CollegePaying for College

10 Ways to Find Scholarships

  1. START BEFORE YOUR SENIOR YEAR. Getting an early start on the scholarship search increases the number of options you have and prepares you for applying. Many scholarships are specifically for seniors, however there are some that are available for younger students. Scholarships often have a minimum GPA requirement, so getting an early start gives you an opportunity to work toward a higher GPA if necessary.
  2. GET SOME ADVICE! Talking to your high school guidance counselor can be a quick way to get informed about what scholarships are available to you. And local businesses usually tell local high schools first about any scholarships they may be offering.
  3. CHECK COLLEGE WEBSITES. Most colleges have a page on their website listing scholarship opportunities. Since most of these are college specific, make sure it’s somewhere you’ve applied to and are considering attending. However, some colleges also list outside scholarships that are typically offered by a local business.
  4. VISIT THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE. If you know which college you’re attending, go to the financial aid office to look for applications for local scholarships or scholarships sponsored by the school.
  5. ASK ORGANIZATIONS AND BUSINESSES. Businesses and organizations related to your field often offer scholarships to students who’ll be majoring in a field that could be useful to them in the future.
  6. CHECK WITH LOCAL FOUNDATIONS. It never hurts to ask. See if charitable foundations or groups in your area offer scholarships. Many foundations do, and since they are typically only awarded locally there is less competition.
  7. SEARCH THE WEB! An internet search for scholarships will yield many diverse options. There are several scholarship-specific search engines that make finding them that much quicker. Just keep in mind that there will be more competition.
  8. BE SPECIFIC! When searching the web, it is important to look for scholarships that apply directly to you. Try searching for scholarships based on your field of study, your area, your state, your gender, etc.
  9. DON’T FORGET NON-ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS. If your grades aren’t perfect, there’s no need to worry. Non-academic scholarships are available to a wide variety of people. They can be based on community service, leadership, extracurricular activities, and many other things.
  10. DON’T GIVE UP. Finding scholarships can be a long, time-consuming pro-cess, but it is worth it. To win a lot of scholarships, you have to apply for a lot of scholarships. Many scholarships even require the same material, so keeping materials from each application can be a huge time-saver.

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