The Scholarship Coach Feature:
Look to Parents' Employers for College Scholarships

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by Michelle Showalter

It was a great summer, wasn't it? You laid around the pool all day, hung out in the basement playing video games with friends, and watched marathons of your favorite reality TV shows for hours on end. But now that you're several weeks into the school year already, it's time to crack down and get to work, and not just on your math homework.

Yes, we're talking about college again. It'll be here before you know it, so don't wait until it's time to fill out the FAFSA before you start to seriously think about how you're going to pay for it. Lucky for you, the Internet has made it much easier to locate and apply for scholarships than ever before. But before you dive into your search, there's one not-so-obvious place you should look first: your parents' place of employment.

[Learn more about filling out the FAFSA.]

We've put together a list of some great scholarship programs offered by companies to children of employees. Don't see your mom or dad's company on the list? No worries. All you need to do is have your parents ask their HR departments if a scholarship program exists where they work.

And here's a side note to the parents out there who happen to be in between jobs and seeking employment: If you're concerned about the high cost of your kids' college education, consider focusing your search on employers that offer scholarships. They're more common than you think.

[See U.S. News's Paying for College guide.]

If your mom or dad is an employee of Siemens, you're in luck. Children of employees of Siemens can apply for a merit-based scholarship, awarded during the final semester of their senior year of high school. You do have to take the PSAT/NMSQT as a junior this fall if you want to be eligible for the scholarship in 2013, but it's worth it for a $1,000 yearly scholarship.

Is one of your parents a federal employee? There are a variety of scholarships offered to employees and children of employees of the federal government, depending on where you live and in what government sector your parent works. The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund is an excellent merit-based scholarship competition that awards more than 400 students from 27 regions with scholarships ranging from $500 to more than $7,000.

Verizon is another company generous enough to offer scholarships to children and legal dependents of employees. Each year, the Verizon Scholarship Program accepts applications from eligible high school seniors planning to enroll in an accredited four-year college or university the following fall. Renewable scholarships are awarded for up to $4,000 per academic year for four years of study. Doesn't get much better than that!

[Read about 5 reasons why scholarships are essential.]

The Intel Scholarship for Employees' Children is an excellent scholarship to apply for if one of your parents happens to work for Intel. Every year, Intel awards up to 400 scholarships worldwide. Children of employees can receive a one-time award of up to $4,000 to help achieve the goal of postsecondary education. Scholarship awards vary based on whether you're going for a two- or four-year degree.

For more than 25 years, Fluor Corporation has awarded more than $11 million in scholarships to 2,600 children of U.S. and international employees. The Fluor Scholarship Program is geared toward supporting the goals and aspirations of students who want to go on to college. Recipients can attend two- or four-year colleges, universities, or vocational-technical schools.

Michelle Showalter joined Scholarship America in 2007 and is an alumna of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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