EARNING | Apr 13, 2023

Finding Your Scholarships

Getting a college degree can increase your lifetime earnings substantially, but it would be even better if someone else pays for it.

That means scholarships, of course. Every year, public and private institutions dole out about $8 billion in scholarships. If you’re not getting any of it, this article will show you ways that you can.

College is expensive. The College Board reports.) that in 2023, in-state students at a public four-year school will spend close to $11,000 on tuition and fees. That’s for just one year, and doesn’t include room and board. Students at a private, four-year college will spend almost $40,000 on tuition and fees alone.

With those expenses, it’s not surprising that the average student owes close to $30,000 when leaving school, but you don’t have to be the average student.

Many organizations are willing to help you pay for college through scholarships, if you meet their qualifications. Of course, it takes a lot of work, but look at it this way, you can either put in the time and effort now applying for scholarships, or you can borrow and work very hard later to pay back the money.

If you would rather do the hard work now, here are several onlline sources for scholarship money.

Fastweb hosts more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling nearly $3.5 billion. To get started, you’ll create a profile. A search feature helps match you to scholarships that meet your individual needs. It also keeps track of where you’ve applied— a handy feature.

The College Board is best known for testing materials, such as theSATs and other exams, but they also want to help you pay for college once you get there. On their site you can apply for scholarships and internships*.* They have leads to about 2,200 programs offering nearly $6 billion in college aid every year.

Niche is another great site for scholarships. Like the name implies, they help you find not only money, but also colleges that cater to your specific major and interests.

Scholarships.com has a huge database with more than 3.5 million scholarship and grant opportunities totaling almost $20 billion. You can browse by category or set up a profile to help you find scholarships specific to your interests.

Cappex is another great source. They have leads on $11 billion in scholarship opportunities. Their site also has a tool to help you calculate the odds of getting into a school of your choice before you even apply.

Chegg is best known as an online textbook store, but they can also point you to about 25,000 different scholarships. And they have a “top picks of the week” feature to help improve your odds of landing one.

Many of these scholarship opportunities are merit-based, meaning the higher your grades, the better your chances of landing that kind of scholarship.

Unigo, on the other hand, is gear toward students who are more athletically inclined, It lets you search for athletic scholarships as well as a wide variety of funding opportunities offered by specific schools and companies.

Peterson’s is best known as a clearinghouse for information about colleges and universities, but they also host about $10 billion in scholarship opportunities.

CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U.S. Labor Department and allows you to search more than 8,000 scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

One final idea, check with the financial aid office at schools where you apply. Sometimes they have scholarship money available, too.

You probably won’t use all of these sources, but you should definitely try a few that you find the easiest to navigate, or that best match your needs. If you get discouraged at any point, just remember Proverbs 22: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

That’s a great incentive to find those scholarships and borrow as little as possible!

You can also listen to the related podcast on this topic.

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