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The Search for Scholarships 

Friday, October 5, 2007

So I'm sure you are fully aware that college isn't cheap... in fact, college is one of the biggest expenses you are likely to encounter during your entire life. If you are like most college students, you are trying to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses and student loan burden. This is where scholarships can come into play. Scholarships are your source of "free money"... that is, money you don't have to pay back.

So your next question is probably "Where can I find scholarships?" Unfortunately, most scholarships won't just fall into your lap, but that doesn't mean there isn't scholarship money out there for you.

Scholarship Search Stop #1: Colleges

The first place to search for scholarships is by checking with the college you are attending (or hope to attend). Often times, the admissions application itself serves as the scholarship application. In some cases, schools have a separate scholarship application you may need to fill out. You also want to check with the various departments because they may have their own major-specific scholarships as well. If you're lucky, your school could even have scholarships you automatically win based on your SAT, ACT, or GPA. Some schools use scholarships like this to attract top-notch students who might otherwise go elsewhere.

Scholarship Search Stop #2: Local Organizations

Okay, so now you are off and running with your scholarship search. Where to next? Check for scholarships that are focused on your geographic area. Stop in at your counselor's office and see if there is a list of scholarships for students at your school. If you have a community foundation in your area, they often have scholarship programs for local students. Other community organizations that often fund scholarships include Lion's Clubs and Kiwanis Clubs.

Scholarship Search Stop #3: Member Organizations

Now you've really gotten the ball rolling and are looking for the next stop on your scholarship search... it's membership organizations. Often times, clubs, unions, or other membership organizations offer scholarships to both their members and children of their members. If your parents are part of a professional organization like the Society for Manufacturing Engineers or an AFL-CIO union, ask them to inquire about scholarships. Do you work for a large corporation like McDonald's? Did you know they offer scholarships? Your parents' employers may offer tuition assistance programs as well.

Scholarship Search Stop #4: Internet and Scholarship Search Engines

Finally, you shouldn't forget to use the internet and scholarship search engines like College Toolkit to help you track down scholarship opportunities. Scholarship search engines typically require about 5 minutes of up-front effort completing a scholarship profile to help you find a personalized list of scholarships.

So there it is. You now have a roadmap for your scholarship search. Good luck! I hope you track down lots of free money!

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Anonymous Woodward   March 22, 2017 at 1:53 PM

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