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Scholarships are as close as you can get to free money. The funds you receive from a scholarship can be applied directly to your tuition and other college expenses. Scholarship awards do not have to be reimbursed, which means you can pay for the school without having to pay for so much student debt.
But even if you have already sold the value of the scholarships, it can be really hard to find them. Here are some of the best resources to find scholarships that match your talents and interests so that you can get a foothold in funding your education.
What the best scholarship sites offer
The best scholarship search engines will list a wide range of scholarships, including specialist prizes, raffles and major national prizes. Most sites also allow you to create a profile where you can save scholarship applications for later or receive notifications when a scholarship corresponding to your skill set is posted.
Scholarship sites should also allow you to filter awards by specific categories and characteristics, such as location, grade point average (GPA) or nationality. Limiting scholarships is vital to your success because you are more likely to win awards related to your unique talents and interests.
9 Scholarship Search Engines to Help You Find Prizes
We looked at popular scholarship sites and compared them based on factors such as the ability to filter and sort entries, the storage of information in your profile, the ease of use of the sites, and additional tools such as auto-matching. Here are some of the best scholarship sites you can use to find the awards you are entitled to:
Scholarships.com Divides scholarships by variety of unique categories, such as GPA, military affiliation, nationality, artistic ability, ACT or SAT score, and state of residence. And when you select one of these categories, you will probably see a large list of subcategories, where you can then see all the eligible scholarships. This system helps students find specialized prizes with smaller groups of nominees who are more likely to win.
Fastweb collects awards from both large and small lists. You need to create a profile to look for scholarships that is similar to other sites. But after the initial registration process, you can easily search for scholarships and filter your results based on multiple data points. Fastweb will also notify you when a new scholarship is posted that matches your description and when you have upcoming deadlines.
3. Board of Directors of the College
You’re probably familiar with it Board of the College if you have taken the SAT, AP or other college entrance exams. But the College Board can help you after you are admitted to a school — looking for scholarships to help you find rewards that will help you pay for college.
After creating an account, you can filter rewards by your interests, field of study, club relationships, or specific situations, such as if your parents divorced. The College Board will automatically assign you the eligible scholarships based on the information in your profile. There is also an autocomplete feature, which allows you to reuse information from other scholarship applications, saving you time and helping you apply for more prizes.
4. Going Merry
Applying for scholarships can be repetitive. here’s why Going Merry allows students to enter information once and apply for multiple scholarships at once. If you’re in a difficult time, look for rewards in Going Merry before checking out other important sites.
The site also prides itself on including local awards, which are less competitive and may be easier to win than major national scholarships.
5. Owl Scholarship
Owl Scholarship is a popular scholarship site that collects prizes and organizes them by amount, types of requirements, number of winners and time until the closing date of the application.
ScholarshipOwl will automatically resubmit your application for recurring scholarships that require nothing more than your basic information. This gives you more time to focus on rewards that require essays and letters of recommendation.
While many scholarship sites are difficult to navigate, Bold.org has one of the cleanest interfaces. It is easy to search and find different scholarships for which you can qualify and you can filter by education level, award category, award amount and deadline. You can even switch to the “no-essay” button to find scholarships that do not require a written report.
Cappex claims to be the largest online scholarship database, so it could pay to check the site for potential customers. Like other sites, you need to create an account to see all the scholarships you can qualify for. Their filter system allows you to sort awards by school year, scholarship amount, gender, nationality and award deadline. You can also look for scholarships for renewables, which offer college funding for many years.
When you fill out a profile on scholastic, their algorithm will examine the available scholarships and create a list of eligible prizes. Each scholarship will have a Scholly score, which ranks how good it is for your background and experience. The higher the Scholly score, the stronger you are in meeting the scholarship requirements.
The US Department of Labor has its own scholarship site via the CareerOneStop portal. There are more than 8,000 scholarships on the list, and you can filter the awards by keyword or sort them by amount, deadline, state of residence and state of study.
Scholarships are available for students who are enrolled in a vocational school or working for an associate degree, as well as for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
College Financial Aid Website
The official financial aid website from your college may have a list of in-house scholarships and fellowships that you can apply for. It can also offer suggestions on how to find more scholarships, such as applying through a specific department or applying to local award-winning institutions.
Do not forget your local network. Look for scholarship opportunities at nearby community institutions, spin clubs, women’s clubs and more. Do a Google search for such organizations in your community and see if they have a list of scholarships on their site.
You should also search the Internet through your state Department of Education or higher education agency, which may also list local awards and grants. Remember, local awards are often easier to win than national scholarships, as the nominee group is probably smaller.
Applying for a scholarship can be a daunting task if you do not have a GPA of 4.0 or an impressive extracurricular record. But winning scholarships has more to do with your attitude than with your distinctions. If you are persistent and apply for scholarships for which you qualify, you will have a much better chance than if you call.
Take time each week to look at these resources and find scholarships for which you may be eligible. Every dollar you earn on scholarships is a dollar you will not have to borrow on student loans.
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