Who doesn’t want to find free money for college? Private scholarships can be one of your best bets when it comes to funds you don’t have to pay back-but do you know when and how to search them out?
What Do You Mean by “Early”?
Did you know that your fourth-grader could already be adding scholarship funds to his or her college savings account? Most parents don’t think of preparing for college so early-and that means they overlook years of potential scholarship winnings for their children. Your high school students should be applying, but students of all ages – even elementary school age – have opportunities to win!
There are actually many scholarships available for young students if you know where to look. Check out these great scholarships for the younger set (some even for the pre-middle school crowd):
- The RedVines 2008 Drawing Contest (ages 6-12, 13-18, and 19+)
- Jif ® Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich ContestTM
- Blick’s 2008 Linoleum Block Print Contest (grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12)
- The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards (grades 5-12)
- Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship (grades 8-12)
- Christopher Columbus Awards (grades 6-8)
- VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Scholarship (grades 6-8)
Search Often (and in Many Places!)
New scholarships crop up-and old scholarships change-every year, so make it a point to keep your scholarship list up to date. Also, remember to reapply to scholarships that may not have gone so well the year before!
Wondering where to start this search? There are several places you can look (just make sure you avoid scholarship scams like these!).
- Legitimate, free scholarship search sites
Try: scholarshipexperts.com or freschinfo.com
- Running a google search for “scholarships”
Try: adding keywords relating to your student (soccer, art, your city’s name, etc.) to the word “scholarship” for more targeted results.
- Searching keywords on individual college websites
Try: searching for “scholarships” or “financial aid” on the websites of colleges your child is interested in attending
- Check with the counseling office
Try sending your student to the counseling office at his/her high school to see what scholarship info they have – most have files or binders with lots of scholarship award opportunities.
All the best,