Finding Scholarships Paying for College

How to Find Scholarships You Qualify for in Minutes

If you’re wondering how you can find millions in scholarships in a matter of minutes, keep reading.

“Gabrielle, do you have any tips for finding scholarships that we qualify for? We don’t qualify for any government assistance, grants, only loans. We’ve searched online, but don’t meet the qualifications to apply. We don’t know where to find scholarships!”

Sound like something you’d ask me to?

Well, look now further because this post will walk you through how to expand your scholarship search by finding your best fit scholarships.

Find Millions of Scholarships in Minutes

There are well-known scholarship sites that will give you the basics, but what I’m going to show you could increase the number of scholarships you qualify for by 10 times. Here’s how:

Step #1: Understand Your Timeframe

Before you even begin looking for scholarships, you need to be very clear on the timeframe for your search. Do you need scholarships this month? … three months from now? … in the next few weeks?

Some scholarships may have approaching deadlines, but the date of release could be months later.

Pay attention to committee awarding procedures. I would hate for you to need scholarships this semester but apply for scholarships that will be awarded weeks or months after you need the money.

While it’s fine to apply for scholarships with award dates months later, also understand how this impacts your scholarship search, process, and payment plans.

This leads us to step number 2.

Step #2: Get Specific

Simply searching for “Scholarships” in Google will give you a lot of results that are very broad. Look at the general search below which yielded 137 MILLION results:

That’s a ton of scholarships that may or may not even be beneficial.

I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, however most people will stop on the first page. The major problem with this is that everyone is doing it, and everyone doing it means more competition.

While I didn’t major in math, basic math skills tell me that I want my probability to increase by decreasing my competition. The only way for us to reduce the number of students we’re competing against is to narrow our search. To do that, you have to get extremely specific.

A quick and easy way to get more specific is by searching for “Scholarships Due in (Month, Year)”. By doing this, we narrow our scholarship search to about 2.7 million scholarships. Yes, it’s a drastic decrease, but it brings us closer to finding best-fit scholarships:

BONUS TIP: Doing this for each month of the year allows you to find scholarships all year long.

Furthermore, our good friend Google can do even better.

Adding specific majors or any other Scholarship Profile elements will lead you to the best search engines, organizations, and resources for your family.

In the screenshot above I’ve kept it general, but notice the results. As you can see, Google has brought me exactly what I’m looking for “Scholarships Due In April”. Other variations of the “Month/Year” search you can try are:

  • Scholarships Due in April (Year)
  • Scholarship with April Deadlines
  • April Scholarships
  • Deadlines in April
  • Scholarship Deadlines for April

If you want to learn more about this tactic and others, click here to access our FREE Scholarship Fast Track videos.

Step 3: Multiply Your Options

Step 3 plays a huge role in finding scholarships.

Because scholarships are not regulated, committees and organizations can use whatever terminology, phrasing, and language they desire.

Many families miss out on thousands millions of current scholarships because they are not finding majors with the exact name or title as their potential school.

During the college admissions process, we oftentimes hear our major called many different things. For example, a B.A. in Graphic Design can also be called:

  • Visual Communication
  • Visual Arts
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts Visual Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Visual Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication with Graphic Design Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Media Communications
  • Bachelor of Art in Design Media Arts
  • Visual Journalism
  • Visual Communication Design
  • Communications Design Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Graphic Design with Visual Communication
  • Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communication Design
  • Communication Design
  • Design with Visual Communication
  • Graphic Design and Humanistic Studies (How do you like that one!)

As you can see, there are numerous variations, and this probably isn’t even every option! This is true for many other majors as well. Admissions, recruiters, and universities will often say “It’s called _________________ at our university, so you’d have a degree in __________________.”

Don’t get stuck in the box. Think about the name variations for your/your student’s major.

Students often believe that they have to find scholarships that are specifically titled how their university lists their major. This is not true.

When you look for scholarships that only match your major's title, you limit your opportunities.Click To Tweet

Many scholarship committees will have “or related fields” in their description. If you haven’t considered alternatives, you may never find these scholarships.

Anytime you find another name for your major, add it to your “Major Alternative Names List”.

Your Next Scholarship Search Steps

I know that you may be feeling a little overwhelmed right now because it seems as though I’ve added 15 things to your to-do list. But this is a marathon – not a sprint.

Take each step one at a time. If I were you, I would start with Step 3 and work backward. Make your list of alternative major names first.

Real Talk: At times, I wish our majors had one name across the board to make our search easier. However, degrees are given different titles for a reason. It’s a pain to have to jump over these extra hurdles, but it makes it that much more meaningful when you earn scholarships. I’d rather spend a few extra minutes searching than be sorry later.

Next, incorporate Steps 1 and 2. By starting with step number 3, everything else super simple.

If you’re struggling, reach out. Leave comments, send me an email, or join our Scholarship Talk Facebook Group. Use this site regularly, and don’t quit.

Again, whatever you do…DO NOT QUIT!

Take each step one at a time. Commit to getting it done, get it done…and get scholarships.

Feature Image Artwork Credit: iStockPhoto/srdjan111

About Your Author
Having earned well over $150,000 in scholarships to pay for her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, Gabrielle McCormick teaches students, parents, and education professionals from across the country about winning scholarships to pay for college. Between finishing her dissertation and watching the NFL and NBA, she runs Scholarship Informer in her efforts to make college affordable for anyone that wishes to attend.
Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Don't get left behind! Join other families in staying up-to-date on current scholarships, application strategies, paying for college, and more!
21 Shares
Share21
Tweet
Share
+1
Pin
Email