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  • 4m.

    20 Ways To Find College Scholarships

    Limiting a scholarship search to a few sources is a major mistake. Land more free money by asking your college, local organizations, employers, and others about opportunities.
    By Diane Melville - Updated: September 10, 2015

    What You'll Learn

    • Where to look for scholarship opportunities.
    • Local organizations that may offer free money.
    • Offices on your campus (besides financial aid) that provide scholarships.
    A woman laying among open books

    College scholarships are everywhere, and they're not just for traditional students. The key is knowing where to look to find the right awards for you.

    Unfortunately, no one website, book, or company has a list of every scholarship available. With that said, students who are interested in winning scholarships must be willing to try different strategies and search in many places to find an award for which they are eligible.

    To help you do that, we put together a list of 20 strategies you can use to find college scholarships. This list is far from exhaustive, so feel free to get creative and try other scholarship search strategies not listed here.

    1. Start With A Scholarship Search Engine

    Create an account and enter your academic information with a few online scholarship search engines, such as, Cappex, and The College Board. These tools are the easiest way for most people to find scholarships, as long as you use them the right way.

    2. Check In With Your Financial Office

    Ask your college financial aid adviser for any information on institutional and private scholarships.

    3. Check The Financial Aid Websites Of Other Local Colleges And Universities

    Often, colleges will post a list of "outside scholarship" opportunities on their website that may include scholarship opportunities that your college may have overlooked.

    4. Try Searching For An Internship

    Internships and fellowships often provide scholarship awards or stipends to selected students.

    5. Ask Around At Your Current Job

    Employers often award scholarships to their employees or children of their employees.

    6. Use Google

    Search online for scholarships, and narrow your results with targeted keywords, such as "Undergraduate scholarship in [your state] .pdf," "[enter your major] scholarship 2015," and "Download here scholarship application."

    7. Don't Pass Up Missed Deadlines

    When you find a scholarship that you like, save its information (name, website, deadline, amount)—even if the deadline has passed. Many awards renew each year, so writing down a scholarship’s details will help you remember to apply for it next year.

    8. Don't Skip Future Deadlines

    Save scholarships that you will be eligible for in the future. For example, freshman students should save scholarships that are open to sophomores and juniors.

    9. Look For Surprising Matches

    Everyone is eligible for a scholarship—you just may not realize why. Use our eligibility checklist to see what you qualify for.

    10. Look For Local Opportunities

    Check with your grocery store, house of worship, city government, and other organizations to see if they offer local scholarships. Local youth fairs and public recreation events may offer scholarships to local college students too.

    11. Join A Professional Association

    Some professional organizations offer scholarships exclusively to their student members. Try joining an organization related to your future career or current major. For example, future writers could join an organization for journalists.

    12. Broaden Your Search Outside Of Your State

    Out-of-state college students can search for scholarships offered to students in their home state as well as their college state.

    13. Look For Scholarship Foundation Pages On Facebook

    Many local scholarship organizations don't set up websites for their awards, but they do have Facebook pages.

    14. Avoid Common Scholarship Search Mistakes

    If you're struggling to find a scholarship, it may be because you're falling into some common traps: Don't rule yourself out too quickly, feel discouraged, or limit your scholarship search to just a few sources.

    15. Search For Scholarships Based On General Eligibility Characteristics

    Sometimes, making your search criteria too narrow can cause you to miss scholarships. So, keep things broad too. Search for scholarships for women, scholarships for the blind, scholarships for engineering majors, etc.

    16. Go Greek!

    College sororities and fraternities often award scholarships to non-members as well as members. Check with these organizations on campus for scholarship opportunities.

    17. Participate In Extracurricular Activities

    Honor societies, sports teams, and other clubs on campus often offer scholarships.

    18. Know What Makes You Eligible

    For example, international students and undocumented students should look for scholarships that are available to non-U.S citizens.

    19. Research Your Family's Military Service

    If you, your parents/guardians, or your grandparents have participated in the United States Armed Forces (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard), search for scholarships for military students.

    20. Check Out All Salt Has To Offer!

    In addition to the resources above, take a look at our upcoming college scholarship deadlines blog posts, as well as our scholarship search engine.

    Por Diane Melville - Actualizado: 10 septiembre 2015
    A woman laying among open books
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