Great Scholarship Opportunities (and How to Find Them!)

Scholarships can help pay for college! Here's how to find scholarship opportunities.

Flickr user frankieleon

Scholarships are a good way to cover the cost of rising tuition. There are scholarships for nearly anything—the tricky part is knowing where to look. Here’s a list of places to find great scholarship opportunities to give you a good start.

How Can You Find Scholarships for College in 2022?

1. Scholarship Finders

Scholarship finders are an easy way to find scholarships without even leaving your couch! Sites like Fastweb.com and Big Future (from College Board) provide databases that return awards you qualify for based on your location, achievements, level of study, goals, and more. There are even scholarships out there for hair color!

And did you know that College Raptor has its own scholarship search tool, too? You can save your favorite awards to your account, browse important details, and more.

2. Your College’s Financial Aid Office

Many colleges offer specific scholarships for both potential and current students, including grad school students. Information can be found on the school’s website, but be sure to reach out ahead of time if you have any questions about the award. Some of these are need based, while others are merit based.

3. 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.

4. The U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has a free scholarship search tool known as the CareerOneStop that offers nearly 9,000 awards. They offer details on eligibility, the amount of the award, deadlines, and more. You can also sort by award type, level of study, and your location.

5. The Library’s Reference Section

If you need a break from your computer screen, head over to your library’s reference section. Some of those books contain lists of grants, loans, and scholarships. They may even break it down according to criteria like financial status, race, field of study, and gender. Plus, librarians tend to be more than willing to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

6. Community Organizations

Be sure to check with your local community organizations, too! Religious establishments, local businesses, community foundations, and nonprofits often offer awards that are only open to local students. With a smaller pool of applicants, you might even have a better chance at winning!

7. Your Employer or Your Parents’ Employers

There are some great scholarship programs out there offered by companies to employees and even the children of employees. Do a quick Google search to see if your parents’ companies (or your workplace) are ones that offer these awards. If not, have your parents contact their Human Resources department to see if there are any such programs available.

8. Organizations Related to Your Field of Interest

Many companies offer scholarship opportunities that don’t require that you have a previous relationship with the company. They may also offer internship opportunities! These can be a great way to get valuable experience in your field of interest while you’re attending school, and could earn you a bit of money or college credits.

Other Ways to Get Financial Aid for College

There are other ways to get financial assistance for college.

1. Federal Student Aid

It is important, even if you think you won’t qualify for aid, to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the Department of Education. You could receive offers for loans, scholarships, and grants – especially from your prospective schools with large endowments!

The Department of Education also offers information on tips to prepare for college, a list of scholarships available, how to find them, when and how to apply, and other important information.

2. State Grants

Did you know that almost all states have a grant program for local students? Be sure to check out your state on this list for further information on how to apply! Some you’re automatically entered into if you completed your FAFSA, too!

3. Private Loans

Private loans, if you’ve run out of options to afford college, could help you get a handle on your finances. However, be sure you understand what it means when you’re signing the dotted line and how they compare to federal student loans.

Quick Tips for Your Scholarship Search:

  • Get started as soon as possible
  • Understand the requirements for every award; they will vary!
    • They could require FAFSA information, letters of recommendation, your transcripts, your photo, and more.
  • Be careful of fraud! Scholarship scams are out there. If you’re ever unsure, talk to your financial aid office. And remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Research can also help you identify the shady ones.
  • Track your deadlines; you don’t want to miss one because you forgot to write it down! Due dates can be during any time of the year.

Applying for scholarships can be tedious, but it’s worth taking the time now so you can reap the benefits later. Databases in particular can be an excellent place to start with minimal effort!

Want to get a head start on your scholarship search? Head over to the College Raptor tool that can help you identify the best awards that you qualify for!

 

Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Citizens logo.
6.98%-15.04%* Variable
5.99%-14.00%* Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT CITIZENS
Sallie Mae logo.
6.37% - 16.70% Variable
4.50% - 15.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT SALLIE MAE
Credibe company logo.
4.98% - 16.85% Variable
4.07% - 16.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT CREDIBLE
Lendkey company logo.
6.07% - 11.31% Variable
4.39% - 10.39% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT LENDKEY
Ascent company logo.
6.24% - 15.85% Variable
4.29% - 15.76% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT ASCENT
6.54% - 11.08% Variable
3.95% - 8.01% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT ISL
Earnest company logo.
5.62% - 16.85% Variable
4.39% - 16.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT EARNEST
4.98% - 12.79% Variable
8.42% - 13.01% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
VISIT ELFI
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

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