Are you looking for reliable, online resources for college scholarships? Below I list three popular websites that can help students find scholarships. But, wait. Don't forget to check out other resources as well, such as merit aid scholarships, which are typically given in higher amounts (and not listed on these websites).
Every student should spend a few Saturday mornings searching the Internet for any potential college scholarships that might be a good fit. Below I list some FREE resources that I recommend and often to my students. Be careful: if anyone ever asks you to pay them to research scholarship opportunities, it might be a scholarship scam (don't fall for it).
Founded in 1995, Fastweb was one of the first free, online scholarship search providers in the United States. Since then, the website has also branched out providing search opportunities and information about college admission, military and education, financial aid, and career planning. Once you sign up, the information is FREE. Each day the website features different grant categories, so if a student visits regularly, it should not be difficult to learn about potential ways to find good sources of money for college.
In 2012, The College Board rolled out the new web format, called Big Future, and I really like it. If you have ever taken the PSAT, SAT or AP exams, then you are probably already familiar with The College Board (who creates thee tests and sends out the results to colleges).
Over the last decade, The College Board has broadened its scope to incorporate all aspects of the college admissions process. If you are looking for sources of money for college, then visit Big Future. It is very easy to use, and you may already have an account from The College Board if you have taken the SAT (but remember the searches are FREE and you do not have to have taken an SAT to start your search).
A third option for college scholarships would be Peterson's College Bound, another website devoted to college admissions with a specific focus on finding money for college (in fact, the website boasts "FREE info worth $8 billion". Now I am not sure there is that much money out there for college (the other websites claim $1-2 billion), but either way, the point is clear: take the time to search for scholarships.
If you are a student with a strong GPA and good test scores, then you may also qualify for "merit aid" based on your academic abilities. These types of awards are not typically found on scholarship searches (like the ones above) but given out by the colleges themselves, mainly as tuition reductions. Many of the students that I coach receive very generous merit aid packages.
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