How to Improve your Chances of Winning a Scholarship – Part Four

This is Part Four of the series on How to Improve your Chances of Winning a Scholarship. This post will focus on the “where to look” question when it comes to searching for scholarships. Beyond all the normail scholarship search engines out there, there are other areas that offer programs as well.

If you’ve read any of the previous posts in this series on How to Improve Your Chances of Winning a Scholarship, you already know to start early. You already know how to manage your scholarship search and you know how important the things you do outside of school are. The question now becomes, where do you look? As you might imagine, there are numerous places you can go to locate scholarships while still in high school. Many are competitive, some offer great award amounts and still others are easy to attain. But one of the best sources you can begin searching for scholarship programs is right in your own neighborhood. Seeking out local scholarship programs which generally have less competition than national programs will give you a clearer shot at receiving aid. Of course, scholarship matchmaking sites are very helpful in the search for scholarships and is usually where you would run to first, but there are other areas in which you can find financial aid. It’s simply a good idea to exhaust all avenues of possible scholarship sources to give you a better chance of earning cash. Here are a few below.

Community Foundations

One of the best places to start your search for local scholarships is by visiting your community foundation’s website. Generally, it’ll have a section from which you can find scholarships that are specifically for students in your area. You’ll be able to find memorial scholarships that honor students in a specific county, are attending a certain high school or are planning to enroll into a certain college. Community foundations also offer volunteer and community service opportunities which should look good on other scholarship applications. Earlier in the Organization post, you learned that building a list of scholarships will help make things simpler. Be sure to diversify your list with scholarships within the community as well as programs open to the nation. That way you won’t be applying solely for highly competitive programs (national scholarships) which can award in higher amounts, but you’ll also be applying to local scholarships which are a bit easier to win.

Scholarships from Employers

Another great place to find local scholarships is from an employer. Checking with your parents to see if their employer awards scholarships to dependents can vastly improve your chances of winning aid. There are also companies that offer lucrative fringe benefits (e.g. scholarships or tuition reimbursement programs) to employees who are interested in enrolling into college. Searching for scholarships with restrictive eligibility requirements that you qualify for will surely catapult your chances of earning financial aid. If looking for a part-time job while hitting the books, searching for employment opportunities that offer these benefits should definitely be on your checklist.

Other Places

A few other places to find local scholarships include your public library, high school guidance counselors and any groups or organizations you’ve been involved with (boy scouts, debate team, art clubs, etc). It’s wise to search every nook and cranny for scholarship programs as the more you find the higher your chances of winning. If you’re truly dedicated and are persistent in applying for scholarships, it’ll only be a matter of time before you win one. This should wrap up all the general points of how to improve your chances of winning a scholarship. Remember to setup a steady schedule of when you’ll apply for programs (every weekend, after class, etc), and keep at it until you’re satisfied you’ve won enough. And of course, the easier the scholarship, the more likely you’ll be able to win one, so be sure to check often as there were always be easy scholarships listed that’ll vastly enhance your likelihood of receiving financial aid. Good Luck!


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