Finding Scholarships for College Students

Finding Scholarships for College Students
portrait of Mikael Mulugeta
By Mikael Mulugeta

Published on August 21, 2019

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Deciding where to go to college requires students to evaluate several factors, including affordability, distance from home, and campus culture. Despite the need for financial resources, many prospective college students weigh their options without investigating the potential scholarships available to them.

Earning the right scholarship can dramatically change your college and post-college experience. Having a free source of money can save you from burdensome student loans, impact how often you work throughout the school year, or help you afford your dream school. Below is a list of resources that can help you find the right scholarship for your needs.

While most students visit the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Federal Student Aid website looking for loans, the site is also a good launch point for scholarships. It details the types of federal grants and scholarships available to students, including Pell Grants and TEACH Grants. Guidance is also available for avoiding scams and finding private scholarships.

The ED also provides information about financial aid for military families from the federal government and other veterans service organizations. Eligible applicants include veterans, future military personnel, active-duty personnel, or family members of veterans and active-duty personnel.

The U.S. Department of Labor's free scholarship search tool can help you navigate through thousands of available scholarships. The tool sorts by scholarship name, amount awarded, and application deadline.

FinAid is a comprehensive scholarship overview resource that organizes scholarships based on academics, service, athletics, and more. FinAid also features an intuitive search tool that helps you navigate through more than 1.5 million scholarships.

As the nation's largest nonprofit, private scholarship organization, Scholarship America provides comprehensive listings of scholarship programs run by various companies. Their website also provides information on how to choose a college, apply for financial aid, find scholarships, and more.

Peterson's is a one-stop scholarship resource with several other free resources. In addition to scholarships, students can search for grant opportunities and other sources of funding. Peterson's also boasts an impressive collection of articles and test prep resources.

Unigo has plenty to offer beyond its robust scholarship directory, including job listings, internship opportunities, college profiles, articles, and a textbook store. When it comes to scholarships, the site offers both profile-based matching as well as easy-to-browse categories.

Chegg is widely known for its online textbook store that allows students to either rent or buy textbooks affordably. But Chegg is also a great resource for finding scholarships — more than $1 billion worth of awards. Once you create a personal profile, you can search for available scholarship opportunities that match your criteria. Chegg also has a "top scholarship picks this week" category that highlights some options you may have missed.

Cappex hosts a database of more than $11 billion in scholarship opportunities. Once you create a personal profile, you can search for opportunities that directly match your strengths and skills. Plus, Cappex has a tool that will calculate your odds of getting into a certain college before you apply.

Scholarships.com hosts one of the largest scholarship databases and is updated daily. The site lists more than 2.7 million scholarships worth more than $19 billion. It's easy to browse by category, but it's best to make a personal profile if you want to find all the opportunities available to you.

Fastweb hosts more than 1.5 million scholarships that provide more than $3.4 billion in funding. Once you create a profile, the site's search feature helps you find the most accurate matches that fit your needs. Your personal profile is how the site helps you find what you're looking for. You can also keep track of all the scholarships you applied for, or may want to apply to in the future. They also have contests that you can enter monthly or weekly to win money.

Niche is an intuitive tool that can help you find colleges and scholarships. The tool organizes scholarships into categories that make it easy to find what you are looking for, allowing you to search by interest, career, major and other areas.

While the College Board is known for its college-readiness tests, it also has an arm that focuses on scholarships. BigFuture hosts scholarship information from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion in available funds. To get the most accurate search results, create a profile and fill out as many details as possible before searching.

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