Have you ever felt frustrated because your financial aid isn’t enough to make attending college completely affordable? Are there not enough hours in the workday to increase your paycheck? Don’t worry too much because there’s another option for you: scholarships.
You may think they’re hard to find, but there are plenty of scholarships available for the taking. According to Debt.org, $3.3 billion in scholarships is given away by private organizations in addition to the $46 billion in grants and scholarships that’s handed out by the U.S. Department of Education.
While applying for scholarships doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive one, your odds skyrocket the minute you put your name into the candidate pool, even if you think there’s no chance you’ll be deemed the winner.
This all circles back to knowing where to look for scholarships. Here are some helpful places where you can begin your search.
The Internet is a great place to rev up your scholarship search, particularly with CollegeInfo. The site brings $6,495 in government financial aid to your attention that could be available if you qualify. It also helps you find where to go to start looking for scholarships. After a brief survey, you come to a page where you can get matched with specific colleges. Once you’re given potential matches, you learn more about the scholarships and financial aid that are offered by the schools.
Another effective online resource is Scholarships.com. The website has gathered over 3.7 million scholarships and grants (a.k.a. nearly $19 billion combined) in one place to make your financial aid hunt easier.
To look through these scholarships, you need to create an account on the site, but it’s for good measure. The details you enter will help the servers match you with scholarships and colleges that could apply to you. Some of the information that helps you get matched with schools and scholarships includes your year in school, your top five colleges, your GPA, your intended major, your ACT/SAT scores, and other interests.
Scholarships.com’s free service has over 16 million users and has around one million visitors every month, so you can probably find the perfect scholarship to apply to in their lists.
3. Career One Stop
The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors CareerOneStop.org’s Scholarship Finder. You can search through over 7,500 scholarships, grants, fellowships and other financial aid awards that could fit your needs. You can also apply filters to narrow your search by level of study, award type, your location, your school’s location and more.
The lists of available scholarships are easy to scroll through. The lists openly show various details about the awards such as purpose and description, level of study, amount and deadline. When you’ve found an award you’d like to apply to, simply click on it to learn more information, such as where to apply for the award.
The Scholarship Finder can be extremely helpful to those students who will be studying somewhere other than their home state or even internationally.
4. Non-online Sources
Believe it or not, the Internet doesn’t always have all the answers. You can find scholarship resources out in the real world, too, though this may require making phone calls or traveling to offices.
A good place to start looking for scholarships is your current school. The financial aid office, academic advisors’ office and the library on your college campus should all have information about current scholarships offered by your university. The guidance counselors’ office and the library at your high school can also assist you in your hunt for financial aid for secondary education.
The community in your own backyard can also open financial aid doors for you. Check out the library, businesses, federal agencies, religious and ethnic groups and even ask your own employer to see if they offer any financial assistance for attending college. You don’t know if you don’t ask, so don’t be afraid to inquire.
Finding scholarships to apply to shouldn’t be a stressful process. Be logical and utilize all your resources in your efforts to make college as affordable as possible.