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College Computers College students receive billions of dollars in scholarship money every year.  How can you get some of this money to fund your college education?  First of all, you should start looking early, at least by your sophomore or junior year in high school.  Keep searching for new scholarships and renewing existing scholarships even after you begin college.  Many scholarships need to be renewed annually, and you may qualify for new scholarships throughout your college years.

Where can you look for scholarships?  Your first stop should be your high school counseling office, followed by your college financial aid office.  Other places to look include

  • Civic and community organizations
  • Cultural institutions
  • Your parents' place of employment
  • Your state Department of Education
  • The Internet
While some scholarships are based on financial need or academic achievement, others are based on particular interests, extracurricular achievements, ethnicity, or religious affiliation.  Identify those scholarships for which you qualify, and apply to as many of them as possible.  Even small scholarships can add up to big money if you win enough of them.  As you apply, pay attention to the scholarship requirements — meet them in as creative a way as possible, and always be on time!  Read these tips about writing great college essays and this article about writing scholarship essays.

As you search for scholarships, especially on the Internet, look out for scam artists who charge application fees, make unrealistic guarantees, and ask for unnecessary personal information, such as your bank account number.  There are plenty of free scholarship search sites on the web, so don't pay for this service.  Legitimate websites to search for scholarships include the following:

Visit the FTC's Ouch!  Students Getting Stung Trying to Find $$$ for College article for consumer tips about the college financing process.


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Searching For Scholarships - Scholarship Guide