The scholarship search is a significant undertaking; it's not something you can accomplish on a Saturday afternoon. Though applications and requirements may vary from year to year, it's never too early to begin. There are college scholarships out there tailored to academic interests, talents, extracurricular activities, career goals, geographic location, and many more factors. Here are five steps you can take to jump-start your search and yield strong results:
Go to their website or call the financial aid office. If you meet the qualifications, find out how to apply. Don't assume that by applying for admission, you're applying for scholarships. It's often a separate process. Be aware that scholarship deadlines can be different from those set for the admissions application. In fact, some schools
If you are currently a student, you likely have access to an adviser or counselor. Take advantage! He or she may know about a scholarship that's a good fit for you. If there is a dedicated office at your school for students heading to college, find out what services they offer.
Do you belong to a church group or a local chapter of some national club?
When searching online, we recommend that you be as specific as possible. Simply typing in "scholarships" will yield thousands upon thousands of hits. Use qualifiers such as the names of schools and programs of study to help narrow the field.
A word of caution: You should never pay money to investigate scholarships. Scholarship providers don't offer their awards to students who pay to find them; they offer them to all students. We’ve got a free scholarship search tool right here.
Deadlines vary by scholarship; some are the summer before your senior year, others in the fall or as late as spring. To stay organized and keep track of due dates, we recommend keeping a
A final word: You may review a hundred scholarships before you find one that applies to you. Be patient and stay the course (and keep those grades up!).
Check out our video on everything you want to know about financial aid: