money-652560_1280Financial aid is a loan that will help you pay for college, but you have to pay it back. Grants (need based) and scholarships (merit based) are monies that you don’t have to pay back! So, find one that is a good fit for you.

Invest time, not money, for scholarship/grant information

You know your needs and situation the best. Do the research. Avoid companies that guarantee money or exclusive information. Check with your parents/family members to ask if their employers offer scholarships, and talk to your counselor at school to learn about local and national scholarships.

This will enhance your researching skills and be very handy in college! It will also help you develop skills such as networking, persistence, and patience.

Large or small — it adds up

Start your search early; researching and applying for scholarships takes time. Apply to large scholarships, but don’t discount the smaller ones. Great resources for finding scholarships include your school counselor, your parents’ employers, and local philanthropic organizations and banks. Many universities also offer their own scholarships. Read each application carefully and tailor your essay to the scholarship that’s a good fit for you. Also think about what makes you unique that will help your application stand out.

This will enhance your writing and is an essential skill in college.

Talk to your academic advisors in college

Your academic advisors may be able to share scholarships that they are aware of or that they even administer out of their offices for specific majors and degree programs. Tap in to their resources for campus jobs and positions that may directly enhance your resume.

This will enhance your communication skills with faculty and advisors on campus and will provide you with networking skills.

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