As college costs continue to soar, students and families can seek out scholarship money to offset some of those costs. Students can begin earning college scholarship money in their elementary years (check FinAid under 13) and even more opportunities become available during the high school years. Here are some places you may uncover scholarship opportunities:
- Places of Employment- many companies and organizations offer scholarship money to the children of their employees. Some offer money to grandchildren as well. Get in touch with the benefits department to find out if there are such opportunities. Also, teens may find that their employer offers scholarship money (ex. Wegman's). Have students check their employer's national website, or local human resources office.
- School Districts- many school districts offer scholarships for their students. High school guidance offices maintain a list of local and national scholarship opportunities so check it out on a regular basis.
- Banks and Lenders- Wells Fargo's College Steps program is a sweepstakes for high school seniors and many local banks and credit unions have scholarship money available to their customers. Ask yours.
- Speaking of sweepstakes, there are many contests where students win college money. Check out this quiz by the American Fire Sprinkler Association and this opportunity by eCampus Tours and this one by Tylenol.
- Find your local Rotary Club and local Lions Club and check with them about scholarships.
Applying for scholarships can take some hard work, but graduating from college with reduced or zero debt can make it all worthwhile. One word of caution...be careful to avoid common scholarship scams. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true...