Do you know where to look for scholarships? With so many websites and organizations out there, it can be difficult to know when a scholarship is real and legit from the thousands of scams trying to steal your identity and money. Not everything you read online is valid or credible.
We recommend starting the scholarship search by connecting with your high school counselor or college’s financial aid office. They can provide you with scholarship opportunities and safe databases to use. Check if your school has a webpage dedicated to scholarships. It’s usually found under the “Academics” or “Counseling” section of a high school website or “Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships” of a college website.
For more opportunities, try your school clubs, community organizations, local churches, local businesses, your job, or your parents’ jobs. Your local public library will likely have different scholarship applications available too. And believe it or not, there are some scholarship applications that are only accepted by mail and aren’t online. So, don’t overlook these!
If you want to independently search online for scholarships, you should be able to find those same scholarships and applications on multiple websites. If you don’t, it’s a good idea to further investigate the credibility of the scholarship. Here are some recommended databases:
Lastly, here are some overall tips to remember when searching for scholarships:
- DO NOT pay for scholarships or “membership” to scholarship databases. You never, ever, need to pay for a scholarship application fee. Free means free.
- DO NOT share your Social Security number, bank/debit card number, or credit card information. This information allows scammers to easily steal from you.
- DO check the credibility and validity of the scholarship and/or organization. If you are unsure, check with your school or college advisor.
- DO pay attention to the details. You should focus on scholarships that match your skills and interests. Some scholarships are open to certain grade levels, some require written essays, and others require letters of recommendation.
Now that you know where to find scholarships, take the next step and apply for FREE MONEY!