How to Search for College Scholarships
The most successful scholarship seekers use many resources. Libraries and bookstores keep many books on scholarship searching. Because they become quickly outdated, it’s not necessary to purchase scholarship database books. Below are some ideas on where and how you can search.
SCHOLARSHIP SEARCH ENGINES AND THE INTERNET
You may be tempted to go to a scholarship search site, create a profile, kick back and wait for the money to roll in, but if you do only this, your chance of success is not high. However, using scholarship search engines is a great start.
Scholarship search engines require you to fill out a profile, listing your interests and experience, which then is matched with a variety of potential scholarships. Since you can fill out more than one profile on these sites, fill out several, emphasizing different strengths, such as volunteer work, academic achievement, awards, and even obstacles you have overcome. This is a great way to see what’s available based on your different experiences.
Sometimes these scholarship sites won’t always match your profile with scholarships ideal for you. Try searching the Internet as well by typing “scholarship listings” into a search engine. Your results should turn up scholarship listings that are not profile-based, which may help you find more scholarships that fit your experiences.
When using these sites, remember you’ll be competing nationally. To increase your odds, use a variety of strategies in your search.
COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES
Colleges and universities generally offer scholarships that are major specific. These scholarships are likely less competitive; inquire at the financial aid office and with your department to learn more about these scholarships.
High school guidance counselors often have scholarship listings.
Some employers offer scholarships for children of employees and people in their community. Don’t miss out on these opportunities, competition for these scholarships can be relatively low.
Community organizations may be your best bet for finding scholarships. Joining the 4-H club or another organization can not only teach you valuable skills but also can open the door to scholarships. Check to see if the organizations your parents or grandparents belong to offer scholarships.
For more information and ideas on finding scholarships, please contact our staff.