Supplementing your college funds through scholarships is an excellent strategy for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that scholarship money, unlike student loans, doesn’t have to be paid back.
Most universities offer several scholarships to their students, and these internal scholarships range from academic to merit-based to athletic scholarships. Yet these scholarships are only a portion of the total funding available. Each year, billions of dollars in external scholarships are available to prospective students who are willing to research and apply.
If you’re searching for external scholarships, use these five foundational sites to help you find scholarships, begin applications, and much more.
1. Scholarship Search Insider
Created by U.S. News & World Report, Scholarship Search Insider features all kinds of advice on how prospective students can find scholarships. Recent blog articles include “Where First-Gen Students Can Find Scholarship Help,” and “Check Out Four Scholarships Worth $10,000 or More.” Read up on the categories of scholarships and bookmark the applications for which you qualify. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for upcoming deadlines!
Fastweb.com is a leading online resource to help students search for funds for college. Their site features scholarships based on the individual strengths, interests, and skills of each student. Start by creating an online profile to gain access to a database of more than 1.5 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion in funding. This account will let you return to these saved scholarships and find more that suit you!
Fastweb also offers wisdom on financial aid, tips on preparing for college, and general career advice.
3. BigFuture College Scholarships Search
CollegeBoard helps more than 7 million students prepare for a transition to college through a variety of programs and services, including scholarship services found through BigFuture.
Complete your profile to begin being matched to thousands of scholarships from more than 2,200 programs. BigFuture’s database gives you access to almost $6 billion in external scholarships, so it is very likely for you to find at least a few scholarships for which you’re eligible to apply.
Scholarships.com provides another detailed database with information on over 4,000 universities and colleges, tuition, financial aid, and a detailed College Scholarships Directory. Users can search for scholarships in a wide range of specialties, including academic major, GPA, music, athletics and more. Whether you’re a high school student, current college student, non-traditional student or an adult learner, Scholarships.com is a great resource.
5. The Latest Google Search
Regularly search for “external scholarships” or “private scholarships for college” online to be on the lookout for new scholarship sites. In addition, look into online resources such as Federal Student Aid. This site lists detailed information on kinds of scholarships that are available, how to find scholarships, when and how to apply for scholarships, and how you’ll receive scholarship money.