How to Use Your Summer Break to Search for Scholarships

Search for scholarships just like you search for birds with binoculars

Flickr user Ohio Sea Grant

Summer is a time to relax, reflect, and reinvigorate your mind, but just because you’re on a break it doesn’t mean you can’t still begin searching for scholarships. Considering the amount of free money you could very well get by way of scholarships, it is well worth setting aside some time every week to search for scholarships that you could apply for. But how do you even start searching for scholarships, especially as you stare down your summer break?

Begin with Your Counselor

A quick trip to your counselor’s office prior to the end of the school year can often get you the best results. Counselors are more than willing to distribute lists, telephone numbers, web site information, and due dates for potential scholarships opportunities.

Ask your counselor for information and advice several weeks before graduation. The week prior to graduation is a busy time for everyone—including your counselor and you are less likely to get their full attention at this time. The best time to meet with your counselor for scholarship information is in March or April. May is dedicated to end-of-the-year tasks and graduation preparations.

Though March or April is the best time to ask, don’t feel like you can’t ask during other months. Scholarships have due dates spread throughout the year, so your counselor is bound to have at least something for you to apply for. Or, to keep on your radar to apply for later.

Search Online

A basic Google search will yield excellent results concerning scholarships and grants. When searching online, don’t restrict your search to opportunities that you think you may qualify for. You’ll be amazed at the opportunities that you come across if you just expand your search parameters.

The more time you spend searching, the more opportunities you are likely to come across and the more free money you could potentially win. In addition to doing a general search, don’t forget to look up the links that your counselor gave you.

Ask Local Organizations and Businesses

Begin by searching company or organization web sites online. Use these searches to see if any local branches or locations offer scholarship opportunities for prospective college students.

In fact, working for small local businesses can also open up results for scholarship opportunities. Ask your boss or shift manager about any possible scholarships the business may offer. Some local churches and civic organizations also offer scholarships for college students. It helps if you ask someone who is a member of that organization.

Don’t Forget To Spend Time Practicing Your Essay Writing

Scholarship essays don’t write themselves. Summer is the perfect time to practice your essay-writing skills as well as find editors among parents, friends, and people who are willing to help you achieve your goals. If you don’t know anyone among your peers or family who can act as editor, you can always check at a local college or university. Student tutors are always willing to work with those who are looking to improve their essay-writing prowess.

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