With a little diligence and insight, you can ease paying college tuition by searching and applying for scholarships and grants—money that typically doesn’t have to be paid back. Start with these five tips on searching for scholarships, even before you submit your college applications.
Reach out to your school counselor
Your school counselors are in place to help you. They likely have resources on hand or access to services to help you in your scholarship search. If you’ve never talked your school counselor, now is the time to introduce yourself.
Research your colleges of choice
Whether you’re looking in or out of state, there are likely a few schools that have piqued your interest. If so, visit those schools’ websites or call the financial aid office for scholarship and grant information, including qualifications, deadline dates, and how to apply.
Just remember, applying for scholarships and admission are not the same thing, nor are they part of the same process. In many cases, they don’t even share the same deadlines. Be mindful of those deadlines and keep a running list to stay on top of it all.
Use your social network
You may be surprised at the different organizations around you that offer scholarships. For example, do you belong to a church group? Are you part of a national club? Are there options through your parents’ employer? Are they members of national clubs or civic groups? These types of organizations may be able to offer you scholarship money.
Find out more about these types of organizations within your community and if you qualify. As extra incentive, local scholarship opportunities are often less competitive, which means you may stand a better chance at receiving their financial aid.
Make the internet your scholarship searching friend. Plus, the internet is a great source for additional searches, such as registering for Tuition Funding Sources and other helpful scholarship search sites.
Scholarship opportunities are taking new shape online – including on social media sites like raise.me where students design a profile under a college(s) of their preference. It allows students to raise and track micro-scholarship money which accumulates per completed goal for various academic goals or volunteer activities.
When it comes to scholarship searches, you should never have to pay to investigate more information. So, if you run into any source that offers “free” seminars that then push you to pay for more details—don’t do it.
If you’re still looking for additional tips and ideas on finding scholarships and grants, there are plenty more to be found.