Scholarships can be found in a variety of places. You just have to take the time to look. Use these methods to find scholarship opportunities to help with your higher education expenses.
Perform online scholarship searches. Online scholarship searches, such as the one provided on eCampusTours, are research tools that can help you find leads on potential scholarships for which you may want to apply. Because there are numerous scholarship searches available online, you have to make sure to use the ones that are legit and reliable. When utilizing online scholarship searches, make sure the service is free, the scholarship information provided is up-do-date, and the company providing the service does not sell, lease, or rent your information to third parties.
Obtain a scholarship reference book. Printed scholarship directories can be very helpful in your scholarship search. Visit your local library or bookstore and pick up the latest edition of a scholarship reference book. Be sure to choose a book that gives detailed descriptions of the requirements, award amounts, etc.
Utilize an Internet search engine. You may be pretty amazed by the amount of scholarships you can find just by using a search engine like Google or GoodSearch. The key is to search for very specific scholarship criteria. Don't just type in "scholarships." Think about your hobbies, extracurricular activities, physical characteristics, etc. and implement those into your search. For example, if one of your hobbies is skateboarding, try searching "scholarships for skateboarders." Or if you suffer from allergies, search "scholarships for people with allergies." You get the picture. Just think outside the box because you never know what you may find.
Ask your high school counselor. If you are still in high school, drop by the counseling office and inquire about scholarships. Your counselor should have a lot of information about local scholarships because scholarship sponsors often send out updates and announcements to nearby high schools. You should speak with your counselor early in the school year so he/she will be able to keep a look-out on any scholarships in which you may qualify. Be sure to give your counselor information about your extracurricular activities/talents and your family's financial background.
Make inquiries at your college. If you are in college or know which college you would like to attend, be sure to find out what kind of scholarships are offered through the school. You should speak with someone in your academic department to find out if scholarships specific to your major are available. You should also contact the school's financial aid office. A financial aid advisor will be able to help you learn whether you are eligible for any need-based scholarships or grants awarded directly from the school. College websites can also be very helpful. Look for scholarship information on the admissions and financial aid sections of the websites.
Research organizations and clubs in which you have been involved. What kind of organizations have you been involved with at school? National Honor Society? Future Business Leaders of America? Key Club? A sorority or fraternity? These types of organizations often offer educational scholarships to their members. Think about all of the extracurricular activities in which you are involved and then research the websites of those organizations.
Check with your employer. Do you have a part-time job? Many companies offer scholarship opportunities to their employees. For instance, companies such as McDonald's, Walmart, and Cracker Barrel all offer scholarship opportunities for employees. Speak with someone in your HR department to see if scholarships are offered through your place of employment.
Tap into your parents' network. You may be able to find scholarships through your parents' network. Many companies and organizations often award scholarships to the children of their employees or members. Be sure to check with your parents' place of employment as well as with any organizations or clubs to which your parents belong.
Check with local and national businesses. Many small businesses like to give back to their community via scholarship opportunities for students. Check with your city's Chamber of Commerce for a list of local businesses and then visit their websites or place a phone call to see if these companies offer any scholarships. Large companies, like Coca-Cola and Best Buy, also offer scholarship awards so be sure to include national businesses during your search.
Contact community service organizations and civic groups. Service organizations and civic groups often hold fundraisers in their communities in order to offer scholarships to local students. Make some calls to your local Kiwanis club, Lions club, Jaycees, church, synagogue, mosque, etc. to inquire about available scholarships. Most community groups sponsor scholarships that are open to all students who live in the area so you usually don't have to be a member of the organization to apply.
As you can see, there is a multitude of ways to find scholarship opportunities. You just have to put forth a little effort. Before you begin your scholarship search, be sure to read Steps For Getting a Scholarship and Watch Out For Scholarship Scams. Also, don't forget to register for the $1,000 Scholarship Giveaway from eCampusTours.