Resources Are Available For Researching and Applying For Scholarships

The high cost of college can feel overwhelming, but students don’t have to be alone in the search for financial aid. Scholarships, which are gifts that don’t have to be repaid, can help defray the cost of education, and they can come from a variety of sources including schools, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, communities, religious groups, professional and social groups and more. Students are encouraged to find as many scholarships as possible, and some can even cover the entire cost of attending a particular school.

Despite the massive number of Scholarships available, it can be difficult to find them all. One resource to consider is a website called Niche, which allows students to enter basic information like their name, date of birth, GPA and year in school and then searches for awards based on that criteria.

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It also helps students narrow down their search by offering a filter for gender, ZIP code and ethnicity. Another option is Cappex, which offers resources to help students decide on their major, learn about transferring to a different school and apply for financial aid as well as a scholarship search function that allows users to search based on their demographics and interests.

What Resources Are Available For Researching and Applying For Scholarships?

Students should make sure to utilize all of the resources they have available to them to find scholarships, and not just rely on a few online search engines. Talking to guidance counselors, financial aid officers and other staff at their schools is a great start, as they can often point students in the direction of local scholarships that may not show up on search engine results. Students should also reach out to coaches, outside music/art teachers and other community organizations that they participate in as they might be able to point them in the direction of scholarships for which they may be eligible.

In addition to the scholarships listed above, students should make sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which assesses financial need and can be found on the government’s website. It is recommended that students fill out this form as early as possible, as some scholarships have very specific deadlines.

It’s never too late to start searching for scholarships, and it is recommended that students research as early as their sophomore year of high school to ensure that they don’t miss out on any opportunities. Additionally, for especially focused students who might be applying for very competitive scholarships, their junior year is a good time to begin the process.

It is also important to remember that not every scholarship requires an essay — some can be applied for based on unique qualities and experiences, such as being left-handed or having an interest in politics. Students can find a wide range of these types of scholarships on sites such as Peterson’s and Unigo. They can also be found through more traditional outlets, such as community newspapers and local businesses.

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