One of the most common reasons students miss out on scholarship awards is because they haven’t expanded their search beyond their school counselor’s office and online search engines. But before there was the internet, students had to find scholarships somehow, right? Expanding your search for scholarships can be done easily, and doing so could open the doors to hundreds more scholarship opportunities and thousands of additional scholarship dollars. Here’s who you should ask to help you widen your search.
Use your team
We all have various people on our “team,” people in our life who can be extremely helpful in finding scholarships. Reach out to relatives and friends through social media and let them know the different types of scholarships you’re seeking. For example, your post might say, “Hi! I could really use your help. I’m looking for scholarships related to engineering, soccer, community service, and poetry. If you find or have heard of any, can you let me know?” You may be surprised how helpful this can be. Your relatives and friends may discover and send you scholarship opportunities that are a perfect fit for you. Keep your team in the loop with your scholarship progress throughout your college career—scholarships are available every year of your high school and college education. Your team can provide moral support as well as additional scholarship tips that could potentially lead to additional funds for you.
Connect with the trailblazers
You’re not the first person to seek out scholarships, nor will you be the last. Save your time by leaning on those who’ve completed the research in the past with success. Ask yourself, “Who has already researched scholarships that may be a good fit for me?” Connecting with alumni from your high school or college is an incredible way to save time on the scholarship search. Connect with your counselor’s office to learn who the top scholarship award winners have been in the past several years and ask to be put in touch with them. Or connect with the alumni and financial aid departments at your college and ask who the top winning scholarship recipients have been and how you can reach them.
Partner with a friend
You only have so much time available to search for scholarships. Along your search, you’ll absolutely come across scholarships that aren’t a good fit for you. However, they could be a good fit for someone else you know. Exchange information with a friend about the types of scholarships you’re both looking for. Whenever you find a scholarship for your friend, text it to them. You’ll be helping them out, and it’ll remind them to keep their eyes out for options for you too. By partnering with a friend (or several) as you search for scholarships, you’ll find more potential opportunities and keep each another motivated in the process.
Recognizing that you don’t have to travel the scholarship road on your own can help you find more awards and stay engaged and focused during your search. I want every student out there to spend more time applying for scholarships rather than just searching for them, but that requires being smart in the ways you search for them. The money is out there, and it’s just waiting for you to find it.
Looking for more scholarship opportunities? Use the CollegeXpress Scholarship Search tool to find more awards!