1) Identify possible scholarships from trustworthy sources: File the FAFSA and any other required financial aid forms for need-based scholarships.
2) Pay close attention to DEADLINE DATES on the applications. If letters of recommendation are required, ask the writer at least two weeks in advance of the deadline so that they have time to write a thoughtful recommendation. Any scholarship applications requiring a transcript, should be requested in Naviance (Home → Transcript → Request Transcript for Scholarship Application) at least TEN SCHOOL DAYS IN ADVANCE of the deadline date.
3) Complete the application.
If you have to pay money for scholarship applications or advice or it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam. Stay with the trusted resources listed above. Article more on Scholarship Scams.
Financial Aid Comparison Worksheet
Use this worksheet to generate a side-by-side comparison of the college financial aid offers you have received.
Guide to financial aid
|Best Websites to Find a College Scholarship|
Fastweb.com – Find more than 1.5 million in scholarships that provide more than $3.4 billion. Once you create a profile, the site’s search feature will help you find the most accurate matches that fit your needs. Your personal profile is how the site helps you find pretty much exactly what you’re looking for. You can then also see all the scholarships you applied for, or may want to apply to in the future. They also have ‘contests’ that you can enter monthly or weekly to win money.
|Niche.com – Formerly known as College Prowler, Niche is a great tool that can help you find colleges AND money. It’s organized into categories that make it pretty easy to find what you’re looking for — allowing users to search by interest, career, major and other areas.||Scholarships.com – Scholarships.com hosts one of the largest scholarship databases out there and it’s updated on a daily basis. According to the site, “With more than 2.7 million scholarship and grant opportunities worth more than $19 billion, just about everyone is bound to find something.” It’s easy to browse by category, but the best way to take advantage of what the site has to offer is to make a personal profile, which will allow you to find the most exhaustive lists of opportunities available to you.|
|The U.S. Labor Department’s Free Search Tool – According to the official Student Aid website, this free tool is a great resource for students to search more than 7,500 scholarships, grants and other various types of financial aid award opportunities.||Peterson’s – Peterson’s hosts $10 billion in scholarship opportunities and also provides information to help you in your search. Once you fill out a short survey, you can filter your search results so they’re tailored to your specific needs. The site also allows users to search by a variety of different topics, college types and personal details — in order to give you the best results for you.||Unigo – Unigo hosts millions of available scholarships and makes it easy to search by type, including: athletic scholarships, college-specific scholarships, company-based scholarships, minority scholarships, major-specific scholarships, state-specific scholarships and more. You can search by category or create a personal profile to get more specific results that match your needs. Unigo also offers scholarship contests and sweepstakes.|
|Chegg – Chegg is widely known for its online textbook store that allows students to either rent or buy textbooks for cheap. But Chegg is also a great resource for finding scholarships — more than $1 billion worth of them. To search for available scholarships, go to ‘colleges’ at the top of the homepage and then click ‘scholarships’ in the drop-down menu. Once you create a personal profile, you can search for available opportunities that match your criteria. Chegg also has a ‘top scholarship picks this week’ category that highlights some options you may have missed.||Scholarship Monkey – Scholarship Monkey allows you to search for scholarships a few different ways. You can search by keyword, browse scholarship lists (various categories/topics) and also see lists of the latest and featured scholarships. The site also allows you to create a personal profile for more accurate results.||Moolahspot – Moolahspot isn’t as robust as some of the other scholarship databases, but in the search for a college scholarship, it’s another option to help you find extra money.|
|Cappex – Cappex hosts a database of more than $11 billion in scholarship opportunities. Once you create a personal profile, you can search for opportunities that directly match your strengths and skills. Plus, Cappex has a tool that will calculate your odds of getting into a certain college before you even apply.||CollegeNET – When you go to the site’s homepage, go to the top right corner to search college scholarships. From there you can either search by specific keywords or create a personal profile in order to get the most accurate matches that fit your needs. Once you make a profile, you create and save lists of opportunities you’re interested in.||Collegeboard – While the College Board is known for its college planning tools, it also has an arm that focuses on scholarships. Big Future hosts scholarships, as well as other financial aid and internship information from more than 2,200 programs — totaling nearly $6 billion. In order to get the most accurate search results, it’s critical to fill out as many details as you can in the profile that’s used for searching.|
|Collegescholarships.org - Scholarship search engine.||Raise.Me - RaiseMe partners with colleges and universities to offer students scholarships starting in the 9th grade.|