How to Find Scholarship Sources

As you get ready to make the leap into the next major step in your life, or even if you are just moving into the next year of school, it is always important to consider the cost of your college. While it is important to go to school to further yourself in your career, sometimes you may find that you are getting far more indebted than you really want to be. This is because the cost of college can put you near $100,000 in debt by the time that you graduate.

Obviously nobody wants to start out their life with a considerable amount of debt.  Unfortunately, with the amount of money required to pay for school often times this feels like the only way to ensure a good job and a secure future.  What most people don’t realize is that there are numerous ways to pay for school outside of just using student loans.  By putting a little bit of effort into searching for means of paying for college a student may find a variety of scholarships that are available which could drastically reduce the amount of money needed to pay for school. 

Part I: What it takes to get a scholarship

Often times getting a scholarship is much easier than most people think.  With so many thousands of scholarships available there are many that don’t get nearly as many applicants as they would like to have.  In fact, some scholarship money goes completely unused year after year because there is more money available than eligible applicants.  Many of these scholarships are available to different races, religions, or even to just the general student.  Most of these scholarships are also available to anyone regardless of their grades or test scores.  This means that even those that think they have no chance at a scholarship have a great opportunity as long as they can present themselves better than the other applicants. 

A major part of going to college is your ability to write essays, research papers, and journals. If you are able to write these for homework in order to get a better grade in the class, then you should have no issues writing them if it could potentially save you thousands of dollars on your overall out of pocket cost of college.  Since writing essays is already part of college anyway, you might as well start college out right by writing an essay in order to win a scholarship.  With enough effort there’s a pretty good chance that once of those essays could win enough money to pay off a good chunk of college debt before it is even accumulated.  The best part is that there is a scholarship with an essay to meet most every interest group. 

There are scholarships for Asians, those with dwarfism, family members that came from slave ancestry, and even for people that have worked for a particular place of employment.  There are literally thousands upon thousands of different scholarships available and each one has slightly different requirements.  Some of them require video entries while others require an essay on a topic of their choosing.  Strangely most of these essay topics are as simple as writing about what you want to do when you grow up.  This is the same essay that each and every one of us has written numerous times since we were children. 

With just a simple essay and an application anyone that is interested in applying for a scholarship could do so with only the slightest bit of effort.  In fact so many different scholarships require similar essays that students could literally take that same essay and send it out over and over again in hopes that one of the scholarships would take it.  If you write multiple essays you open the door to numerous other scholarships.  By writing only a handful of essays a person could literally apply to hundreds of different scholarships.  Sure this would require the student to fill out the application but when there is so much money on the line that never has to be paid back this shouldn’t even need a second thought. 

PART II: Finding the Scholarships

It is hard to apply to a scholarship if you don’t know where to look.  With numerous sources available for scholarship hunting they can be found pretty quickly and in great abundance to those willing to do a little searching. The best method to do this is to talk to your school about any that they offer first, and then look on the internet for the massive listings of available scholarships. Some of the best sites for these scholarships are as follows:

http://www.fastweb.com
http://www.scholarships.com
http://www.nextstudent.com
http://www.campusdoor.com

Through these sites you are able to access virtually every known scholarship from the most popular ones to the ones that very few people even know about. This gives you a huge chance to try for as much money as possible. This could ultimately result in you paying off all of your college by scholarship alone if you take your time and write high quality essays and ensure that you are writing quality applications for these scholarships.

PART III: Final Thoughts

While it isn’t guaranteed that you will win any of the scholarships, your chances are definitely better the more that you apply for. So, if you really want the money, check out the sites or your school and apply for as many possible.  It is important to remember that you aren’t going to get any scholarships if you don’t apply to any.  This is free money that may not be guaranteed to you it is possible for you to win the right to receive it.  The harder you are willing to try, the greater the likelihood that you’ll pay for a good chunk of college simply through a few essays. 

When it comes time to start paying off your student loans, all of those scholarships are going to feel so good and every minute will have been worth the effort.  Even if no scholarship is obtained those essays can always be retained for application for the scholarships in the following year.  Keep on trying even if you don’t get it the first time.  There’s always a chance that it could be received on subsequent attempts.