Private Scholarships

What is a private scholarship?

Private scholarships are a financial resource current or prospective students can utilize to assist in offsetting the cost of their education. Private scholarships are awarded by various businesses, charities, religious institutions, banks, clubs, groups, foundations, etc. These scholarship are awarded based on various academic accomplishments, talents, special interests, identities, and a variety of other qualifications. 

Scholarships, unlike loans, do not have to be paid back, which means they are free. Scholarships are not usually your main source of money for college, but they can help ease the financial burden of your education. Each scholarship will have unique application requirements. Often you will need letters of recommendation; a résumé of your work, activities, and accomplishments; and/or an essay tailored to the scholarship program. Nationwide, there are thousands of scholarships available, and you should consider using a free scholarship search tool to help you find appropriate selections. Never pay for a scholarship search service.

Where can I find a comprehensive list of scholarships available to me?

Scholarships are available from states, colleges, and private sources. Most will require a separate application process with strict deadlines for consideration. Each state will have a website listing available state scholarships, as will each college. A good source for scholarship information is your high school guidance counselor. High schools often keep lists of scholarships that students from your school have received in previous years. You may want to consider a college scholarship search service to help you identify private scholarships, but never pay for one of these services, as there are plenty of really good free sources. The Scholarship Scams website offers excellent guidance on how to identify and avoid scholarship scams

Here are some websites to help you get started on your scholarship search: 

Where should private scholarship checks be mailed?

The private scholarship mailing address is as follows:

Private Scholarships
A1500 University Center
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2398

To ensure timely disbursement, please make sure all checks are made payable to Florida State University. Be sure to include the student’s full name, student ID, the term for which the funds are for, and a memo with any additional requirements for the application of the scholarship funds.

How do I use my private scholarship to pay for my tuition?

Once your private scholarship check has been received, it will automatically disburse and pay for outstanding tuition. The funds will then pay for any outstanding fees, including housing, dining, books, parking tickets, etc. Any excess scholarship funds will be refunded to you; for more information about refunds, including instructions for enrolling in direct deposit, please visit this page of our website. 

How do I use my private scholarship to pay for my housing?

If you believe that your private scholarship check will arrive after the housing due date, please contact University Housing to inquire about a housing deferment. 

Why hasn't my private scholarship disbursed?

Financial aid is applied to your MyFSU bill at the beginning of the term, generally by the fifth day of classes. If, after the fifth day of classes, your scholarship still has not posted to your MyFSU bill, please contact your donor to confirm when and where they sent your scholarship checks. Scholarship checks are sent through the mail, so please be aware that it may take several weeks for your scholarship check to arrive in our office after it has been sent by your donor. 

How do I remove the Insufficient Hours hold?

If you are enrolled in fewer than six credit hours, we will need written approval from your donor to disburse your scholarship. This written release may be emailed to our Private Scholarship Coordinator, Sandra Maroney, at Be sure to request this release from your donor early if you plan on taking less than six credit hours to ensure that your scholarship disburses as early as possible.

How can I obtain an invoice for my donor?

Contact our Private Scholarship Coordinator, Sandra Maroney, at Include any documentation or instructions provided by your donor and we will send the invoice according to those specifications. 

How can I obtain proof of enrollment for my donor?

Contact the Registrar's Office to receive an Enrollment Verification Form. 

How do I have my private scholarship transferred to my new university?

Florida State University does not forward funds to other colleges, but we will return funds to your donor. You will need to reach out to our Private Scholarship Coordinator, Sandra Maroney, at You will also need to update your donor with your new university's information. 

Additional questions? Visit our Scholarships FAQ for more information, or reach out to Sandra Maroney at or (850) 644-5098.