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PostHeaderIcon Are You Taking Advantage Of Academic Scholarship Opportunities?

As you are probably aware, the entire process of applying and getting into college can be pretty difficult. It seems as if there is an endless amount of forms to fill out, information to read, and essays to write. On top of all of this, most college students need help funding the expenses of books, tuition, meal plans, and housing. While financial aid can help get you through college, scholarships are an even better way to do so.

Unlike loans and other forms of financial aid, when you are awarded a scholarship you are being handed money to pay for your education and you will not have to pay this money back. While it may seem obvious to take advantage of such an opportunity, many college students don’t realize that there are thousands in scholarship dollars that go unused annually, due to the fact that students are simply unaware of which scholarships are available to them. When it comes to paying off the expensive burden of college, anything can help. So let’s face it, ignorance isn’t a good excuse.

In order to take full advantage of all possible scholarships that may be available to you, you should do the following:

  • Preform scholarship searches on many different websites— Even if you have already found a good website that provides plenty of scholarship options, research a few just to make sure you are aware of all possible online scholarship listings.
  • Ask advisors and professors— Your professors and academic advisors are most likely current with any new scholarships offered. Consult them for scholarships that may not be listed online or other places. If you’re just looking at a college and haven’t actually begun, speak to an admissions counselor to find out how you can get your finances in order. Here are a few questions to guide the conversation. 
  • Keep eyes and ears open— Scholarships can be advertised about through any type of social media, newspapers, magazines, flyers, the radio, and more. Pay attention when you see or hear information pertaining to scholarships in order to ensure you are applying for every scholarship that you possibly can. Also consider learning more about scholarship lotteries. 

If you are preforming a scholarship search online, you should make sure any websites you use include the following so that your search will be successful: 

  • Credibility— Of course the first thing you want to do is make sure the website is actually legit and can provide you with valuable and helpful scholarship information. Compare any websites you use with others just to make sure they aren’t too different; it’s rare that one website would include tons of scholarships that others don’t, so if this is the case, double check and find out if the website in question is actually a credible and trusted source. Also, always default to the Department of Education.   
  • Option of narrowing down search— A website that simply includes a long list of possible scholarships would be extremely difficult to weed through and figure out which ones are available to you. Find a website that allows you to narrow your search down with criteria such as location, degree, and program. 
  • Free of charge— There are many scholarship search sites that are completely free of charge, so don’t even think about spending money on your search. 

If you are a student in search of scholarship listings, you can click the previous link to find many great scholarships for college students. This website provides you with a list of many other scholarship search engine websites as well as the option of searching for a scholarship by specific criteria.

Jim Belushi is a counselor and an educator who's passion is helping students pursue college and online education programs. Currently he is working with American Educational Guidance Center to help students attain their education goals one step at a time. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and taking long windy walks on the beach.

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