College is one of the most expensive and yet worthwhile investments. But there’s no reason to pay more than you need to. Here are some strategies to help secure college scholarships to bring the price of college down.
What’s the best way for students to find college scholarships?
1. Search strategically
- Luckily, there are tons of scholarships, but that means that students should narrow their search based on criteria specific to them about their background, interests, test scores, etc.
- For example, students can google “scholarships for pastor’s kids,” “scholarships for environmental science majors,” “scholarships for Brazilian Americans.” You get the idea. One website in particular, Scholarships.com, is great and lets students filter by scholarships that fit them. Those niche scholarships have fewer applicants, which will boost a student’s chances.
2. Apply to a lot
- Students will get better and better at applying the more they do so.
- And each scholarship application will take less time because students already have essays written.
- Most importantly, students increase their odds just by having more chances.
3. Go small
- Tons of people apply to the big, general scholarships, but most students are more likely to get multiple smaller scholarships than land one big one.
How can SAT and ACT scores give students an advantage in receiving scholarships?
- Most scholarships are based at least in part on a student’s academic achievement, and test scores are an easy way to demonstrate that achievement on a standardized scale.
- And, because 70% of students attending 4-year BA granting universities had A-averages in high school, it’s hard to differentiate yourself on grades alone, so good test scores can help boost your scholarship chances.
- And some colleges even give out automatic scholarships for students based on SAT and ACT scores.
Is it worth the time to apply for scholarships?
- Yes, absolutely. Especially because it takes less and less time the more scholarships you apply for because you get better at doing so and will likely reuse some of your essays.
- If you can get $5,000 in scholarships per year, that’s $20,000 that you can save on a 4-year degree. That saved money will either give you a fantastic financial cushion to start your professional career or save you from taking out that additional amount in student loan debt, which will alleviate a tremendous burden from you and set you up for greater future financial success.
Want to watch an interview on how to find college scholarships? Check out the highlights of the interview here: