There are tons of great scholarships out there. The trick is finding them. Here’s a little where and how to help you...
1. Assign a scholarship chief.
The scholarship chief can be your parent or a professional, such as your high school counselor. The person in this role helps gather information on scholarships and determines which might be scams. Vet suspect scholarships through your high school counselor or a college financial aid office.
2. Look for scholarships online.
Websites such as collegeweeklive.com and collegeboard.org are great sources. Be creative. Make sure you don’t just search by grade level or GPA. For instance, being a child of a veteran or someone on active military duty can score you tons of money for college. Also, if you are saving for college, look for scholarships from your state’s 529 plan. There may scholarships or a program that matches part of the money your family contributes.
3. Contact community organizations.
Often, high school counselors are overworked. If yours isn't as attentive as you'd like, you'll have to show initiative to get noticed. Formulate your questions before you meet to help guide your counselor. Another option: try the local Boys or Girls Club. These organizations are a great resource when high school counselors aren’t as available. You can also try a local professional organization related to your prospective career.
4. Visit or call high school counselors and college financial aid offices.
The importance of consulting with high school counselors cannot be overstated. Counselors know which schools are giving out scholarships and to whom they've given them to previously. They’ll help you figure out what your child needs to be a strong applicant. Financial aid offices at the schools you’re considering can tell you about their scholarship information, and they may be aware of private scholarships as well. They can also guide you on what your scholarships may be used for when you get to college.
5. Look for scholarships within your community.
Community scholarships can be anything from scholarships offered by your or your parent’s employer to scholarships from community service organizations for community service or even leadership skills. Ask human resources offices and your high school where you should apply in your local community.
For further reading, checkout 3 Tips for Getting More Last Minute Scholarship Money.