Can you give me some advice about searching for scholarships?

After you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ll likely be receiving financial aid offers from one or more of the colleges you listed on your form. Students can include up to 20 colleges or career technology centers on the FAFSA. Many of them will reach out and propose a financial aid offer based on the data provided on your FAFSA. Examine each aid offer carefully, paying attention to deadlines and further instructions. Your Student Aid Index (SAI), an important number colleges will be using to calculate your eligibility, will be the same at each school. The cost of attendance and the amount of aid they offer you however, will be different at every school.

Take a close look at the total cost of attendance at each college, then find the total amount of financial aid that each one is offering you. If the cost of attendance is greater than the amount of financial aid, that means you’ll need to look at other options to pay the remaining balance. Scholarships can increase the funds available to help you pay for college each semester.

So, where can you find scholarships? There are multiple sources that you can use during your search. We suggest you start with these four:

You’ll find a HUGE amount of scholarships listed at each website, so be ready to spend at least 2-3 hours each week searching for scholarships. Apply for as many as possible; chances are you won’t win every scholarship you apply for. Here are some additional tips:

  • Pay close attention to deadlines. Each application will have its own deadline, so make sure the ones that have the earliest deadlines are the first ones you apply for.
  • Read about the qualifications for each scholarship and comb through the list of items that must be submitted with individual applications. If you forget to include a required document, the application will be incomplete, and you could miss out on winning the scholarship.
  • Many (but not all) scholarship applications will require an original essay from you. Once you’ve drafted an essay, read it carefully to check for any errors in spelling or grammar. Fix any problems you find before submitting the more polished essay. Ask someone with great writing skills to proofread it and offer any suggestions.

There are many more resources available to you online. For great information and a list of vetted websites, be sure to check out the great scholarship resources at, which include Scholarship Essay Tips, a Scholarship Success Guide, a Scholarship Tracker and Scholarships 101 powerpoint. There’s also a great booklet called Are You Looking for Money? that can be found in the Publications section at