If you’re heading off to college soon, you’re probably thinking about ways to finance your education. Think about the search for scholarships like a job search. You want to ask around to everyone you know and contact local resources to see what is available in your area.
Here are six tips to find easy scholarships to help you cover your college tuition.
• Start with your school’s Guidance Office. Your guidance counselor is your best resource for available scholarships and information about ways to find appropriate scholarships. He or she has probably collected a wide variety of avenues to pursue at the national level, as well as your state and local levels. Make sure you keep in contact with your guidance counselor and check bulletin boards or other places where she might have posted information about available scholarships.
• Check with employers. Ask your employer if they fund scholarships for employees or if they know of any scholarships available. Also ask your parents to check with their employers to see if there are scholarships available for children of employees. Many companies offer college scholarships to employees and their families as a perk, and some offer scholarships for all four years of a student’s education.
• Ask your church. Your church may have a scholarship fund set up for its congregants, or may know of a local charitable organization that funds scholarships for residents. Also, some denominations have scholarships available for congregants at the national level, so be sure to ask if your wider church has any scholarship opportunities.
• Visit your local librarian. Your metropolitan library is a great source of information about everything, including easy scholarships. Your librarian can help you localize your search and offer resources to help you narrow down the list to appropriate scholarships. She can also offer tips on how to search databases and print materials to find lists of college scholarships available.
• Attend meetings of local civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Lions Club, etc. Many of these organizations sponsor scholarships for community members or know of scholarships that would be applicable to your situation. Some civic-minded organizations pull together their resources and offer one fund for scholarships available to their local high school students. Plumb the members of these civic organizations to find any scholarships they know of in the business community or other sources of scholarships.
• Google “State of [your state] scholarships for college” to find easy scholarships offered around your state. Be careful when checking out these findings, however. A good rule of thumb is to remember you should never pay for information on scholarships. If they are charging money in exchange for information, it is probably a scam.