Talk to your professors and department chair. Faculty members know of many reliable sources of funding and work opportunities, or know where to point you to find them.
Go to professional organizations in your field. If you are interested in English education, for example, research (and perhaps join) the NEA or National Council of English Teachers. Many such organizations provide valuable job listings, internships, and funding for people with your interests.
Go to the appropriate government agency for your field. Want to do biomedical research? Check out the Department of Health and Human Services, or the National Science Foundation. Writing a book of poetry? An NEH grant might be in your future. And don't forget that there are many levels of government; contact federal, state, and local governments for opportunities and funding.
What organizations do YOU belong to? Were you a Boy Scout? Member of Phi Beta Kappa? Does your high school or town provide any alumni scholarships? What about previous employers? Think about where you've been in your life, and reconnect with people who may be able to help you today.
Be prepared to do exhaustive web searches. Spending substantial chunks of time researching opportunities will likely yield substantial information. This web page is only a starting point; branch out on your own searches.
Who are you? Are you a member of an ethnic minority group? Are your parents members of a trade or professional organization? Are you from an unusual part of the world, or did you have an unusual life in some way? Think about how these aspects of your identity may present scholarship opportunities.
Make professional contacts: businesses, research organizations, schools, and non-profits in your field. The web and your phone can be great sources of information. Many professionals will know about private sources of funding and employments, and your conversations may prove helpful connections in the future.
Keep your options open. An accounting major does not necessarily require that you intern for a major accounting firm, and communications majors need not work only for broadcasting agencies. Thousands of corporations and non-profits hire students to do such work. Consider managing finances at the American Association of University Professors or doing public relations work for NOW. You can combine your career goals with your personal interests for a truly meaningful experience.
If you're interested in studying abroad, contact the schools to which you are applying and see if they provide specific scholarships and opportunities for international students. Also be sure to check with professional and governmental organizations interested in your country. For example, if you are hoping to study in Uganda or any other non-traditional destination, the federal NSEP program may be interested in your plans. A visit to our office can help you pinpoint appropriate programs. Students in the Honors Program may also apply for Villanova's Connelly-Delouvrier Scholarship, which provides funding for one semester of international study. To begin investigating the study abroad opportunities that Villanova has to offer visit the Office for International Studies. Why study abroad? Take the advice from a Villanova student who has been there.
After you've identified these opportunities, continue to work with your professors and advisors to create the best application or resume possible. They will likely be willing to help you edit essays, write recommendations, and explain standard professional etiquette and conduct. You can also come to our office (Garey Hall 38) for such guidance.
Search our database of Scholarships and Grants or check out our list of links to other helpful databases.