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Scholarships: How to Find Free Cash to Pay for College

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Nov 21, 2011 4:11:00 PM

Many students think that the only way you can get scholarships for school is by getting good grades or doing well in athletics. However, this is not always the case. Some organizations offer free money for other students, especially those who have a financial need, to go to college and get a good education after high school.

Matching Grants

Scholarships can help you pay for collegeSome states offer scholarships that give matching funds to low-income families to use toward college. These matching funds provide students with twice as much money as they would otherwise be able to bring to the table for going to school. This allows you to go to a better school than you could otherwise afford, giving you a better chance at making a better life for yourself. Search for these grants online to see if you can qualify.

Employers

Employers are another good source for students in search of scholarships. Some employers, especially larger ones, offer scholarship opportunities for employees and their dependents who want to go to college. Inquire with your employer to find out if they have any programs for which you can apply to obtain free money to go to a better college. Different employers attach different requirements to their programs to determine who qualifies.

WebsitesRIScholarships.org: Start your free search

Some websites, such as RIScholarships.com for Rhode Island students, can help you look for scholarships that best match your situation. These searchable websites ask questions about your grades, extra-curricular activities, financial situation and other pertinent information, including school choices. They then match you up with programs for which you may meet the requirements for free money. It is still up to you to complete the application process to find out if you qualify. Some of these websites can also send you an alert if a new opportunity arises for which you may qualify.

Colleges

Check with the colleges which you hope to attend. Some colleges offer scholarships to students who want to come to the school. Some of these programs are for those who have good grades or participate in sports during high school, but others are meant to help low to middle-income students afford to attend the school. If the college you hope to attend offers this type of program, apply to it as early as you can because there are likely plenty of other students who are after the same money you are.

Other Qualifications

Seeking scholarships from organizations that specialize in specific qualifications can be useful if you fall into one of their qualifying categories. For instance, if you are a member of a minority group, certain opportunities are available to you. Other common qualifiers include being in the military or a parent in the military, women, international students and physical disabilities. In addition, if you are going into certain fields, such as nursing or teaching, you may qualify for those programs.

Finding the right scholarship that fits your needs can take time. Start looking for scholarships early and check back often. These programs often have strict deadlines so it is important to check websites and other resources at least once a month to ensure that you don't miss any deadlines for a scholarship for which you may qualify. Even if you don't fit the criteria for an academic or athletic scholarship, you can still find free money for your schooling.

Topics: Scholarships for High School Students