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    6 Better Ways to Search for Scholarships

    Posted May 16, 2024, 12:23 pm
    scholarship search

    For college-bound students, scholarships can fill in the gap between what you can afford and the cost of the school. Most students believe scholarships are a pipe dream if they aren’t athletes or 4.0 students. But nothing could be further from the truth. There are thousands of scholarships available for the taking. You just need to find them.

    There are six key places to look. But remember: Finding them is half the battle. You have to put in the effort to apply and be vigilant in paying attention to requirements and deadlines.

    1. Search Locally

    Beat the scholarship odds by applying locally. Local scholarships have fewer applicants and often don’t even get disbursed because they have no applicants. Ask at the library for a list of local companies that provide scholarships. Watch the news or local papers for scholarship announcements, and ask your high school counselor. Go a step further and call local organizations and ask if they award scholarships.

    Local scholarships may not be large awards, but small amounts add up. If you like beating the odds, local scholarships just might make you a winner.

    2. Take advantage of social media and blogs

    Companies that provide scholarships, scholarship search engines, and college experts post often about available scholarships.  X (formerly Twitter) has several scholarship threads updated regularly, like this one from Scholarship America.

    While you're brainstorming ideas on Pinterest for how to decorate your dorm room, check out this College Scholarships board.

    Use your social media skills to find scholarships. You can even start with this blog.

    3. Use the best scholarship search engines

    If you do a Google search of scholarship search engines, the results will boggle your mind. It’s obvious that you can’t search or register on every one of them. But you can register on the best ones and receive email notifications.

    4. Ask friends and family

    Ask family and friends if they have heard of any scholarships. Turn them into private detectives, asking them to keep an eye out for any opportunities. One day, while standing at the checkout line at Kohl’s, my friend saw a scholarship flyer and picked one up for my daughter. While listening to the news, I heard of a local scholarship available at one of the automobile dealerships in the city. My daughter applied and won the $1,000 award. A family member may even work for a company that awards scholarships to relatives.

    5. Focus on specific interests

    One of the best ways to find and win a scholarship is to apply because of a specific interest or qualification. There are scholarship opportunities for relatives of veterans of all the wars from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan. There are scholarships available for students interested in studying STEM careers, entering the nursing field, or even those who create prom outfits out of duct tape. The list goes on and on.

    To find these scholarships, you can either do a Google search, go to a specific website itself, or register on one of the search engines and mark the specific criteria.

    Here’s one list of 100 Unique and Weird Scholarships Worth Applying For.

    6. Check with the individual colleges

    Most colleges offer scholarships specific to their students. Before applying, you can search school websites and find out if you are a candidate. Once you apply, be sure to research the scholarship criteria. Some are automatic when offered financial aid; others require you to apply separately.

    Searching for scholarships requires tremendous commitment and consistency. But the time you spend searching and applying can pay off by reducing your college costs. Who doesn’t like free money?

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