Parent Posts

What is the best way to find scholarships?

By Suzanne Shaffer

Every student wants scholarships, but not every student gets them.

Like this? Get timely and helpful tips in your inbox each week!
High School Parent | College Parent

Knowing how and where to look can make the difference between attending college debt-free or graduating with massive student loans.

Whether your student is in high school, already attending college, or considering graduate school, scholarships are available and waiting to be found and awarded. You can’t win any if you don’t apply, and you can’t apply if you don’t know where to look.

Share these suggestions with your student to help them learn how and where to look for scholarships!

Scholarship search engines

Scholarship search engines like this will alert students to scholarship opportunities that match the student’s interests, demographics, etc. Be sure to provide accurate personal information as this determines the matches. Most search engines will email your student with matches on a regular basis. These databases list scholarships available for every age group and every educational pursuit. Check out my list of 7 great scholarship search sites.

Find College Scholarships for College Freshmen
Find College Scholarships for College Sophomores
Find College Scholarships for College Juniors
Find College Scholarships for College Seniors

Go local

Unearth local scholarships in your own community. The applicant pools for these scholarships are smaller and so your chances of winning increase. You would be surprised at the local scholarships that are often overlooked and, with no applicants, no scholarship money is disbursed. Utilize these resources as you hunt for local scholarships:

• Your guidance counselor
• Local newspapers
• Area high school websites
• Local organizations
• Your network of employers, friends and family
• Local companies
• School organizations

Local scholarships are typically not as large as national ones, but the odds of winning are greater. Besides, ten small scholarships can add up to the amount of one large one. Start the search early in high school so that when senior year comes around, you will have a list of potential local scholarship opportunities ready to go.

story-icon-bar-convo-3Beware of financial aid and scholarship scams! See tips from the Federal Aid Commission here.

Merit aid

“Merit Aid” is the general term for grants, scholarships and discounts that a college awards in the financial aid package without considering financial need. Merit aid is based on several factors: academics, athletics, special talents, where the student lives, or other demographic characteristics. Merit aid is different from need-based aid (allocated based on the student’s economic situation), and not all colleges award it.

There is more than $13 billion of merit aid available to undergraduate students. Most of that, about $11 billion, comes directly from colleges. The other $2 billion is provided by state governments. Cappex lists more than 23,000 individual merit aid scholarship programs offered by more than 1,800 colleges across the country.

You can also search on the college’s website. Colleges with merit aid may offer anywhere from a few dozen opportunities to hundreds of individual programs. Some merit awards are well known and heavily advertised while others are harder to find.

Beyond college

Once you’re in college and looking ahead to a graduate degree, continue to think scholarships. Though not as widely available as undergraduate scholarships, graduate scholarships do exist.

My advice? Leave no stone unturned. Search the internet, scour social media, talk to friends and family and ask the colleges themselves. Aid is available if you do your research and apply.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter and purchase the Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year for additional tips, insight, and to help your college student succeed. You may also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our Community Forum and College Parents’ Facebook group.

School Information

Housing, hotels,
important dates, and more.

Recent Articles
RSS What’s Trending
First Job Search Tips

Log In

or

Log In to Favorite articles and Post listings

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Find Your School

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Please enter First Name Please enter Last Name Please enter Phone
Please enter Email
Please enter Message

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

Please enter Email

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Success, your registration has been submitted

An email has been sent to you with a link to verify your registration
Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Get our newsletter

Email Submitted

Weekly Tips to Help Your Student Succeed