As a college student, I can not stress how important scholarships have been in funding my higher education. So far, I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay debt-free my first year of college, and this has to do with the number of scholarships I had earned last year. I am hoping to make it through another semester, if not another year, debt-free, so I am back on the hunt for scholarships. The thing that is great about scholarships is that there are so many out their. Sometimes this can be overwhelming; How can you be sure that you are finding all of the scholarships that are applicable to you? In order to help others that are in the same boat as me, I thought I would make a list of some of the places I have been able to find scholarships.

Your College

Almost every college I looked into during my high school years offered some sort of scholarship. Some of these scholarships are merit based, like my Trustee Scholarship from Morningside College. Others are talent based, like sports, music, or fine arts scholarships. For some schools, there are a limited amount of scholarship so, just like with many private scholarships, you might have to write an essay or take place in an interview process. Colleges might also require you to join a specific group on campus to be eligible. For example, my friend Sydney had to apply and be accepted into her school's honor society in order to qualify for a larger scholarship.

Your High School

My high school had an entire portion of its website dedicated to local scholarships. If your school doesn't have a website set up, your high school career councilor is another great place to check. This way you don't miss out on local scholarships you might not have known existed. For example although I knew that our local Legion offered a scholarship, I didn't know that they actually offered multiple scholarships aimed at different students, such as relatives of those who had served in the armed forces or students actually planning on going into the the armed forces.

Scholarship Websites

This is one of my personal favorites. I have accounts with multiple online scholarship databases. Many of these websites have you fill out a quick survey about yourself (when will you be entering college, what is your intended major, etc.), and then send you to a list of national scholarships you might qualify for. My personal favorites are Cappex, Chegg Scholarships and ScholarshipOwl. Cappex allows you to organize you matches by the date they are due, the amount of the scholarship, how much effort is needed, or even how much compitition they expect you to have. Chegg is very streamlined and easy to use. ScholarshipOwl is a new website I am testing out this season. On ScholarshipOwl, you make an account and fill out one basic scholarship application. Then they send you to a list of scholarships that you are qualified for. You fill out the essay portion and any information need outside of the basic application, and Scholarship Owl fills out the rest for you. It is pretty handy, but after your free week trial you have to pay.

Groups Your Family Might Be A Part Of

This could include work places, Lion Clubs, alumni funds or any other group they might be a part of. You would be surprised just how many groups actually offer scholarships. For example, my father subscribes to two different magazines, one for antique toy truck collecting and another for a trucking association, that offers scholarships to students who are related to subscribers.

Hope this helps!