It’s that time of year when high-school seniors are touring colleges all over the nation, in search of which school they will end up at next year. This time of year is so stressful for many, and the idea of finding college scholarships can only add to that stress. Finding scholarships for college should not be taking up all of your time!
I have rounded up all of my best tips and resources for finding scholarships. I spent a lot of time my own senior year looking for scholarships, and got pretty good at it in the process! So learn from my success (and mistakes!) and let’s find you those precious scholarships!
Want to read more of my posts about college? Check out:
- 5 Apps College Students Shouldn’t Live Without
- 32 Self-Care Ideas to Practice in College
- 5 Easy Ways to Save Money in College
- 20 Study Tips for College Students
Resources to Find College Scholarships
Check with Your Guidance Counselor
The first place you should look for scholarship opportunities is with your own high school guidance counselor. My guidance counselor in high school gave me a HUGE packet of scholarships that I could possibly apply to. The great thing about this resource is that most of these scholarships are local, meaning that they come from organizations and corporations in your high school’s town. Having knowledge of these scholarships put you at an advantage against some of your peers who may not think to ask their guidance counselor about local scholarships.
Unigo is a great online resource for finding scholarships. The website exists as a hub for scholarships, and you can log on to browse all of the opportunities and find some that may fit you. The possibilities are really endless on Unigo. You can even create a profile on Unigo to use that will match you to the best scholarships based on your profile.
Another thing I like about Unigo is that you can browse the scholarships by category (see picture above.) Unigo has scholarships that you can search for by your current state, major, and more. Don’t miss out!
Tip: New scholarships are released pretty much every day. Don’t check online for scholarships once and think that is enough! I would recommend checking once a week for any new opportunities.
Another great way to find out about scholarships as a high school senior is to meet with someone from the financial aid office when you are on a college campus visit. The financial aid office at colleges expects these meetings to happen and should be more than happy to meet with you, a prospective student, about the real cost of attending their school/university.
Email the school you are visiting ahead of time and inquire about the possibility of setting up an appointment during your visit of the school with the financial aid office. Once you solidify a time, make sure to come up with some questions that you would like to get answered when you visit. Does the school offer any specialized scholarships? What advice do they have for getting scholarships to attend their school? Be respectful + they should be happy to help!
Check with your parent’s employer to see if they offer scholarships for high school seniors! This is often overlooked and it’s a shame because it really is right under your nose. If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t know how to find about scholarships, ask your parents if they would be willing to get you in contact with someone at their work or ask a supervisor themselves.
Tips for Applying to Scholarships
Give it Your All
Scholarships are tricky because, a lot of the time, it’s out of your hands whether or not you will get the scholarship in the end. To help your odds, make sure that you are giving your scholarship applications 100%. Whether it’s just a questionnaire or a long-form essay, make sure that you are trying to convey the best version of yourself. Don’t blow off any application or think you will “never be selected”…you just never know!
Make a Shortlist
Finding college scholarships to apply to can be overwhelming, but once you do find a handful of scholarships to apply to, make a shortlist. Keep a list of the scholarship name, due date, and requirements so that you don’t miss any part of what’s required. Doing this will help you feel less overwhelmed with keeping all the information straight. It’s a life-saver!
Apply to Many
When I was a high school senior, I probably applied to 10-15 different scholarships. These scholarships were a mix of local and national scholarships, but that didn’t matter to me. Apply to as many scholarships you can, to help boost your chances of being selected for at least one. Don’t be lazy with your college scholarship applications…you will kick yourself for not putting more effort in when you see all of your classmates getting scholarship money!
What are your best tips for finding college scholarships?
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