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Are you having a tough time searching for college scholarships?  Sometimes the hardest part is getting started.

Here are some quick tips to grab money that is available for you.  Each year, millions of dollars in scholarship money goes unclaimed.  Get your share, America! (lol)

1. Colleges look for well-rounded students.  Being a straight ‘A’ scholar and/or excelling as a stellar athlete are great feats but schools also appreciate students that are affiliated with social organizations and clubs and different extra-curricular activities like band, school news publications, tech, design or wherever your interest lies.

2. Volunteer work is also a great plus.  Find a cause that you believe in and discover ways that you can make a difference.  You will be surprised how students can make major strides for an important cause.  Plus, it makes you look great and FEEL great!

3. Start early!  Don’t miss great opportunities by waiting until the last minute!


What You Need:

FAFSA – is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Anyone who wants financial aid for college will need to fill out the FAFSA.  Logon to the official website  HERE

– Scholarship Sites

These are plenty of free scholarship search sites where students can find financial aid information and opportunities. Some scholarship search services even do the work for you, but most of those will cost you. However, free sites like www.scholarships.com and www.fastweb.com.  Find more HERE

– University Scholarships

Contact the universities and schools that you want to attend. Each school has their own unique scholarship opportunities, applications and deadlines. Most of these scholarships are not based strictly on academics. Some are for students who exhibit leadership,  involvement in the community or other high school activities (as mentioned above).

Specialty Scholarships

Many major retailers like Wal-Mart and Lowe’s offer undergraduate scholarships, and your parent’s employer may offer scholarship money to employee’s children.And there are scholarships based on race, gender, academic interest and even geographic location, so there may be a scholarship that fits your special circumstances. Millions of dollars go unclaimed because students do not realize they are uniquely eligible for certain scholarships.

Athletics and Activities Grants

Are you a gifted hockey player or trumpet player? While you may not earn the coveted full-ride to a Division I school, there may be money at your chosen school that fits your given talent: athletics, music, art or theatre.

Religious Scholarships

Many colleges and universities are affiliated with different churches. Check your church and your prospective colleges for opportunities for faith-based aid.

A Final Word

Start early. It’s not uncommon to start planning for financial aid in your junior year of high school. Don’t be intimidated or scared-off by a private school — with need and merit based aid you can actually pay less for a private school than a public one. Do not be afraid to ask questions of your parents, teachers, counselors, or principals. You can also call the college you want to attend. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.
Excerpt courtesy of About.com


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