6 Quick and Easy Ways to Find More Scholarships

With a little smart thinking, you can get more scholarships to pay for college than you think! Here are six simple ways to find more awards you're eligible for.

Simply put, college is getting more expensive. According to U.S. News & World Report, tuition at a public university on average was $10,388 for the 2021–2022 academic year, compared to $38,185 for a private college. For an out-of-state student at a public university, the tuition averaged $22,698 per year. For many students, scholarships are essential to help offset the costs of education—and you can (and should!) search and apply for them throughout high school and college. Here are six simple steps to start your search and find more awards to apply to.

1. Start with small scholarships

Start by applying for scholarships with the least amount of competition. You can check your school’s counseling website for scholarships posted and recommended by your counselors. These scholarships will often only be open to students in your area, which means you have a greater chance of winning them. They may be relatively small award amounts, but everything counts when it comes to paying for college. Winning several smaller scholarships can really add up the more you try.

2. Talk to your high school counselor

Ask your counselor for past graduation commencement programs to see what local scholarships were awarded to graduates from your school. Any scholarship posted there means the scholarship committee is already familiar with your area, school, and the quality of students who attend. To take it a step further, contact the scholarship committee to express your interest. See what they look for in an ideal applicant, and ask any other questions you may have that you can’t find the answers to online.

Related: Connect With School Counselors During COVID–19

3. Check websites of other schools in your region

Small businesses or individuals who offer private scholarships tend to only contact the high schools they attended to post and advertise their awards, but these scholarships might be open to students from other schools as well. Research these and carefully check the wording to see if you’re eligible so you don’t miss out on a great opportunity! It’s important to note that some local scholarships prefer their money to stay in state and may stipulate that the recipient attends a local college, so be sure to read all the rules and requirements before you apply.

4. Research local organizations offering scholarships

Again, this is a great way to find scholarships with less competition and a higher chance of winning. Organizations like Boy Scouts, Elks Club, Rotary clubs, Toastmasters, 4-H, churches, and local nonprofits can be great resources for students. Nonprofits often offer dozens of scholarships per year but lack an advertising budget to draw in a large pool of applicants, which means less competition for you.

Related: 3 Smart and Easy Strategies to Win More Scholarships

5. Search with keywords

Searching for the keyword “scholarships” on the websites of every local radio and TV station could reveal some surprising hidden gems. Many radio stations promote local scholarships on the air, but unless you listen to their show, you may not learn about the award. You should also try searching with multiple combinations of keywords to find awards specifically for your interests, characteristics, location, and more.

6. Broaden your search

Create accounts on FastWeb, Scholarships.com, ScholarshipOwl, and—of course—CollegeXpress (assuming you haven’t already). All these websites post and share scholarships open to students of certain majors or those who meet specific criteria. Search to see what scholarships you might have the best chance of winning and apply to every award you’re eligible for—you can’t win if you don’t try!

Related: Easy No–Essay Scholarships You Need to Know About

Applications for local scholarships typically ask for an activities résumé, general information about what high school you attend, an essay, and/or a teacher recommendation. So come prepared with all these materials so you can expedite your applications as you find scholarships you’re eligible for. There’s a plethora of opportunities out there; you just have to know the tricks to finding them!

To learn more about the entire scholarship process, check out Moon Prep’s free 9-Day Crash Course: The Search for Scholarships, or read more blogs and articles in our Financial Aid section.

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About Lindsey Conger

Lindsey Conger

Lindsey Conger is a college counselor and tutor at Moon Prep.

 

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Josiah Kegg

Josiah Kegg

High School Class of 2021

I want to sincerely thank you all for this amazing website that's legitimately helped me find so many different scholarship opportunities. I've been stressing out for the longest time about paying for college since I would rather stay out of debt and have been working days trying to find any scholarship opportunity. When I found CollegeXpress, I discovered many easy scholarships that have given me hope for the future. Thank you and God bless!

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I am very excited to be this year's recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship. This scholarship will bring me ever closer to my academic and professional goals. CollegeXpress has been an exceptional resource to me, and I recommend it to all rising seniors as they begin to navigate the college application process.

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High School Class of 2022

As a high schooler, I know how hard it is to plan for college. You have to consider a lot of factors: SAT/ACT scores, college searches, scholarships, and more. CollegeXpress has been a helpful resource that solves all these problems. One can easily create a free account and search away. They help you search for scholarships and colleges, they have graduate program search, they have lists and rankings, and so much more. CX also has a lot of articles and advice to read—whether it’s financial aid, test prep, campus visits, internships/careers, or anything. Not only that, CX gives out free scholarship money to students who sign up and create a free CX account. I love CX and will continue to use it! Thank you CollegeXpress for making my college journey easier!

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