Photo (cc) by 401(K) 2013
Searching for scholarships and grants (free money!) for college is a lot easier today than it was in 1997, when I was trying to find scholarships to pay for my schooling.
As a senior in high school, I spent many hours in my guidance counselor’s office, leafing through three-ring binders filled with photocopied scholarship applications, trying to locate one (or more) that I was qualified for and had a chance of receiving. It was a frustrating and time-consuming endeavor.
The Internet changed everything, streamlining the search process and making it easier than ever to find scholarships and grant opportunities to help students cover the costs of higher education.
“Rather than searching for each type of scholarship for which you feel qualified, specialized websites allow you to just answer a few questions and find hundreds of potential sources for free college money,” writes Kevin Ladd, COO and vice president of Scholarships.com, on U.S. News & World Report. “Not only that, but you can save, organize and update your profile and search results, tracking which ones you plan to apply for, those you don’t, those you have applied for, etc.”
According to the USA Today College Contributor network, these are four of the best sites to search for scholarships:
- Scholarships.com: As one of the largest scholarship databases, with frequent updates, Scholarships.com offers a little something for everyone. “You can browse by category, but if you really want to navigate the extensive list of opportunities, you’ll need to make a profile,” says USA Today.
- Fastweb: Although you do have to fill out a profile to get going on Fastweb, the site plays host to a whopping 1.5 million scholarships, totaling more than $3.4 billion. “[I]t’s all so well organized,” USA Today raves. “The search platform’s filters make it hard not to find exactly what you’re looking for.”
- Niche: USA Today describes Niche as “one of the easiest sites to navigate.” It allows users to browse different scholarship categories – like sports and career choices – and it doesn’t require you to sign up to take advantage of its vast scholarship resources.
- Peterson’s: A one-stop scholarship resource, Peterson’s has more than $10 billion in scholarships, with search filters designed to make navigating its multitude of scholarships easy.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to improve your chances of getting a scholarship for school, check out “Yes, You Can Afford College: 4 Tips for Getting Scholarships.”
If you don’t want to graduate from college shouldering burdensome student loans, find tips here: “Go to College Without Borrowing a Dime.”
Do you have any tips on finding scholarships for college? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.