3 Steps to Finding Political Science Scholarships

US News

There are only (or still, depending on who you talk to) about 40 days until voters will head to polling booths to decide the fate of America's next four years. By Election Day, most Americans will be more than ready to bid a temporary adieu to the constant stream of phone calls from pollsters, mean-spirited ads from candidates and Super PACs, and endless political posts from Facebook friends.

But there are a few of you out there who live for this stuff. You've had your 2012 election parties planned since the day after the last presidential election four years ago. You revel in the daily drama between the candidates. And you're seriously considering a career in politics.

If you're planning on spending the next two to four years as a political science major, you've come to the right place. For those of you who can't get enough of Obama vs. Romney (and everything in between), take these steps to find political science scholarships that could help jump-start your career as the country's next big thing.

[Find out how the presidential campaign relates to the job search.]

1. Start with where you're applying: Narrow the competition by searching and applying for political science scholarships at your future or current college or university. You'll most likely find a few more targeted scholarship opportunities for which to apply, and your chances of actually receiving a scholarship could be significantly better.

For instance, a simple Google search on political science scholarships available at the University of Minnesota landed at least nine scholarship opportunities for poli sci undergrads, and results should be similar at other universities.

[Get more tips on beginning the scholarship search.]

2. Check out your political party's local and national office: If you lean red, blue, or green, check out the scholarships that may be available at the local and national levels of the Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Green parties.

For example, the National Federation of Republican Women offers several scholarships and internships to female students in order to engage more young women in the political process. And the Massachusetts Democratic Party awards a $1,500 John F. Kennedy Scholarship to one male and one female each year.

[Find out how public service can lead to scholarships.]

3. Look nationally: There are a handful of scholarships for political science majors available on the national level. The Daughters of the American Revolution's (DAR) Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior student pursuing a major in political science, government, or economics.

In addition, the Wayne V. Black Memorial Scholarship offers a yearly $5,000 scholarship to a student pursuing a career in political science, engineering, computer science, pre-law, or telecommunications/information technology.

Wherever your career in politics takes you, don't deplete your future campaign cash flow by relying on student loans. Scholarships can offset expensive college costs so that every penny saved can go into your battle for the White House.

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

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