Finding scholarships as you apply to colleges is well worth the time and effort.
There are several sources of information about scholarships, and services which provide leads for students. Scholarships are provided by several organizations, so it is important to look around, and try to be awarded as many as possible. Businesses, schools, churches, and community organizations offer scholarships for students quite frequently.
The first place you want to start is with the financial aid office of the school(s) you wish to attend. They will have some great resources for you. Since they work every day with agencies and organizations that offer these programs, they can become a great advocate for you as you apply.
As with so much else in the college application process, your high school guidance counselor can be a great resource here, as well. One advantage of asking your counselor is that because they live in your community, they will likely know several local businesses and community organizations that offer scholarships to students in your area.
Make sure to check organizations at the national, state and local levels. Chances are, you will be more likely to get a local award, but national ones might be larger.
Be careful as you look for scholarship opportunities, however, as make unscrupulous people prey on students. There are many scams out there, so do your research on any organization that is offering scholarships. Do not give out personal information without being absolutely sure that it is secure.
The Department of Labor maintains a website where students can search for scholarships. This allows a student to search for financing for undergraduate and graduate schools, and even provides special search capabilities for community colleges. You can enter your state, as well as information about your personal life and upbringing.
Scholarships are even available for online learning. Just because you are not attending a physical school, don’t let that stop you from applying for scholarships. If your online school is accredited, you may have nearly the same scholarship opportunities as students attending the brick-and-mortar campus.
The businesses for which your parents work may be another source of financing for your career.
If you want to teach, you may look into the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant. This program provides students with up to $4,000 a year, in exchange for teaching in challenged areas for a term of four years. In the event you do not reach your teaching requirement, the scholarship converts into an unsubsidized loan.
If you come from a low-income family, make sure to check into the TRIO Program. This provides students who may not be able to afford higher education with a way to finance their college career. If you are the first person in your immediate family to attend university, there could be additional financing available.
Remember – scholarships will provide money for you which never needs to be repaid. This is free money – don’t pass it up.
Bobby Touran is the founder and CEO of ApplyKit. ApplyKit helps students manage their entire college application process and also provides key resources to help them excel every step of the way. Visit http://www.applykit.com for a free account today!
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