How Do I Find College Scholarships Before I Graduate from High School?

One or more college scholarships can go a long way towards paying for your higher education. Some students are under the assumption that scholarships only pay for a small amount of their college and that applying for one takes too much time. While some organizations may only give you a few hundred dollars towards your textbooks, that is a few hundred dollars that you didn’t have before. Whether you want a scholarship that will pay a large percentage of your tuition, or you need a little extra money for school, there are a few places where you can look for this free money.

Parent Organizations

Start your search with your parents. The clubs and organizations that your parents belong to might give money to the children of their members. The Knights of Columbus and Moose International are just a few examples of these clubs. Organizations often set aside a small amount of money each year to give away to members’ kids. You can get that cash for doing nothing or something as simple as writing a short essay. The scholarships are often small, but you can usually use the money for anything related to your education.

Work Scholarships

Lindsey Mayfield and Julie Mayfield, of U.S. News & World Report, recommend checking with your parents’ employers for college scholarships. Many large corporations and companies have scholarship programs that give a small amount of money to the child of each employee when that child goes to college. Even if your parents’ employers do not offer these programs, the authors suggest meeting with them and talking about starting a similar program. The goodwill and publicity that the employers receive is often worth more than the small amount they give away every year.

Religious Groups

When searching for scholarships, make sure that you look at the religious groups and organizations in your area. Many churches accept donations from parishioners and use a portion of that money to give out scholarships later. As long as you are a member and in good standing with your church, it might award you a scholarship. Larger community organizations with religious affiliations may offer scholarships as well. Though these scholarships may award you more money, you need to put in more work. Some programs ask that you write a long essay, complete a project or give a speech in front of a crowd as to how you will use that money.

College Board Scholarships

The College Board is the organization responsible for administering and grading various college level examinations, including the Advanced Placement Test and SAT. If you perform well on one of those tests, you might look into scholarships available through the College Board and its affiliated network of schools. These scholarships are usually available to those who receive the highest scores on those tests. Depending on how well you score, the College Board may send scholarship offers directly to the address you registered when you took the test.

Those who receive the highest scores on the SAT and other tests often receive scholarship offers through the mail. Even if your scores are in the lower percentile, or you take the ACT rather than the SAT, you can still find free money for school. Look for college scholarships through local religious groups, organizations your parents belong to and your parents’ employers.

Please also see: When Should I Start To Apply for Financial Aid for College?