Where To Look For College Scholarships
Scholarships can come from a range of sources, so its a good idea to search online for opportunities that may be a fit for you. The following websites are excellent resources to help you find potential scholarships:
- CareerOneStop.org. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop.org is a database of over 8,000 scholarship, grant and fellowship opportunities. You can narrow your search by keyword, location and level of study.
- FastWeb. FastWeb is one of the best-known sites for scholarships. You can search for available scholarships, but you can also create a student profile. The site will send you scholarships that match your information.
- Scholarships.com.Scholarships.com is a database of over 3.7 million scholarships and grants. You can create a profile and get matched to potential opportunities from colleges, private companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
Talk To Community Organizations
Another way to find scholarships is to talk to organizations in your community. For example, your church might offer scholarships for members, either through the local branch or the larger organization. Talk to your church leaders to find out.
Last, find out if your community participates in Dollars for Scholars. Dollars for Scholars is a nonprofit charity that organizes a nationwide coalition of local, community-based scholarship organizations. Most of these scholarships are awarded by companies to their employees or their employees children, but some are open to the general public.
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Treat Your Search Like A Job
It takes a long time to search for grants and scholarships, find opportunities you qualify for, and complete the application process. It isnt something you can bang out in an hour or two. Treat your scholarship search like a job and schedule time weekly to search for opportunities and work on your applications.
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Submit An Exceptional Scholarship Essay Or Cover Letter
Another one that goes without saying, but your application essay/cover letter needs to absolutely be the best quality it can possibly be. This means making sure its clear and concise, is formatted correctly, grabs the reader with a strong introduction, stays focused on its key theme or topic, and has flawless spelling and grammar. Dont just rely on proofreading it hundreds of times to make sure its perfect ask a friend to go over it and check for typos and any sentences that dont read as well as they could do.
Your Odds Of Landing A Scholarship
In 201920, Sallie Mae’s “How America Pays for College” study reports that 58% of families relied on scholarships to cover part of the cost of going to college. This translates to 11.5 million college students who used scholarships that year.
Combined, scholarships and grants covered 25% of an average total college cost of $30,017, leaving $22,391 to be covered by savings, family support, loans, and work-study. Thats more than $7,500 in free aid.
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Other Ways Your Student Can Find Scholarships
Using websites, such as those listed above, is only one of several ways you and your child can find scholarships. Not every scholarship in existence is on these sites, so it pays to explore different methods for locating opportunities.
For example, local scholarships may not be listed, and those are opportunities that simply shouldnât be passed up. Plus, scholarships from the university or college your child will be attending also arenât commonly listed.
Look no further, this video covers the top 5 best college scholarships in 2021: Best College Scholarships in 2021
If you and your child would like to learn more about where to find scholarships, like the ones that arent listed on the websites above, sign up for our free college scholarship webinar.
We cover additional strategies to help your child find scholarships so that you donât waste time on the scams or scholarships with little chance of winning.
When To Apply For Scholarships
Apply for scholarships early and often. Some scholarship deadlines are as early as a year before you start college. You dont need to wait until youve made your final decision about your school to apply.
But dont worry if you missed out on some of the earliest scholarship applications. There are lots of scholarship opportunities out there, all with different deadlines.
Apply for scholarships every year youre in college, toothere are many scholarships for current college students.
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Applying For Scholarships: A Step
While applying for college scholarships is time consuming and tedious at times, scholarship funds can really add up for some students. Say for example you spent 20 hours applying for scholarships, and received $400 in scholarship funding. Well, you made $20 per hour for your time. Not bad for a college student! Anyway, we wanted to share a few good steps when applying for scholarship funds:
While these steps seem obvious, we just wanted to act as a reminder.
A strong essay with personal, interesting, and passionate stories can really help you win scholarship funds.
Here are some tips for writing a great essay:
Take your time! Writing a scholarship essay should take time, dont rush through any of the questions.
Scholarships Grants Fellowships And Other Student Funding
Find and compare scholarships for college students, college grants, fellowships, federal financial aid and other forms of student funding to cover expenses for international Bachelors, Masters and PhDs worldwide.
ScholarshipPortal is the best scholarship website for international students looking to meet their financial needs. Browse comprehensive scholarship lists available for a wide variety of destinations abroad. Start your scholarship search by choosing a study location and selecting one of over 1000 opportunities for student financial aid available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, China, the United States, Australia, and many others.
Apply for a university scholarship in a degree subject that interests you from top MBA scholarships, engineering scholarships, scholarships for law schools and medical schools, as well as art, sports or music scholarships, and many more.
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Avoiding Sweepstakes And Scams As They Find Scholarships
While most people would hate to think that someone would scam a college student as they try to find scholarships, the fact is that it happens.
Before your child begins their search, they should take a little time to learn how to spot scams, as well as how to avoid âscholarshipsâ that are actually sweepstakes, which give your student a small chance of winning and usually carry a lot of caveats, like their information being sold to third-parties.
To help them prepare, here are some resources on the topic of scams and âno essayâ scholarships :
Applying For College Scholarships
When it comes to scholarships, each award will have its own eligibility requirements and application process. However, you can improve your chances of qualifying for a scholarship by following these tips:
After using all available gift aid, you may need to borrow money to pay for the remainder of your education costs in the form of federal or private student loans. If thats the case for you, check out the best private student loan lenders.
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Where To Look How To Qualify And When Your Search Should Begin
Pamela Rodriguez is a Certified Financial Planner®, Series 7 and 66 license holder, with 10 years of experience in Financial Planning and Retirement Planning. She is the founder and CEO of Fulfilled Finances LLC, the Social Security Presenter for AARP, and the Treasurer for the Financial Planning Association of NorCal.
For some, the word scholarship conjures up visions of super-intelligent college-bound kids with astronomical SAT and ACT scores or star athletes scooping up full-ride four-year awards. The truth is that only about 0.1% of college students receive full-ride scholarships each year.
Compare that with the 6 million active college scholarships worth $30 billion that can be found using Sallie Mae’s Scholarship Search tool. With that much available aid, your chances of getting a scholarship may be better than you think.
How To Find And Get The Best Scholarships
There is over $7 billion available in private scholarships and fellowships for university students, many of which can be applied to before the senior year of high school, some allow applicants as young as 13 years old!
I see so many students leave money on the table by not applying for outside scholarships. Then those financial aid offers come and they are faced with thousands of dollars in financial aid gap!
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What Are Scholarship Search Engines
College scholarship search engines, sometimes called scholarship finders, are databases that college students can use to find scholarships and grants. This helps students afford tuition without needing to rely on student loans.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to find scholarships based on your financial need, merits, community service, heritage, gender, orientation and life experience. Some also benefit students who engage in unique hobbies, like duck calling.
You can typically search for scholarships and grants by category, or even enter information about yourself and your activities, and the scholarship finder will match you with ones you might be able to get.
There Are Many Types Of Scholarships
Some of you might still be under the mistaken impression you can’t win a scholarship unless you play sports or have an I.Q. over 130 or a GPA over 3.5. The simple fact is that, yes, you probably stand a better chance with a 4.0 GPA or play quarterback for the varsity squad, but those are only a few kinds of scholarships a student will find if they do a thorough search. This is why we advocate conducting a search at Scholarships.com. We match you to any scholarships in our database you might be able to win, regardless of why. We’ll let you decide whether you want to apply for the scholarship after you have read more about it.
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Scholarships In Your Local Community
One of the downsides to well-known scholarship opportunities is that they attract a lot of applications. This means that the competition can be quite fierce. This is why local scholarships can be so valuablethey are meant to support students in the local community .
To find local scholarships, the following resources are usually good bets for discovering opportunities:
- Your school counselor
- Church, temple, or place of worship
- Nonprofits and foundations in your community
- Local newspaper
- Small and large local businesses
While these local scholarship opportunities tend to be a smaller dollar amount than some of the large, national scholarships, every single bit helps when paying for college!
Work Hard And Keep Motivated
Although some full scholarships will be based on financial need rather than academic excellence, some will take both into account, or only be awarded to exceptional students. It goes without saying that you should be working hard in your studies, but youll need to really put in the effort if you want to get that full scholarship, as the majority are awarded to the highest-achieving students. In some cases, universities may automatically consider applicants for full scholarships using your regular university application, making high grades crucial. While pushing yourself academically can be mentally exhausting, try to stay motivated by keeping your goals in mind, and give yourself a break every now and then to relax .
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Your High School Guidance Counselor
Your guidance counselor is good for more than helping you set up your high school schedule. They are often receiving information on national, state, and local scholarships and passing it on to their students. They can help you with other college prep needs including registering for admissions tests, getting recommendation letters, finding schools, and sending your transcript.
Read The Application Instructions Carefully
This may seem extremely obvious, but you dont want to drop your chances by accidentally missing out a document or piece of information that was stipulated in the scholarships application instructions. Be sure to read the application guidance carefully and repeatedly, so youre less likely to miss anything, and email the provider if you need clarification on anything.
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Tips For Applying For A Scholarship
As you begin your search for scholarships to help you pay for school, here are some key tips that can make it possible for you to maximize your chances of success:
- Use multiple scholarship search engines.
- Start long before the upcoming school year.
- Dont ignore the small awards many small scholarships add up fast.
- Meet deadlines.
- Ask a parent or school counselor to review your essays and give feedback before you submit them.
- Dont be afraid to be honest about your accomplishments.
- Check to see if universities in your area offer scholarship workshops where you can learn more tips.
- Apply for as many scholarships as you can to improve your odds of winning.
If youre applying for many scholarships, keep a spreadsheet where you can track the scholarship names, deadlines and application statuses. Remember, the more scholarships you apply for, the more likely it is that youll be able to significantly lower the cost of college tuition.
Use An Online Scholarship Search Tool
Honestly, sometimes you just need help filtering through all the options out there. A scholarship search tool will help you filter through thousands of scholarships and find the scholarships that fit your situation!
Now lets be real: You still have to put in some serious time and effort applying for these scholarships. Some might ask you to write essays, answer tough questions, or even interviewbut some could require little to no effort. If you treat the scholarship search process like a part-time job by spending at least an hour a day filling out applications, it will pay off.
Listen up, guys. Applying for scholarships is just one of the ways you can cash flow your college educationthere are plenty of other things you can do to help you graduate with zero dollars of debt! Yeah, thats right. Zero. Zip. Nada.
Want to learn more about how to go to school without loans? My new book, Debt-Free Degree, is the book all college-bound studentsand their parentsneed to prepare for this next step. Grab a copy today or start reading for free to get plenty of tips on going to college debt-free!
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