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Finding More Scholarship Sources
It takes more than making the grades and scoring high on the SATs for students to be college-bound. Each year, students are faced with the burden of figuring out how they are going to pay for their college education. Knowing how and where to search for aid can make the difference in rather or not many students will be able to attend college.
Outside from personal or family savings, there are government grants, federal or personal loans, and scholarships. Government grants are almost always limited and only cover a fraction of the total cost of attending college. Federal and personal loans are debt, which has to be repaid after graduating.
Loans are great resources for covering expenses left over after there is no other source of income available. Scholarships are, for some students, the only hope for attending college with little or no upfront cash and without piling up thousands of dollars of debt.
Each year, there are billions of dollars of free scholarship money that goes unclaimed. Students are just not aware that this money is available. The most visible scholarship monies are offered by large corporations and charities. These scholarships receive thousands of applications for a small pot of available money. It is usually the local, community based scholarships that are overlooked by students.
When applying for scholarships, students must be as diverse as possible with their search. National organizations advertise there scholarship opportunities in widely distributed media outlets. The competition for these scholarships is very high and is limited to a few exceptional students. Students should continue to apply for these scholarships despite the competitiveness, but broadening their search to local opportunities will be to their advantage.
Many scholarships are offered by churches and local small businesses. But these scholarships are not always widely advertised. Finding out about these scholarship opportunities are not difficult with a little work.
Visiting a few churches and reading the news letters can be an effective way to find out if a particular church is offering any scholarships. Listening to the local AM stations is also an effective way to get information about scholarship offers from local churches and charitable organizations.
Many churches also have websites that are indexed in the popular search engines. Using Yahoo or Google to search on a few small organizations in town can yield some valuable information as well.
To reach even more scholarship sources, it would be a good idea to take notice of local small businesses. Many small businesses usually give scholarship to students that it has a direct or indirect affiliation with. For example, a local business may offer scholarships to sons and daughters of their employees. Asking mom and dad to keep watch for these opportunities can pay off big, as these types of aid almost always go without notice and have very little competition.
Taking advantage of every opportunity to receive the most scholarship funding can benefit students in two ways. First, students with an abundance of scholarship aid can attend college for little or no out of pocket money. Second, students will not graduate with an enormous amount of debt.
Jimmy Walker is the founder of CitePlanet.com where you can find thousands of quality citations from books, periodicals, and electronic sources.