Many college students wonder where to find college scholarships. To the beginning student, scholarship searching can be a daunting task. However, this does not need to be. Like many activities, scholarship searching is not that difficult… when you understand where to look. In this article, I will examine five timeless methods that will help you in your search for scholarships.
#1 Your School
Whether you are already in college or still in high school, this method applies to you – though in different ways.
In high school, you can investigate scholarships through your school’s financial aid office. Many high schools buy detailed scholarship databases to make available to their students. In addition, scholarship sponsors often send out updates and announcements to the nearby high schools. If you want to have more access to the scholarship resources, volunteer at your school’s financial aid office.
If you are currently attending college, you have even more options available to you. In addition to the scholarship databases that your school probably has, many schools offer scholarships themselves. Depending on the college you attend, you can receive scholarships for need, merit, or sports – all directly from your school.
#2 Your Community
Many businesses offer scholarships to local students. These geographically-restricted scholarships are excellent opportunities. Because they are restricted to a smaller number of potential students, local scholarships often have fewer entries than the large, well-know scholarships that you can find in your school’s database. To locate local scholarships browse your city’s newspaper and ask your local businesses.
#3 Your Job
Many companies offer educational grants to their employees. For instance, if your target degree would make you more useful to your employer, your employer may offer to pay for your education.
In addition, many companies offer free educational classes. While these classes may not provide college credit directly, you can use them in conjunction with portfolio assessment, credit-by-examination, or some other alternative credit method to indirectly move you closer to your degree.
#4 Your Family
One often overlooked source of information about scholarships is your family. Although your relative are most likely not offering scholarships themselves, they many have heard about an opportunity that fits your abilities. Using email, you can easily contact your extended relatives and explain what types of scholarships you are hoping to find. You never know what you might find.
#5 Your Government
Another important source for scholarships and grants is Uncle Sam. Although I personally do not plan to accept any money from my government for political reasons, this is a viable source of financial aid. Check your federal government, state government, and even local government for scholarship and grant opportunities. In my case, I could potentially receive financial aid from the federal government and from the State of Oregon. My local government, however, does not appear to have financial aid opportunities… at least not online.
When you combine these alternative financial aid source with the more well-known places, such as scholarship search engines, you will have plenty of opportunities to choose from.
What is your favorite way to find scholarships?