High school senior year finds many students scrambling for badly needed scholarship money. Your local Lions Club can be very helpful. With more than 46,000 individual clubs around the world, most communities have one nearby. Even though their scholarships might not foot your entire tuition bill, they can help substantially, especially as part of an ivy league financial aid strategy.

Lions Club Scholarship Opportunities

The Lions Club is organized at the international, national and local levels. Academic scholarships are organized by local Lions Clubs in the community. Scholarship amounts vary by location. For example, the Lions Club of Momence, Illinois distributes $2,500 to college-bound graduating seniors and the Lions Club of Windham, New Hampshire provides four $1,000 scholarships to local high school students. In each instance, the money is raised and distributed locally. The Lions Club of San Diego offers $1,200 scholarships to area students who share the Lion Club's commitment to community service. Contact your local Lions Club to see if they provide similar opportunities.

Exchange Program and Camp Scholarships

Lions Clubs also provide scholarships for a Lions youth camp and exchange program that can help burnish your resume for when you apply for college. Both are aimed at expanding the cultural awareness of young people between 15 and 22. Such activities tend to show colleges that you are a well-rounded person. Participants in the exchange program live with a host family in another country. Participants in the camps attend camps in any of dozens of foreign countries. You can contact your local Lions Club and ask them to sponsor you. Such sponsorship covers travel expenses, camp costs and other assistance.

Special Needs Scholarships

The Lions Club coordinates volunteer efforts and raises funds for particular projects. They are particularly known for providing glasses for the needy, helping with the Special Olympics and fostering cross-cultural awareness. At the national level, they provide scholarship money for the visually impaired and intellectually challenged.

Restrictions on Eligibility

Individual Lions Clubs cannot create special scholarship funds specifically for the child of a Lion because the club member would personally benefit. However, a special scholarship fund may be created for the grandchild of a Lion, as long as the grandparent did not claim the child as a dependent. Children of Lions can apply for scholarships offered to the public at large, as long as the recipients of the scholarship were selected by an outside agency.

Complete Application Process

The application process for these scholarships vary. After you determine whether there is Lions Club scholarship for which you might be eligible, get the application from your high school or from your local Lions Club. Take care to fully complete the application so that you show yourself in the best possible light. If additional documents such as high school transcripts are necessary, speak to your high school registrar. Most scholarships are driven by deadlines, so begin the process early.

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