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How to Effectively Find Scholarships

Last updated March 13, 2023

How to Effectively Find Scholarships

There are millions - yes, millions - of dollars in scholarships available out there for students right now! The key, however, is knowing where and how exactly to find high-quality ones that match your interests, experiences, and goals. Here are some tips to effectively find and apply for scholarships to get that extra đź’° for college!

Think about your interests, background, and goals

Because there are so many scholarships out there, it’s likely that many will align with your interests, background, and goals. Taking a moment to reflect on these things before starting your search can help you narrow down which ones you will and won't apply to. What do you want to study in college? What causes do you believe in? What are your academic and career goals? No matter your answers, there’s a scholarship out there for you! 

Use trustworthy websites and databases

While there are many trustworthy websites and databases out there, some may unfortunately sell student data or attempt to scam students. To make your search easier and safer, we made a list of the best scholarship websites for finding money, a list of legit websites categorized into those that don’t sell data, those that do, and those that might if you don’t specifically request that they don’t. We recommend starting your search on one of these websites!

A general rule is that legit scholarships will: 

1. Never ask you to pay to apply. If you're ever asked to pay, we recommend leaving the site immediately. 

2. Usually never ask you extremely personal or sensitive information, such as citizenship/DACA status, sexual orientation, etc. If you're asked for this information, or if you're uncomfortable sharing it, we recommend not applying. If you're unsure, review the application with a trusted adult or educator to ensure it's credible. 

3. Always list previous winners. If you can't find previous winners listed anywhere on the website, we recommend not applying. Legit scholarships are usually transparent about who they've awarded in the past.

Stay on top of deadlines and application requirements

If you’ve found multiple scholarships you’re interested in applying for, you might be wondering how to stay organized with different application requirements, essays, and due dates. We can help with that! Our free scholarship application requirements tracker, both on Google Docs and Sheets, can help you stay organized during your search. 

Look locally

Don’t sleep on local scholarships! There may be some community foundations or religious institutions in your area that give money for college to students. To find them, research on your city or county’s website to find these organizations, or check in with your school counselor or an educator. While local scholarships might offer less money than bigger name ones, they're still valuable! Whether it’s $500 or $20,000, any free money you can get for college helps! 

Use Get Schooled’s free resources

Our scholarship lists

We're here to help you find money for college! Check out our hand-picked lists - they’re categorized by interest, dollar amount, and even state - to connect you to even more opportunities to fund your education. We thoroughly vet the scholarships we include on these lists, and update them regularly to ensure that you’re receiving the best information possible.

Essay review

Need someone to review your application essay? Submit it to us for free review - we’ll have it back to you within a week with personalized, actionable feedback.

Remember: applying for scholarships is a marathon!

There are usually fewer awards than the amount of qualified applicants per each scholarship, so rejection is unfortunately a part of the process. Don’t be discouraged! Because there are so many out there, you can find great ones that you have a solid chance of receiving! The more you apply to, the higher your chances are of receiving money for college.

Any questions? Text #Scholarships to 33-55-77 to speak with one of our virtual college advisors.

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