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How Do I Get Scholarships for College?

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I am currently not receiving any financial aid for my college tuition. Are there specific websites that I can go on to apply for scholarships? I have a great GPA and am studying marketing. #scholarships #july20

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John’s Answer

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Taylor there are a lot of different scholarships out there. From scholarships for veterans to scholarships for military spouses, to scholarships on a variety of topics, some you might never have thought about before. Don’t be afraid to apply for as many scholarships as you can. There are many to choose from and the more you apply for, the better the chance you will earn money for school. If you only apply for a couple and don’t get them, you will wish you had done more. Thinking outside the box can also be a good idea. There are many different scholarships out there, on all different types of topics. Go beyond the usual ones and see what you can find.

APPLY FOR EVERYTHING – If you meet the basic eligibility requirements, go for it…Even if it’s for a small amount, say $500, and you spend three hours completing the application, you were just paid $166/hr for your efforts. Would you rather have a one in a thousand odds or one in a hundred? The fact that there are fewer students applying for these financial opportunities puts you in the unique position to try for scholarship that might not entirely match your interests or experience.

START EARLY – Make sure you stay super organized when it comes to due dates. Have a calendar just for this. Write down all the due dates and make sure you stay on track. You don’t want to miss out on a scholarship because you missed the date. Don’t wait until right before you start college to think about applying for scholarships. Look ahead and start applying early. You wouldn’t want to run out of time or not be able to apply for any scholarships for your first year of college because you waited too long to start. Don’t wait until the day before the scholarship application due date to get started. There could be parts of the application you need time to get together. You might need to write a long essay or get a letter of recommendation. This is why staying organized is a most important. You don’t want to miss dates or forget about when things need to be turned in. Waiting for the last minute also doesn’t give you any room if you make a mistake and need to redo an application.

WATCH FOR SCAMS – Just because these scholarships are quirky doesn’t mean some of them might be too good to be true, and it’s important to keep your eye out for red flags. If they request any money to start the application it's probably fraudulent. Beware of telephone numbers with a 900 area code. A dishonest operation might put pressure on you by saying that awards are on a first-come, first served basis. Fraudulent operations may also claim endorsements by groups with names similar to well-known private or government organizations. For instance, the Better Business Bureau and government agencies do not endorse businesses.

STAY IN CONTACT WITH YOUR SCHOOL – It’s important to stay in touch with your school’s financial aid office, outside scholarships can affect this funding. Your school cannot refuse outside resources, however, they have to account any scholarships you receive as part of your total financial aid package. So, if a you bring in several outside scholarships, and their aid exceeds their cost of attendance, you might see a reduction in non-need-based aid.

I hope this was Helpful Taylor

John recommends the following next steps:

  • Big Future • https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search# • Roughly $6 billion is available in awards through this website. The Big Future website (created by College Board) not only has an excellent scholarship search engine, but it also links you with other kinds of awards. For example, your search might also include potential internships, loans, federal financial aid, or research grants. You can also note that you’d like to be considered for scholarships based on academic achievement, financial need, or both.
  • Scholarships.com • https://www.scholarships.com/main.aspx • Requires you to fill out a profile. They will also provide information about other types of aid (e.g., grants, loans, etc.). This site is kind of nice because it allows you to sort which scholarships you’re interested in applying for. Because you have a username, you can log in and out to complete applications at your own pace.
  • Fastweb • https://www.fastweb.com • Is unique in that it takes your strengths, skills, and interests into account as part of your profile. Not just your grades and test scores, but what you hope to someday accomplish. Fastweb also provides resources on scholarship scams. While we’re all scrambling to find money to cover the rising cost of tuition, remember to be cautious. If something seems too good to be true, it just might be.
  • SallieMae • https://www.salliemae.com/college-planning/college-scholarships • The Sallie Mae scholarship search is home to over 5 million college scholarships and worth up to $24 billion! They also have a $1,000 monthly drawing. Nothing beats effortless, free money. Again, you start by registering and filling out a profile. Then, when new scholarships are added that match your needs, you get an email.
  • Unigo • https://www.unigo.com • Unigo even offers their own annual $10,000 scholarship. In 2018, the prompt for this scholarship was: “Imagine a historical figure is brought back to life. Who is it? What’s their favorite mobile app?” Other features from Unigo include a college match tool, over 650,000 college reviews (write your own!), and a directory for all kinds of scholarships, including those for minorities, athletes, area of study, and state of residence.
Thank You for your continued support Dexter. If you don’t take the time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? John Frick Translate
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Gloria’s Answer

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Hi Taylor,
There are a variety of ways to identify scholarship opportunities. I would recommend looking for resources at a variety of levels:

Federal: https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/scholarships?utm_campaign=meetedgar&utm_medium=social&utm_source=meetedgar.com

Sometimes the state you live in has a resource. Also consider checking into scholarships around your schoolwork (like National Honor Society), organizations (like Girl Scouts or YMCA), around your race or religion, or other categories. Your parents can also help through their employer, depending upon the employer. A lot of this information is available online. Make sure to check with reliable sites. Your high school and the college where you want to go can also be resources for where you can apply for scholarships.

Good luck on your search for scholarships.
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Hannah’s Answer

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The key is just go big. But at the same time go small :)
Go big by using the main websites that our other friends listed in their answers. I used fastweb mainly. I only got two scholarships from there since they were mainly national ones. So fill out your profile and check it often so you dont miss deadlines.

Then go small. Talk to your highschool guidance councilor about local scholarships and work with them to get them turned in. Normally local organizations love helping out students. I got some from our little town and even though they were small they added up.

Then talk to your college advisor or if you dont have one contact the financial aid office at the college. There are normally institutional scholarships in each department. or you could get a small part time job in your department which always helps.

If you are religious check your denomination. I get a scholarship every year from my denomination for people in medicine who are going to pursue a career overseas.

Are you athletic? I was homeschooled but I wanted to pay my own way to college so I ended up earning a cross country scholarship.

The other advice is just because you are in college dont stop applying. I get new scholarships every year and I am on my eighth year!!(haha med school probs) most people only apply the first year so mark your calendar and every year check in with your university and department.

Hannah recommends the following next steps:

  • Go big: fastweb. check weekly
  • Go small: contact high school and local org
  • Religious org. scholarships?
  • Part time student job on campus
  • reapply every year!!!!!!
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