College Scholarship Searches

by Thomas
(Freedom, PA)



Organization…Organization…Organization! (and more time to golf) - I don’t have the best organizational skills and I wish someone had given me these tips before my family and I embarked on college scholarship searches; it would have saved us a lot of time and anxiety. Don’t let the word anxiety scare you. You won’t have any, or at least won’t have as much as I initially did if you follow some of these organizational tips.

Keep all your college information in one file folder on your computer desktop. In each file, include sub-files for your children’s essays, applications, and any other written documents you produce or acquire pertaining to college scholarship searches. This will save you time and energy and help you to avoid frustration and the anxiety that I spoke about earlier. When your children write a really good essay, sometimes you will find that with a few minor modifications, that it can actually be submitted to multiple essay contests. This will allow you to find the essays again for other potential submissions.

Also, if you apply to many scholarship contests, and you win, you will want to be able to find your copy of the essay and remember what contest it was submitted for. When my son entered one essay contest (before I got organized) I was embarrassed having to ask a ton of questions like, “Which essay contest did you say this was for?” and “Can you remind me what his essay was about?” While you are entitled to enter as many essay contests that are out there and available, you hate to have it appear that you’ve entered so many that you are confused about which one you actually won!

Save all your college website links in one file folder in your internet ‘Favorites’ and then include sub-files here also. In your internet ‘Favorites’ create a college folder. Under the college folder include subfolders for scholarship entries, colleges your children want to visit, websites for financial aid, and college scholarship search engines. Save the websites for ALL scholarship contests you have entered or plan to enter. There is nothing more frustrating than having your children write an essay and then not being able to find the site again for submission. Yes, I do have written essays that have never been submitted because I couldn’t locate the original website again.

When you are saving sites to your ‘Favorites’, type your logon name and password information after the title. As long as you are on your own personal computer and not a ‘shared’ computer, right after the website name in your ‘Favorites’ type your logon name and password. Different websites (especially the college search engine sites) have different logon and password requirements you won’t be able to use the same logon name and password for all of them. After a short while, it will be difficult to remember or keep them all straight. By doing it this way, when you click on a site that is saved to your ‘Favorites’, your logon name and password will be displayed right next to the link on your screen. You don’t have to rely on your memory or search in another document for your logon name or password information to access each site.

Submit scholarship essays in chronological order according to their submission dates. Most college scholarship search engines
list scholarships according to the submission deadlines. If you begin hopscotching around, you will find that you’ve submitted entries for deadlines far in the future but lost the opportunity to submit entries that may be due in days or weeks to come.

If you continue to enter scholarship contests , as my family has, you will find that it gets easier and easier as you go and strong organization is key. Not will your children be earning their own tuition; you'll have more time for 'Dad Activities' like golf!

Read more College Financial Aid Advice from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Thomas for sharing your tips on staying organized for college scholarship searches. Best of luck to you and your family.

Finding Scholarships

(by Kyle, Tallahassee)

Hunting Down the Elusive Scholarship - Finding scholarships can seem like an intimidating process, but it is not as hard as it seems. There are scholarships that are offered for the most obscure reasons and there are many of them. The most difficult part is actually finding them and since they are so hard to find, the money is rarely touched.

My advice for finding these scholarships is to sit down for an hour a day and search the internet for scholarships. While an hour may not seem like very little time, an hour a day totals to seven hours per week, which is pretty substantial.

If you are the kind of person that likes to get out, scholarships are offered by many big department stores, restaurants, etc. For example, Burger King offers a scholarship program that any body can apply for. These scholarships are not usually made public, so if you find one, chances are that the money will be there for you. All you have to do is ask.

As obvious as it is, the government is an excellent place to begin your scholarship search. There are many obscure scholarships that go unclaimed as well as national scholarships that many people apply for. The PELL Grant offers some serious money that is relatively obtainable for anybody, unlike a sweepstakes like some scholarships are.

The national scholarships are harder to get and require more work, but they have a significantly larger payout. I have seen some scholarships offering up to $100,000 to a single student.

The key to finding scholarships is searching for them. Scholarship searching online and in stores are the best places to score the easy money. Scholarships are never free, you have to remember your time to search for them. However, if you search hard enough, your payday will more than compensate for your time and help to prepare you for your future.

Read more tips about college scholarship searches from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Kyle for sharing some excellent advice about finding scholarships. Good luck to you in college and your scholarship searches. Check out some of our college scholarship links below.

College Scholarship Searches

Scholarships for High School Students

Scholarships for College Students

Scholarship Money for College

Scholarship Contests

Merit Based Scholarships

Easy Scholarships

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