Where To Apply for College Scholarships
Life is busy already with school and college applications so why take the time to apply for scholarships and how do you go about it? As noted by Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, “Scholarships are gifts. They don’t need to be repaid. There are thousands of them, offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, and professional and social organizations.” So, perhaps setting aside some time to search for and apply to scholarships might be worth the time. Let’s take a look at how to go about finding and applying for some scholarships – there is nothing to lose and possibly some funding towards financing college to gain!
What are the Different Types of Scholarships?
There are two general categories of scholarships. One is merit-based and these scholarships are awarded based on excellence in academic achievement or on a mix of academics and extracurricular activities, certain traits, or special interests. The other type of scholarship is based on financial need, as determined by the institution. Some scholarships are a one-time only award or others repeat for multiple years. The amounts awarded vary from hundreds to possibly thousands of dollars.
How to Find College Scholarships
There are lots of ways to find college scholarships.
- Work with your school counselor. They may know of local community scholarships and have information regarding state or national scholarships.
- There are numerous databases that provide information to thousands of scholarships. Try one or more of these to determine if there are any scholarships you might apply to. Below, we’ve listed a few of the databases but there are a lot more available.
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool
- Various federal agencies provide grants and scholarships
- College Board Scholarship Search
- Check with local businesses, civic groups, or community organizations.
How to Apply for College Scholarships
Use various search engines and talk with counselors and family to determine the scholarships to apply for. Don’t worry if the amounts are small – several small awards can add up! Make sure to meet the deadlines. The application won’t be considered if it’s not submitted on time. An advisor should review an essay to provide feedback prior to submission if there is an essay. Every scholarship has its own requirements and the scholarship’s website will provide instructions. Students can apply to as many scholarships as they choose. Scholarship awards are sent either directly to the college the student will attend or to the student. Scholarships will affect student aid so make sure the school is notified of scholarship awards. The amount of the award will be subtracted from the cost of attendance. Finally, remember that the largest amount of scholarship or merit-based aid comes from the school to which you apply, and that is largely based on GPA and test scores, along with CV, so early college advising and planning does support navigating toward being a student that college may not only admit, but also offer merit.