Top 5 Ways to Search for Scholarships
How to find the best scholarships
Searching for scholarships can seem like a daunting task. There is no perfect database out there helping you with your decision, you are seemingly left to your own devices to figure it out. I’ve tried to find the perfect website, and in my professional opinion, it doesn’t exist. But, don’t press the red button and go into panic mode. There are a few helpful ways to search for scholarships that you need to know about and I want you to know these secrets because they shouldn’t be secrets!! YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THESE!! So my dear friends, here are my top five favorite tips to search for scholarships. Be warned… there is no EASY way. The scholarship search requires work and organization on your end. But it can be done!
Individual College Scholarships
Each college and university inevitably offers scholarships that you are not automatically considered for when you apply to their school. Some of these scholarships may require a certain GPA, group affiliation, or a major you are interested in applying to, but a lot of times these scholarships are overlooked because they aren’t mentioned in the admissions material. Take a look at each school and write down the deadlines, and criteria so you know if you qualify!
Local Newspaper or Community Board
A lot of towns have scholarship money that they want to give away to their local students. Cities or counties often do fundraisers for these scholarships and you will be competing on a much smaller scale for this money. A lot of times these scholarships may be on a smaller scale, but in my opinion, any amount of money you can earn in the form of scholarship that you don’t have to pay back is going to be helpful. Check your local online community board or town hall for these opportunities.
If you as a student are employed, or as a parent you are employed this is my favorite place to look for scholarships. Employers LOVE to help out their employees, especially larger companies that have money to give. Check with Human Resources to see what they may offer if you work for a larger company. If you work for a smaller company, or volunteer somewhere, (like a hospital) don’t be afraid to ask them too! Companies are always looking for ways to give back to their employees or their volunteers, and usually are very excited when it involves a college education!
Scholarship Search Sites
[This is a two part tip.]
There are a lot of sites out there that claim they are great scholarship search databases, but not all of them are good. One of my favorites (and I am not paid by them to say this) is Fastweb.com. They provide targeted scholarships based on criteria that you enter into your profile when you sign up. One thing to keep in mind is they do send a lot of junk mail, but you can unsubscribe from some of the emails that aren’t relevant, and eventually you can unsubscribe from all of them.
My other favorite scholarship search site is Chegg. I like this one because it is not that well-known but it is user friendly, and a great resource. You might know Chegg as the place to rent, buy, or sell textbooks online, but they have expanded and additionally help students to find scholarships. They have over 25,000 scholarships listed in their database and it is worth signing up.
Keep in mind these aren’t the only ways to look for scholarships, but they are some of my favorites. One last tip is to head to the Federal Student Aid website. Not only do they host the FAFSA, but they also have a free scholarship search tool. If you use any of these tips I would love to know your opinions! Leave me a comment below or head to my Facebook page.