The Scholarship Search: Tips for Parents and Students

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The Scholarship Search: Tips for Parents and Students

Encourage your child to participate in activities outside the classroom.

Participation in extracurricular activities, part-time employment, and community service may lead to more scholarship opportunities for your child. And admissions staff look favorably on such well-rounded interests.

Start the scholarship search early.

Begin searching for scholarships during your child's sophomore or junior year. Make a list of any scholarships that your child should look into further.

Block off time for the scholarship search.

It takes time to search for scholarships and to submit applications. But hard work has its rewards, and the more "free" money your child earns through scholarships, the less you and your child will need to borrow to pay for college.

Use free scholarship search sites.

Visit websites such as to find a wide array of scholarships for which your child may qualify.

Check with your employer.

Many employers sponsor scholarship programs for employees and their dependents.

Don't ignore scholarships with smaller award amounts.

There is often less competition for these scholarships, so your child's chance of success is greater.

Have your child write one really good essay.

Be sure the essay addresses the key requirements for the scholarship and focuses on attributes other than academics. Your child can use the same essay for multiple scholarships, although they may need to revise it slightly for different awards.

Proofread your child's application and essay.

Look for spelling errors, grammar errors, and punctuation errors.

Don't miss the deadline!

Late applications almost always go on the "NO" pile. Make sure your child pays attention to deadlines and submits their applications before it's too late.

Search for scholarships every year!

As your child grows and matures, they may qualify for different scholarships every year. For example, your child may join new clubs and organizations in college, may pursue a different major, or qualify for new awards that weren't available the previous year. By searching every year, you and your child will maximize the chances of success.

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