How do I find scholarships?
Start with the Washboard.org. This is a scholarship search engine that is designed for Washington state high school students. Register and set up a profile as early as possible. They will suggest scholarships based on your personal criteria. It’s not too soon to register – grades 9-12!
Check with the college or university that you plan to attend. (Their website has links for financial aid.) This is the simplest way to earn scholarships, grants and loans. This is also where the most money is. Talk to the college’s admission counselors about what scholarships and grants they offer. Many scholarships are granted to you as a product of your GPA & SAT scores. There are many others, however, that are available if you take the initiative to seek them out and apply yourself. These would include music or athletic scholarships, leadership, honors, community service, field of study, etc.
Complete a FAFSA application during your senior year. Whether you are applying for federal aid or not, your college of choice will use your report from FAFSA to determine your aid package. Go online to start the process before January 1, so that you can finish your application as close to the beginning of the year as possible. Money is available on a first-come-first-served basis, in most cases.
Ask your guidance counselor about scholarships. The high school gets plenty of scholarship opportunities. Mrs. Rosin works to keep information outposts updated (Ed-line/HS website/parent email). Make sure you are communicating with your parents about possible opportunities. Stop by the counseling office for new information on a regular basis.
Check membership organizations and employers. Companies offer scholarships annually, ie. Boeing, Coca Cola, McDonald’s, etc. Have your parents check the Human Resource Department at work about possible scholarships and/or tuition programs. Be sure to check with your own employer (if you’re working) or volunteer services you participate in to see if they offer scholarships. (Did you know there are opportunities for golf caddies?!)
Word of Warning: You should never pay a fee in order to locate or apply for scholarships!
- bigfuture by CollegeBoard
- CollegeBoard’s financial aid webpage
- College and scholarship search engine, admissions assistance
- Excellent scholarship search engine
- Scholarships, financial aid, college info
- SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid, includes cost calculators
- Scholarship and college matchmaker
- The Scholarship Workshop
- Scholarship search engine
- Washington Financial Aid Association
- Sallie Mae
- Student Loan Guide
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Do your scholarship and financial aid homework while you are being recruited or are settling on a college! You will find the most financial assistance through the colleges to which you’re applying. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ASK for their best financial offerings.
Suggested Reading: Confessions of a Scholarship Winner, Kristina Ellis, Worthy Publishing