Searching For Scholarships

Fighting college expenses may be an impossible task for those unable to obtain the scholarship or grant money needed to pay for college. CNN Money gives some advice in this area, making the scholarship search a little easier.

Search Scholarship Websites

Sites like Cappex, Fastweb, Zinch, and are great places to start. Some of your bigger scholarship programs, such as the Coca-Cola Scholars Program, can be found and applied for on these sites. Note though that there are well over 100,000 applicants applying for these, many of which only offer about a hundred or so awards, so your chances are relatively small.

Look for Local Scholarships

Your chances of winning scholarship money are much greater if you apply for scholarships in your area. Since there’s less people applying, you can nab $500 here and another $500 there easily. Now granted, you’re not likely to find anything over $1,000, but it helps…a little.

Be Aware of Deadlines

Scholarships do in fact have deadlines (surprise). Usually they fall around a month after the start of the Fall and Spring semester, you you may want to set aside time during the Summer and the Holidays to apply for scholarships. Also, if you do win a scholarship, be aware that your college may try to take their own cut out your award. If this does happen, you may want to contact your scholarship provider and see if they can sort it out with your college.

Some things you should look out for are scholarship sweepstakes (basically ads that pop up on scholarship searches) and any scholarships irrelevant to your search. For the ads, most sites outline them to differentiate them from the other; some do a better job at this than others, so be on a lookout for them. For the mismatches, you may want to try refining your searches, using keywords that are more specific to what you’re searching for.

This should help with your scholarship hunt a little more. But even with that, don’t expect to get the money you need to pay for college just through scholarships. Unless if you’re getting a degree in engineering or medicine, where there’s a real need, you are going to find that the pot is very small. Your next best bet would beĀ crowdfunding, where you can get backers to fund your college career and pay it back out of a percentage of your income; it’s basically a loan without interest rates. With all that being said, you may just want to stick with going to a community college and wait to save up the money needed to go to a four-year college.