Scholarships (money for college that does not have to be repaid) are a form of aid that helps students pay for their education. The best way to search for scholarships is to use a personalized search that compares your background with a database of awards. Only those awards that fit your profile are identified as matches.
Click the image below for tips from the U.S. Department of Education.
Ask around the neighborhood. There are probably some great local scholarships waiting to be discovered. Many civic clubs, businesses, churches and organizations are potential sources for scholarships. Ask your manager if your employer has a scholarship fund and how you can apply.
Be careful; don't fall prey to fraud. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions students to look for these telltale lines:
- "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
- "You can't get this information anywhere else."
- "I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship."
- "You're a "finalist" in a contest you never entered."
For free information or to file a complaint with the FTC, call 1-877-382-4357. The TTY number is 1-866-653-4261. Or visit www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams.
Take a look at the requirements for each scholarship; you must also remember to check the application deadlines (these occur at different times during the calendar year).
Scholarships are hard to gain, and you should not apply if you are not willing to put in the necessary work. You must be willing and able to finish what you start. If you would not be willing to write an essay, take a test, or complete a project or interview to secure a scholarship, you should not apply in the first place.
Some free scholarships and grant resources include: