Finding and Applying for Scholarships

Finding and Applying for Scholarships | CashCourse: Your Real-Life Money Guide

Be creative in your search for grants and scholarships. Scholarships offer free money for school that doesn’t need to be repaid, so applying for scholarships before taking out student loans will help minimize your student debt.

Find out if your parent's employer or labor union offers scholarships. Check into aid offered by hometown businesses, churches, or organizations such as Rotary or Kiwanis. Many colleges provide scholarships, so check with the financial aid office and your academic department at your school.

Some popular online information sources are:

Some tips to keep in mind when applying for scholarships:

  • Know what’s required. A number of scholarship programs require completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to measure your financial need for funds. Some colleges and universities may require you to fill out the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE  in addition to the FAFSA. Read the scholarship application requirements carefully, and check each college or university’s website to see what forms you may need to submit to be considered for scholarships.
  • Meet deadlines. Most scholarship decisions are made early. Be thorough in completing and compiling the required paperwork and supporting documents. Return them before the due date.
  • Apply to multiple scholarships. You can receive more than one scholarship, so don't limit yourself. And don't ignore small dollar amount scholarships—they add up.
  • Write the essay. Scholarship programs that require essays tend to have fewer applicants, so go the distance. Be sure to have someone critique and proofread your work before submitting it.
  • Know the terms before you commit. This might include keeping a certain grade point average or promising to work in a specific field after graduation.
  • Talk to your financial aid office. Winning one or more scholarships could affect your total financial aid package.

A broad scholarship search can increase your chances of getting extra money for school, so start researching, stay organized, and apply early.

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by CashCourse or the National Endowment for Financial Education. These courses and related resources may be used only for nonprofit, noncommercial educational purposes. CashCourse makes every effort to keep the information in these courses current, but, over time, new developments as well as legislative and regulatory changes may date this material. If you discover inaccurate information, please contact us.]

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