadlines usually occur on the first, fifteenth, or final day of every month, so it’s good to dedicate some time in your weekly schedule for scholarship applications. New scholarships are posted monthly, so be sure to check back in regularly to see what new offerings have been posted since the last time you logged on, as well as keep track of your previous applications as they go through the review process.