Consult the financial aid office: The
largest amount of financial aid comes from
federal, state, and institutional grants.
Your financial aid office can help you find
information on available scholarships,
grants, and loans according to your needs
Contact your academic department: If you
have already decided on a major, your
academic department may be aware of awards
designated for students in your area of
study. The student aid office does not
always have information on these highly
specific programs, so be sure to check both.
Use a free scholarship search engine: Ask
the student aid office to recommend free
scholarship search sites other students have
found useful. Online searches let you focus
on scholarships that fit your personal
characteristics, helping you target your
search to only those scholarships for which
you are most likely to qualify.
Never assume: Don't believe that because you
don't have straight A's and can't shoot a 4
pointer, there's nothing available to you.
There are scholarships available based on
hobbies, interests, background, financial
need, etc. Seek out local and national
organizations and associations in your areas
of interest to see whether any scholarship
Stack up the small scholarships: Studies
show that families often overlook
scholarships that are less than $1000. You
may be thinking that these awards won't even
make a dent in your college costs, but
adding up multiple small awards can prove to
be a benefit in your scholarship quest.
Apply early: The best time to apply is NOW!
Waiting too long will result in missed
deadlines. Don't wait to be accepted to a
college to research and apply for private
scholarships. If you don't receive a
scholarship the first time around, don't get
discouraged. Most scholarships are not
limited to freshmen; you may have better
luck the following year..
Even without scholarships, families can
still find ways to afford college. Contact
your school's financial aid office to find
out what federal, state, and institutional
aid you might qualify for.
Finding money for college is a lot like
taking classes: The way to succeed is to do
Always remember that you can qualify for