Have you ever thought that you, your son/daughter, or someone else you know could have most college expenses paid? Or maybe you can even go to university for free? Yes, you heard that right—FREE.
For a while, I have been talking to friends and acquaintances, and there is always a feeling that lingers from someone: that unconscious willingness to go back to school, whether it is to further their education or eventually to have a competitive edge in the unmerciful job market. Not to mention, I always find a parent who tries to save for their offspring’s college education, but the problem that hits everyone hard is always in the pocket. For some, money will most likely be the biggest issue.
If you are one of those who wanted to have an opportunity to improve yourself but have limited means, or you are a parent who is looking for savvy ways to save for your child’s college education, hang tight because I have good news for you.
There is no shortage of legitimate scholarships out there that you or someone you know can take advantage of. I’m not only talking about those hard-won scholarships from prestigious, Ivy League universities. If being accepted in those places was always your dream, by all means, you should go for it. However, there are always other options for the ones who find the whole process difficult to undertake.
Many institutions offer legitimate scholarships with minimum requirements. Here are some examples:
Write an essay about a particular topic for the Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest.
Be enrolled or have plans to enroll in a college or university within a given period of time, and, in some instances, a minimum GPA. One example is the “From Failure to Promise” Essay Contest.
There are also some no-essay scholarships available. In some cases, you will be asked to simply fill out a website registration form, such as in the Niche $2,000 NO Essay Scholarship, respond to short questions for the Course Hero Scholarship or take quizzes and participate in “competitions.”
The money provided, which varies between $500 and $20,000 depending on the scholarship, can go toward tuition, books, and anything in between. Some are even completely up to you; you can spend the money any way you want. Each sponsor has its own requirements, and you will have to certify the information on their websites first.
Now you might be asking, Are they legitimate?
You bet they are. There are reports of students who were awarded a significant sum of money through scholarships. Arianna Alexander, a high school senior from Chicago, once won a record $3 million in scholarships. No joke!
And what did she do that made her win this whopping amount of money? Her hard work and perseverance. Alexander and many other students are perfect examples showing that everything is possible if you put in an effort.
I can speak from my personal experiences. Although I never made an insane amount of money, I did have part of my tuition covered for my first graduate degree, and I received $1,000 for an education scholarship from Hardwood Forest Foundation later on in my career. You or someone you know can be the next scholarship winner.
The big question is Where Can You Find Legitimate Scholarships?
Some websites specialize in providing information about scholarships and are excellent starting points.
- Fastweb, my go-to site when I have to research everything about scholarships, is a complete source. Their directory lists scholarships by year, by types (high school, college, veterans, bilingual and minority), by subject matter (nursing, teachers, multimedia, etc.), and even has listings for “personality type,” “weird scholarships,” “silly and fun” and “quick and easy” scholarships. Fastweb also provides up-to-date information on fellowships, internships, financial aid, career planning and advice, and resources for educators.
- Scholarships.com is another recommended source. Like Fastweb, it offers a comprehensive scholarship database. This site is most widely known for its extensive information on college scholarships, grants, and financial aid.
- ScholarshipOwl is a scholarship database service that lets you apply for multiple legitimate scholarships at the same time with a single application. You just need to fill out a profile, and ScholarshipOwl matches your information with all the necessary scholarships based on the background you gave. It offers a free service and a premium membership with more advanced features, such as multiple submissions to repeat applicants.
In today’s economy, any stretching of money counts. And sometimes with the myriad of commitments we have lined up, it can be hard to save money for college tuition. But with the plethora of options for scholarships, you or a loved one increase the chances to make your dreams a reality. So don’t wait; check it out for yourself and give it a try.
And if you don’t mind, I would love to hear about your success story. Let me know in the comments below.