How to Effectively Find Scholarships
Last updated December 13, 2022
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 💰 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 what scholarships 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 scholarship websites and databases
While there are many trustworthy scholarship websites and databases out there, some may unfortunately sell student data or attempt to scam students. To make your scholarship search easier and safer, we made a list of the best scholarship websites for finding money, a list of legit scholarship 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 scholarship search on one of these websites to find legitimate scholarships!
A general rule is that legit scholarships/scholarship websites will:
1. Never ask you to pay to apply for a scholarship. If you're ever asked to pay, leave the site immediately.
2. Usually never ask you extremely personal, sensitive information, such as citizenship/DACA status, sexual orientation, etc. If a scholarship is asking you for this information, or if you're uncomfortable sharing it, we recommend not applying for it. If you're unsure, review the application with a trusted adult or educator to ensure that the scholarship is credible.
3. Always list previous winners of the scholarship. If you can't find previous winners, we recommend not applying for the scholarship.
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 scholarship search.
Don’t sleep on local scholarships! There may be some community foundations, organizations, or religious institutions in your area that give scholarships to students. To find these scholarships, 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 scholarships, 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 scholarship resources
Our scholarship lists
We're here to help you find money for college! Check out our hand-picked scholarship 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 scholarship information possible.
Need someone to review your scholarship application essay? Submit it to us for free review - we’ll have your essay back to you within a week with personalized, actionable feedback.
Remember: applying for scholarships is a marathon!
Most scholarships offer fewer awards than the amount of qualified applicants they get, so rejection is unfortunately a part of the process. Don’t be discouraged! Because there are so many scholarships out there, you can find great ones that you have a solid chance of receiving! Applying to scholarships is a marathon, so the more you apply to, the higher your chances are of receiving money for college.
We’re here to help you with all things scholarships! Text #Scholarships to 33-55-77 to speak with one of our virtual college advisors about all things scholarships, college applications, and more.