If you think your opportunity to get a scholarship has passed, think again. Many local scholarships are still accepting applicants through April, May, or June. Start your search today, make a list, and manage your deadlines carefully so you don't miss out on any opportunities.
National scholarships are incredibly competitive and often are hard to win. They take lots of time and dedication and often result in little or no payoff.
On the other hand, local scholarships traditionally have fewer applicants, making your chances better in the long run. The amounts may be less, but even a few hundred dollars can put a sizable dent in your books and living expenses. Anything you can do to reduce the amount you need to borrow for college is a wise move.
If you think that scholarships are only for straight-A students and valedictorians, then you should know that is only a myth. Many scholarships are available to students based on other attributes and their interests. For example, RISLA's Knowledge for College Scholarship, in which 4 students are randomly selected each month to win $2,000 just for completing a quick financial literacy quiz. Check it out and enter it today, once a month, every month of the year. This scholarship and many others with varied eligibility requirements are listed at RIScholarships.org. Registration is free. You can become eligible to win $1,000 just for registering.
Other scholarships are named in memoriam for a lost loved one and are awarded to students who demonstrate qualities of that family member, such as leadership, compassion, or loyalty. Do you have a strong interest in bowling, fishing, or art? There may be a scholarship out there for you! If you haven't started looking - and even if you have - continue your local scholarship search.
The best places to find information on local scholarships are your high school guidance office (let your counselor know if you are looking for scholarships since many nominations for scholarships come from guidance staff), RIScholarships.org - RISLA's free local scholarship finder, the local library, newspaper, and your parent's employers. Also, check with the local Elk's Club, Lion's Club, and other organizations to see if any opportunities are available.
Last piece of advice: don't give up. Invest the time in both your senior year of high school and while attending college to help pay for college with funds that do not require repayment.