The process of getting accepted into a college can be a challenge in its own right. You clearly have to attain the best possible grades, which is almost impossible without studying effectively, doing your homework , participating in class, and perhaps even getting a tutor. Then you have to navigate the complicated application process while competing with thousands of other hopeful students. Once you’re accepted, it’s smooth sailing, right?
Not quite. Now you have tuition to worry about. Trying to find money for college is tough. Scholarships can certainly help provide you with money for college. In order to actually get that money, you need to look carefully. Here are several resources to utilize when searching for college scholarships.
1. Your high school
Your high school should provide assistance for finding scholarships. Talk with your guidance counselor about finding scholarships based on your studies and interests. Most high schools have college planning offices that help students find information on financial aid and get their transcripts sent among other services.
2. Online scholarship databases
It has never been easier to find college scholarships thanks to the many online databases that are available. You can visit all sorts of websites that offer a wide range of different scholarships to search through. Be advised that the competition for these scholarships might be high with people from around the world having access to them. Be sure to check out our own list of scholarships to start off your search!
3. Your college of choice
Look to see what awards colleges are willing to give to prospective students. This is perfect for when you know which school you will be attending. The awards given by colleges are for students of all sorts. Some awards might even be for specific fields of study.
4. Local organizations
Many local non-profit or social service organizations offer scholarships to local students. This includes trade unions, community service providers, credit unions, churches, and more! The options are incredibly varied. For instance, the Knights of Columbus and Lions Club are prominent organizations that have chapters around the country. Meanwhile, just about every town has a chamber of commerce that might assist you.
5. Think about your interests and see who might offer scholarships based around them
You may be able to find scholarships based on your interests and hobbies. For instance, let’s say that you’re interested in filmmaking. You might have a desire to attend some kind of film school. By searching online, you might find different scholarship options for people who want to make films.
Be advised that some scholarship requirements may be heavily based on the things that you want to do with your line of work. For instance, you might have to attend certain schools or complete certain tasks relating to your field of interest. In the case of filmmaking, you might have to submit your own short film. Check with the rules for a scholarship before applying or committing to it.
6. Businesses associated with your field
A number of different businesses offer help to students pursuing a related field of study. This is especially true when it comes to students studying business or engineering. Some businesses offer scholarships to students who they feel will positively contribute to their fields of work.
7. Non-profit organizations
Many non-profit organizations will provide students with help for college. These include organizations that assist people based on demographics, fields of study or other key attributes.
When looking for non-profits, you have to find ones that are relevant to you. Whether they entail studies for people of certain nationalities or people with specific work-related family backgrounds, you might be surprised at what you will find.
8. Local government
Many local governments, including state-level ones, provide a number of scholarships to students. These include needs and merit-based scholarships alike. These are offered to outstanding students as well as those aiming to attend school but don’t have the financial means for doing so. Check with your government to see which scholarships it offers and if you may qualify for one.
Your government might have some limits as to what it may provide you with. It may offer scholarships to those attending schools within a certain area. Some scholarships may also be available only for public schools.
9. Organizations that provide college admissions tests
The key tests you’d complete when applying for college are issued by major organizations. The SAT is issued by the College Board while the ACT is provided by the American College Testing group.
These organizations and others may provide you with help for finding scholarships. You would have to complete one of their tests first. After this, you can get information on scholarships available to you based on your testing scores. This is an ideal option, but keep in mind you are more likely to get a better selection of scholarships if you receive better exam scores.
Note: Not all schools will recognize some of the tests that these groups provide.
10. Financial institutions, particularly those that offer student loans
Normally, you might think a bank or other financial institution that offers student loans wouldn’t provide you with scholarship information. The truth is that many of these places will offer full scholarship support. The Sallie Mae company is a good example. This loan provider offers access to millions of scholarships every year. Check with local banks and other student loan providers to see if they can help you find scholarships.
Guest Blogger, Bria Pierce, is a blogger and content editor. She writes articles on personal development, writing tips, and educauon. Bria earned her Bachlor’s in Theoretical linguistics from the University of Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter (@bria_pierce7).