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.

1. Scholarship Websites

Browsing the web is an easy way to find some cash money without having to leave your comfy couch! Sites like fastweb.com and supercollege.com are great tools to discover many scholarship opportunities in one sitting!

2. Financial Aid Office

Each college offers specific scholarships for both potential and current students. Information can be found on the school’s website, and they usually have their address posted if you’d like to chat with someone face-to-face.

3. Your High School Counselor

Your counselor is good for more than just getting you out of class. Not only can they help you find scholarships, they can also help you register for admissions tests, get recommendation letters, and send your transcript.

4. The U.S Department of Labor or Your State Grant Agency

The U.S. Department of Labor has a free scholarship search tool that offers more than 7,500 options, and your state grant agency has several ways to access grants.

5. The Library’s Reference Section

Before there was a magical way to access endless information with your fingertips, there were hard copies of books. Some of those books contain list grants, loans, and scholarships, and they even break it down according to criteria like financial status, race, field of study, and gender. Plus, librarians are usually sweet and more than willing to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

6. Community Organizations

There are religious establishments, local businesses, and community foundations with a generally smaller pool of applicants, so it may be easier to win.

7. Your Employer or Your Parents’ Employers

There are some great scholarship programs out there offered by companies to children of employees. Do a quick Google search to see if your parents’ companies are on the list. If not, have your parents contact their Human Resources department to see if there are 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, such as an employee parent. And many of those companies may also offer internship opportunities, which can be a great way to get valuable experience in your field of interest while you’re attending school.

9. Federal Student Aid

As an office of the Department of Education, they offer information on tips to prepare for college, what kinds of scholarships are available, how to find them, when and how to apply, and other important information.

Quick Tips:

  • Get started as soon as possible
  • There are several requirements for scholarship applications:
    • FAFSA Information
    • At least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, or someone that knows of your academic achievements
    • A professional (or professional-looking) picture of you
    • Your most recent transcript and GPA
  • Start Local, then go statewide. National scholarships are competitive, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance
  • Be careful of fraud! If there is ever a question of legitimacy, talk to your school’s financial aid office. They might be able to help you distinguish the real opportunities from the shady ones.

Applying for scholarships can be tedious, but it’s worth taking the time now and reaping the benefits later.

Another great tool? College Raptor! With our free match tool, you can compare college costs side by side and receive personalized net price estimates based on potential financial aid at colleges around the country!

 

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