Financial Aid Paying for College

Small Scholarships Have BIG Yield

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There are many scholarships out there. It may just be hard to find them because they often target very specific audiences. Some scholarships are dedicated to

  • Students going to a certain school or kind of school,
  • Students who will study a specific subject,
  • Students who are looking for a particular career,
  • Students who have a certain ethnicity, or
  • Students who have a specific area of interests

Just as often the group or organization giving away scholarship monies is small and doesn’t offer huge amounts of scholarship aid. The average scholarship is $1200.

Such a small scholarship doesn’t go a long way toward paying for a college education today, especially when college costs range from $12,000 to $60,000. But, that doesn’t mean scholarship monies of any size are not valuable. What students should be doing is applying for many scholarships and piecing together their scholarships to add up to a significant contribution. Consider getting 15 scholarships of $1200; that equals $18,000.

Here are some things to think about when applying for scholarships, with an S.

  • Start early. Some scholarship deadlines are as early as November 1, and sometimes students as young as 14 can begin to collect scholarships ahead of time.
  • National level scholarships may offer more money, but there are going to be more applicants so your chances of getting that scholarship go down.
  • You should be using matching sites online to pair you with the scholarships that coincide with your goals, interests, and talents. Fastweb.com and Schoolsoup.com are a couple to start with. You should also take a look at the list of scholarships organized by monthly deadlines at CollegeBasics.

 

Look into scholarships everywhere.

  • Your parents can be a source. Often their workplaces offer their employees’ children college scholarships.
  • Look to your religious community.
  • Inquire at local organizations like the YMCA, the Elks Club, and the Rotary,
  • Tap your high school counselor. Many scholarship organizations alert high schools of what they have available.
  • Don’t forget to look right in your backyard.

Finally…

  • Do not back away from scholarship applications that are long to fill out or require an essay. The more work, the fewer will apply, making your chances of getting that scholarship better.
  • Never pay a fee for getting a scholarship or a scholarship lead. Applying for a scholarship should never cost you more than elbow grease and the cost of a stamp.

Little things add up to big things. Small scholarships are very valuable. You just have to have several of them.