How To Get Extra Scholarship Money

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Stop for a moment and try to picture yourself applying for scholarships right now. What scene pops into your head?

If youre like I used to be, youre probably picturing something like this:

Was I right? Were you picturing yourself on your bed with your computer on your lap, scouring scholarship search sites for random scholarships that you can apply for? If so, youre like most of us.

But while we will see later that there is definitely a time and place to use scholarship sites, this is not the first scene that I want to pop into your head. This is:

I want you to picture yourself sitting in the guidance counselors office at your school. This should be where your scholarship search begins.

Heres why: your guidance counselor will know all of the scholarships that your high school offers, as well as any scholarships from local businesses or families. He or she will also know the requirements and deadlines for each and, in general, can just be a tremendous resource for you.

Sticking with the local theme, your parents employers could also be potential scholarship sources. Many larger companies offer college scholarships for the children of their employees. Local professional clubs could also have scholarships in place for local high school grads.

Check out this quote from MoneyforCollegeProject in which he shares the success he enjoyed by focusing on local scholarship opportunities:

Find The Perfect Scholarships For You

Like playing the lottery, you cant win if you dont buy a ticket. Scholarships work the same way in that you have to put in the effort and search for the right one to apply to in order to be awarded. There are several different and relatively simple ways to go about finding the scholarship that is right for you. Heres a few ways to do it:

  • Register for a Scholarship Search
  • Talk to counselors
  • Fill out a FAFSA even if you dont need it because some scholarships will require it
  • Talk to friends and family
  • Talk to people on forums like Facebook and Quora
  • Ask the university you are wanting to apply to
  • Look for companies that will sponsor you

For example, at the UoPeople, there are nine available scholarships to help cover the costs of course assessment fees. Each scholarship has its respective criteria and eligibility to apply, but for the most part, they are geared towards adopted students, women, refugees, and anyone who demonstrates financial need. Like UoPeople, most universities will provide details of all available scholarships online, as well as a link to apply straight from the website.

Strive To Be Unique On Scholarship Essays

In his scholarship guide , Remit Sethi explains a simple, but incredibly effective way to stand out from the crowd on scholarship essays:

Think about what everybody else is going to say, and then say something different.

Let me give you an example. If you visit Fastweb, they will give you a list of the most commonly used scholarship essay questions. Here is an example of one under the Current Events and Social Issues section. What do you see as the greatest threat to the environment today?

Now when you see a question like this, you can easily imagine how nearly every Joe Shmoe is going to answer this question. Theyre going to talk about global warming or population growth and the food shortage that we will soon be facing. Or perhaps they will talk about pollution.

The point is, just about EVERYBODY is going to be talking about the same 3 or 4 things.

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Grants For College Can Be Need

  • Many grants for college are need-based. Need-based grants are awarded based on your family’s economic situation. To figure out your financial need, most schools consider your and . Your EFC is a number used by your school to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.
  • There are merit-based college grants, too. Merit-based grants are awarded to students who demonstrate high levels of academic achievement, a commitment to community service, or excellent leadership skills. To find merit-based grants for college, start by doing an online search for college grants in your home state.

Won Multiple Scholarships How To Keep All Your Award Money

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Using Path to Scholarships and has paid off for many students and as a result numerous students have been over-awarded. Often students receive more money than is needed to cover tuition and expenses for a year of college. Then they learn they could have used it for following years, to cover other eligible expenses, or even for graduate school in the future.


Over-awarded is a term that means that the student has won more money than is required to cover tuition and expenses for a year of college.

Colleges and scholarships have different over-awarded policies. Students should ask their college financial aid office and each of the scholarships they were awarded about their over-awarded policy .

Some college and scholarship over-awarded policies may lower or keep the award they originally offered because other scholarships or resources were received. Some college policies will decrease a students loan while others may decrease their own institutional scholarships they initially offered the student.

Students who are awarded a Pell Grant and/or FSEOG grant will keep these grants since they are considered federal entitlements. These two grants cannot be reduced because students have been over-awarded.

Once the college makes an initial offer of financial aid, students need to report any additional outside scholarships won. Income and other resources will not be taken into account because that would impact the next years FAFSA.


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Can I Keep The Money From A Scholarship

Scholarships must almost always be used to pay for college-related costs like tuition and room and board. Since you will generally not receive more scholarship money than is needed to cover the cost of your tuition, you should generally use all the money to pay for your college costs. If you are interested in using your funds for a different purpose, consider speaking with your scholarship provider directly to assess your options.

Do not use scholarship money for costs unrelated to school without speaking to your provider first. If you do, you may have to pay the money back and your provider may even take legal action against you.

Network With Current Students

Current students can also be an invaluable resource. They can help you with tips about possible scholarships and what to expect as you embark on your college journey. Dr. Baldwin also suggested this as a possible in for scholarship money. Baldwin said, Often times, they have spent time researching this and can provide direction or advice for applying on scholarships they have been involved with.

There are several ways you can reach out to current students. Perhaps there is someone from your high school who is one or two years older and currently attends the college where you plan to enroll. Another possibility is LinkedIn. The sites People You May Know section includes people from your school. Once you add your college to your profile, you should start seeing students who currently go there.

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The Answer Depends On Where The Scholarship Money Came From

In the case of scholarships, the money rarely goes to the student, but directly to the university. This means if your scholarship is more than your cost of attendance, the money is not given directly to the student. What happens then depends on your financial aid situation. If your scholarship funds exceed your costs, the university might reduce the amount of provided loans and work study.

This can help you lower student loans and reduce the time you spend away from studying, which have their advantages. If youre living on campus and room and board is handled through the university, these costs may be covered by the scholarship as well. Living on campus can be expensive, but its necessary for those traveling far from home, so any chance to cover the cost is a welcome one.

If you need to use the extra scholarship money for other types of bills, contact the scholarship provider to learn their policy on the money. For some, you can only use the money for educational costs for others, you can use it however you want.

Another possibility for handling excess scholarship money is to speak with the financial aid office to see if they can defer scholarship funds from one year to the next. This is especially useful if the university wants to cut grant money instead of money from student loans. Loans need to be paid back, grants and scholarships dont.

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

How To Find Grants Online FREE Money $10,000 Monthly & $25,000

As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And that is true with scholarships. Theres no problem with going back and trying to work on getting more money. We have definitely had many students that have received additional funding as a result of their requests. Go ahead and plead your case.

So, being deferred just means that the decision on your admission is going to be considered again along with the regular decision applications.

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Simple Ways To Get More Scholarship Money

As our guide shows, there are many strategies that you can take to help you graduate from college with little to no student loans. However, there may not be one strategy more overlooked and underused than scholarships.

For many students, shivers go down their spines at the mere mentioning of applying for a scholarship.

Even now, you may be thinking one of the following things about scholarships.

Scholarships are only for students with a 4.0 GPA or athletes.

Too many other students would all be applying for the same scholarship as me. Theres no way Id be the winner.

Applying for scholarships is a big time-waster. Id get a better return on my effort by focusing on other things.

If this is how you feel about scholarships, I want to dispel these myths. You can succeed in the scholarship game.

And, surprisingly, it has very little to with your IQ, and more to do with being savvy about how the scholarship process really works.

If the thought of having more free money in college and less student loan debt after college appeals to you , then let me share with you 5 simple ways that you could double your scholarship earnings.

Bonus Tip: Scholarships Are Not A One

Many students dont know this but you can keep applying for scholarships even once youre in college. Thats right you can apply for scholarships for years and keep getting more free financial aid to pay for college.

In fact, the students who win the most scholarships typically apply every semester. Obviously, its ideal to get a jump start on applications before the school year starts , but huge sums of money are available throughout the year.

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Tips To Fund Your Further Education

For people who are considering taking the leap but arent sure if its financially feasible, here are five tips to help you navigate the process and come out with as little debt as possible.

1.) Pursue scholarships and fellowships. Because scholarships are free money, they should be sought out before loans.

2.) Look into your employers tuition-assistance or learning and development programs. Many companies are now offering at least partial tuition assistance or training opportunities for their workforce. I previously shared the story of Megan, who completed her bachelors degree debt-free while working as a welder and taking advantage of her employers tuition assistance program. You never know whats possible until you ask.

3.) File the FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a no-brainer for graduate students to fund further education. The NSPA estimates that during the 201819 school year alone, around $2.6 billion in Pell Grants was left unclaimed.

How To Make The Most Of Your Scholarship Money

Online College Scholarships

Scholarships are one of the best ways to pay for college. They can help you pay for your education without increasing your debt. Heres what you need to know so you can keep and maximize every scholarship dollar you win.

Types of scholarships

Institutional scholarships come from your college or university. These can cover some of your costs of going to school.

Private scholarships are awarded by private foundations, companies, and service groups. Unlike institutional scholarships, there is no limit to the number of private scholarships you can apply for . Just keep in mind there will still be limits on what you can spend your scholarship money on.

Reporting your scholarships

All scholarship money must be reported to the financial aid office at your school. For institutional scholarships, the money youve been awarded has already been recorded by your college or university. When you win a private scholarship, however, either you or the organization that gave you the scholarship will need to report it to the financial aid office. Its good to clarify this once youve been notified of your award.

Where the money goes

While institutional scholarship money typically remains at your school to pay costs in your student account , many times, private scholarship money will also be sent directly to your school for the same purpose.

Protecting your scholarship money

How to keep as much scholarship money as possible

What you can use scholarship money on

Finding more scholarship money

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Can You Use Scholarship Money For Housing

Is it possible to use scholarship funds to aid with on-campus or off-campus housing? Can you get a scholarship that particularly covers living expenses?

Yes. There are various housing-related scholarships available. However, if youre wondering if you can use your scholarship money to pay for accommodation in general, the answer is that it depends.

Some scholarships may allow you to use the funds to pay for on-campus or off-campus housing, but most scholarships come with restrictions on how the money may be spent.

In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all answer that applies to all circumstances. If you have any questions, read the rules on your scholarship grant or contact the sponsor for clarification.

The following is a list of the best housing programs for students who cant afford the high cost of housing:

How Can Scholarship Money Be Spent

Scholarship checks awarded in your name can be spent on anything, but you would be wise to look at this as an investment and not a free pass to splurge on video games or concert tickets. This money is for school expenses. This could mean tuition, but it could also be books, pencils, housing, food or even computers and software.

When you receive the scholarship money depends on the scholarship you won. Sometimes you get the money in one chunk before school begins, and in other cases the money is distributed in installments. Sometimes a scholarship may be paid out in the middle of a semester.

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Develop A Prioritized List Of Scholarship Opportunities

As youre searching for scholarships, keep a list that prioritizes opportunities based on several factors:

  • The scholarship deadlines
  • What makes you a unique fit for the scholarship
  • The amount of money you can win

Everyones list will look a little different. But the goal is to apply for all of the best scholarships in a timely manner.

When it comes to prioritizing scholarships, dont discount what seems like a huge, too-good-to-be-true scholarship, assuming youll never win it. Go big or go home, right?

For example, at Scholly, we frequently offer HUGEscholarship and student loan payoff opportunities that are extremely easy to apply for! High dollar scholarships, like theCoca-Cola scholarship, are often competitive. But it cant hurt to try for them because there are always winners.

On the other hand, dont dismiss smaller college scholarships either! There are tons of scholarships out there in the $500-$2,000 range. This may not seem like a lot, but every dollar counts and these scholarships add up!

Mybiosource Inc Scholarship For Students With Disabilities

Your Guide To Winning Scholarship Money | Finesse Your Education

Amount: $1,000

  • Minimum GPA of 2.4 on a 4.0 scale
  • Enrolled or planning to enroll full-time in a college or university

Application Requirements: Transcript, essay

If youre not so sure what you want to study in college, or what you want to pursue after graduation, CareerFitter could help. Theyve pioneered a career test alongside psychologists to help you identify a meaningful career to fit your aspirations.

Once youve identified your dream job, apply for the CareerFitter Scholarship by writing about why you want to pursue that particular path. Your answer should be no more than 900 characters. Dream big and have some fun thinking about your future.

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Differences Between Grants For College And Scholarships

Both scholarships and grants for college are free money to help you pay for your education. Unlike , you don’t have to pay back college grants or scholarships, except under certain circumstances, like withdrawing early from a program or a change in your enrollment status.1

The biggest difference between college grants and scholarships is that grants for college are typically need-based. may be need-based or merit-based, which means they’re given out based on some kind of ability, hobby, ethnicity, religion, etc.

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