A Guide to Finding Free Money for College

Scholarship Search

When thinking about ‘free money’ in terms of college, scholarships and grants often come to mind. They are a great help in relieving your college financial burden. But, it’s important to exhaust your search for free money so that you can take advantage of every financial opportunity.

Let’s dig a little deeper into how you can expand your ‘free money’ opportunities.

Start the Scholarship Search Early

Students who are not high school seniors can win prizes and scholarships well before they apply to college. Students of all ages and grades compete for various prizes and scholarships. Some potential opportunities include, doodling (Doodle for Google), playing Marbles (National Marbles Tournament), dressing up in duct tape (Stuck at the Prom Scholarship Contest) and being a champion speller. Ultimately, by storing away winnings, you can get a nice head start on paying college expenses in the years to come.

Use Your Resources

For high school seniors, early November means that Early Decision and some Early Action Applications have been filed. Additionally, the application deadline for the regular admissions cycle is quickly approaching. During this time, you should complete the FAFSA form. This enables you to ensure your eligibility for federal, state and school financial aid.

Waiting for your admissions and financial aid offerings allows you to search for third-party scholarships, grants, contests and prizes. Check out your high school counseling offices’ resources. They offer various opportunities to help with your ‘free money’ search. In addition, you may find more resources through a parent’s employer and community organizations.

Do Your Research

Many scholarship providers report the number of received student applications and allotted awards. Find scholarships that have high applicant success rates. It’s better to have a one in three chance of winning than one in five thousand.

This free Scholarship Search tool has access to more than $10 billion of available free college money and will help you identify scholarships with the highest applicant success rates. It takes less than 10 seconds to get your first list — answer three simple questions (State, GPA and Field of Study) to get started.

Financial aid professionals advise that third party scholarships may reduce the financial aid award a student receives from a college. It is worthwhile to contact the financial aid office of a college to see how they treat third-party scholarships.

Ultimately, the search for scholarship opportunities is important because it will likely reduce your student loan amounts. This can help make your top choice college affordable. So, start your scholarship search early, stay informed on important deadlines, use your resources, and do your research to maximize your free money for college!