How to apply for college scholarships: It could save you money
Help your child find the right scholarships, know their deadlines, and submit a strong application.
The majority of American college students will graduate with some student loan debt. Help reduce your child's tuition burden by helping them find and apply for scholarships.
How do I prepare?
Understand what will help your child stand out. Good scholarship candidates are:
- Unique: Encourage your student to pursue real passions, not to focus on "padding the resume"with activities they don't enjoy.
- Driven: Help your child set goals and work toward them. Goal setting can strengthen your child's work ethic and help them think strategically. (Bonus: The lessons and achievements along the way might lead to an effective scholarship essay.)
- Proactive: Teach your child to take initiative. Applying to college and searching for scholarships early can help them take advantage of more opportunities.
When should I apply?
Help your student succeed during the scholarship application process.
- Start early. Students should start applying for scholarships after their junior year of high school.
- Stay organized. List all suitable scholarships by deadline to make sure not to rush applications or miss out completely.
Where can I find scholarship opportunities?
The following resources will help your child find suitable scholarships:
- Religious or ethnic organizations
- Local businesses
- Scholarship web sites such as UNIGO, Fastweb, Cappex and The College Board
- The U.S. Department of Labor's scholarship search tool
- Federal and state grants
Is an essay important?
Your child can make an impression with their essay by following these guidelines:
- Write about specific examples of achievement rather than generic aspirational statements, and highlight data such as grade improvements over time where possible.
- Explain why attending college would help them reach specific goals.
Another easy way to help avoid college debt is by saving early. Check out these ways to save more for college.