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Debt-Free College: 5 Awesome Tips for How to Find Scholarships

Want to learn how to find scholarships? Step one: don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options at your disposal.

Sure, identifying the best scholarship for your purposes can take some time. However, keep in mind that you won’t have to pay scholarship money back. If you manage to win one, all your effort will be worth it.

Not sure where to begin? Here are 5 simple tips on how to get a scholarship.

1. Start Early

As a general rule, it’s never too early to start looking for scholarships. If you get to it while you’re still in high school, it will soon seem like second nature.

Naturally, this also gives you more time to find something that will suit you. Remember, there are a lot of options out there. For example, did you know Duct Tape and Dr. Pepper offer scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000?

2. Search Online and Offline

In most cases, your search for scholarships should begin on Google. Of course, try to be as specific as possible — typing in “scholarships” will result in thousands of hits. For example, Harding Miller provides all kinds of girls’ scholarships.

While you’re at it, keep in mind that researching scholarships shouldn’t just be an online affair. After all, many local businesses offer their own community scholarships. If not, they may want to create one so it’s a good idea to reach out to as many as possible.

3. Be Aware of Deadlines

As you may know, most scholarship applications come with hard deadlines. The best way to stay on top of these deadlines is to set reminders for them.

When should you begin applying? For high schoolers, the best time to start would be the summer going into senior year. Meanwhile, college students can find scholarships year-round by going onto their school’s website.

4. Seek Professional Help

If you’re a high school student, talk to your academic advisors and school councilors. Most of the time, they’ll have information not available elsewhere. Plus, they can recommend unique scholarships based on your talents.

Have you started applying for colleges? If so, you may want to check in with their financial aid advisors. Most schools have the relevant scholarship opportunities listed on their website.

5. Watch Out for Scams

These days, scholarship scams are a real issue. Many unscrupulous companies advertise bogus scholarships as “unclaimed aid” or “guaranteed money.” Once you pay them a small application fee, they’ll stop responding.

Some companies will try to scam you by offering to match you with other scholarship organizations. Again, they’ll ask for a small fee in return. Don’t fall for this trap — paying money to an organization to apply for free money is a no-no.

More on How to Find Scholarships

The most important tip regarding how to find scholarships is to stay patient. Most students review a hundred scholarships before finding one they like. As long as you stay the course, securing those funds won’t be an issue.

Looking for more financial advice? Need a way to deal with those annoying student loans? Here are a couple of ways you can reduce your reliance on these loans.