How to Find Scholarships
The cost of university education has continued to increase with each passing year. As a result of this, parents and intending college students strive to find ways to cut down the huge expenses that come with college education. The good news is that while getting of university education is not getting any cheaper, there are several ways that can help you save costs and reduce the financial burden on your shoulders. One very good way to lighten the financial burden of college is getting a scholarship. Whether you need a little or a lot of financial help, there are tons of scholarship programs available to help cover the cost of your education. It may take extra research and hard work to find a scholarship program that suits your needs, but in a long run, it is much more preferable as opposed to acquiring huge debts before graduating.
Even though students take advantage of this platform as a way to fund their education, a lot of young people all over the world still do not know how to go about finding and applying for scholarships.
Before I begin telling you how you can find and get a scholarship, I need to establish the difference between GRANTS and SCHOLARSHIPS. This is important because they are both forms of aid that can come from the government, private organizations and even colleges.
While scholarships are awards of non-repayable financial aid for a student to further their education based on merit and other criteria, grants are non-repayable financial aids or NEED-BASED assistance given to students, business enterprises, foundation or trust. In other to receive a grant, an individual or business needs to write a proposal or application to the organization he wishes to get a grant from. This proposal is referred to as “Grant Writing”.
Types of College Scholarships
There are many types of college scholarships available. They include;
Academic Achievement Scholarships
This is the most popular type of scholarship. This type of scholarship is based on grades, students’ GPA and other academic merits. For example, the National Merit Scholarship Program grants student’s scholarship based on the PSAT scores of the students.
This is another form of scholarship program available. Sports scholarships are given to athletes based on their participation and victory in one or more sports.
First Generation Scholarships
These are specialized scholarships available for those who are first born in their families and wish to gain college education.
Some scholarships are awarded based on the background of the student. The Gates scholarship offers several awards every year to students who are seeking for a bachelor’s degree but are Pell-eligible and from a minority group which includes those who are Africans, Americans, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American. To get the Gates scholarship, the students must also be in the 10 tops percent of their high school class.
Finding the Perfect Scholarship for You
For you to be awarded the right scholarship, you need to do your research and find the one that is best for you. Everyone is familiar with and limiting themselves to searching online for scholarship programs but, have you ever considered other options. Instead of going with the conventional method of scouring the internet for scholarships, there are other options that include;
- Checking with the financial aid department in the college you are interested in for scholarship programs.
- Federal agencies.
- Grants by state agencies in your area.
- Your library reference section.
- Scholarship opportunities offered by foundations, religious or community organizations, local business, and civic groups.
- Checking with organizations and companies in line with your field for scholarship opportunities.
- Ethnicity-based organizations.
- The company your parents, guardians or any family members work with/for.
To search for scholarships online, you need to make use of as many scholarship websites as possible. A few include;
Fastweb.com: this scholarship website houses 1.5million scholarships that provide more than 3.4 billion dollars in funding. All you need to do is create a profile with them and the site’s feature will make matches that best fits your needs in relation to the profile you created. One unique feature of this website is that they also have contests that you can enter every month or a week to win money.
CollegeBoard.org: CollegeBoard offers big future hosts scholarships, including other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs with an aid of over 6billion dollars. To get accurate results with CollegeBoard, you need to fill in as many details as you can in the profile that you intend using for the search.
Niche.com: this scholarship website was formerly known as College Prowler. This website is way easier to navigate when looking for scholarship than other websites because it is organized into categories. Thus, as a user, you can search for scholarships by way of interest, intended career major and other areas. Niche also has some occasional contests to enter.
Schorlarships.com: this website houses one of the largest scholarship databases and is updated on a daily basis. Schorlarships.com has more than 3.7million scholarship and grant opportunities worth more than 19 billion dollars. Creating a personal profile is the best way to take advantage of what Schorlaship.com has to offer. Creating a profile enables you find scholarships that fits you best.
Moolahspot.com: moolahspot doesn’t have as much of a database as Scholarship.com but can still help you find scholarships. This search engine contains but is not limited to 3.2million scholarships and grant opportunities for students. The good thing about this engine is that it has no age limitation. Students of all ages can find scholarship here. It includes both need-base and merit-based opportunities making it extremely easy for anyone to find help here.
SalliMae: Although this search engine is a known education and student loan provider, it has a college planning page that has a scholarship portal where you can search based on your intended field of study, hobbies, and other parameters. You would need to create a personal profile in order to get matched with scholarships.
Scholarship Monkey: You can search for grants and scholarship opportunities here by using keywords, browse scholarship lists that contains various scholarship categories and topics and see lists of the latest scholarships available in the world.
Cappex: Cappex hosts a database of over 11 billion dollars of scholarship opportunities. This search engine has a feature that enables it to calculate your odds of getting into a certain college before you apply for it.
Chegg: Chegg is also a great search engine for finding scholarships. It hosts more than 25,000 scholarship opportunities.
As already established, the cost of college education is increasing every year and doesn’t look like it would be coming down anytime soon. Do you want to let the “lack of money” stop you from going to college? I guess the answer is no! What do you do then? You search for the right scholarship programs that fit your need the most. All you need do is to first, switch on your “research mode”. You would need to do a lot of research because the right scholarship for you may just be a web page away. Scholarships are not just going to come to your front door. You need to search for them.
Remember, determination is the key here… You find what you seek! Good luck with your search.