Applying for scholarships for your soon-to-be college aged student can be a daunting task. One problem is where to find potential scholarships to apply for. Here are some ideas to help you look for applicable scholarships for which your high school student can apply.
Scholarships are available on local, state and national levels. Typically, local scholarships have less competition and may be easier to get, but don’t neglect state and national scholarships just because they have stiffer qualifications. Your child may be the one to meet the scholarship criteria better than anyone else who applies. It’s worth the effort to take the chance.
Let your child’s guidance counselor know that your child is interested in applying for applicable scholarships and ask him or her to inform you of any that come available. Counselors are often the first persons notified of local and state level scholarships, and can pass the information along to your student as it comes to them.
Search Google or one of the other search engines. Begin looking for scholarships for students interested in a specific topic. For instance, if your son wants to study engineering, search for “engineering scholarships.” If your daughter is Hispanic, search for “Hispanic student scholarships.” Be specific in your search to get the best results.
Register free with Fast Web, a scholarship matching service. Based on the student’s academic interest, GPA, and SAT scores, Fast Web will send an alert of nationwide scholarships that your student should apply for. Don’t narrow your topics too tightly when using Fast Web. It’s better to receive too much information about too many scholarships and weed out the ones that don’t fit your situation than to eliminate too many possibilities because of overly defined search parameters.
Network with others who are also looking for scholarships. You may come across a potential scholarship that you know your child won’t qualify for but that will fit a friend’s child perfectly. Tell your friend about it, and ask her to do the same if she comes across something that would work for your child.
Get your student involved in the scholarship search. Encourage her to share any and all information she receives about scholarships, not just stick it in her locker or backpack and forget it. Have her watch the magazines she reads and pass on any information about scholarships she might find. Ask grandparents and other family members to do the same thing. Making the scholarship search a family affair will bring better results.
Look for scholarships everywhere, even in unlikely locations. For instance, when researching summer community service projects required for scholarship eligibility, you may come across a summer intern program that offers a scholarship your child could apply for. You might miss this opportunity completely if you’re not alert to all possibilities.
Never eliminate potential scholarships without reading the guidelines and qualifications thoroughly. Finding college funding requires diligence and hard work, but it pays big rewards to your student on graduation day.