A Scholarship for College: 5 Top Ways to Win Free Tuition

A scholarship for college offers a great way to pay tuition and finish your degree while avoiding student loans. You can win these awards. See below for a list of ways to win more scholarships.

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1. Where to Look

Some large companies offer flashy ad campaigns on their awards – like Best Buy, Pepsi, Wal-Mart and others. Believe it or not, the biggest chunk of aid comes through the universities and colleges, not through companies.

Feel free to apply to company scholarship programs, of course. But never skip the scholarships at your school. And ask at the financial aid office if you can apply for more.

To make this work even better, call your university and talk to the financial aid office and see what they can recommend for you to apply to before you arrive.

Then, after you finish with the financial aid office, call your college (such as engineering or business). See what the college suggests.

And also call your department. Don’t be surprised if you get offered a job as a teaching assistant. Professors like initiative.

2. Additional Awards

Are you great at something? Your next award might come from a skill you have honed. Perhaps music, or a sport. Everyone has heard of these awards, but many students don’t apply thinking that they don’t have what it takes.

Try out anyway. Someone will receive the award, why not you?

If you can try out for more than one, go for it. And the more obscure, the better. One school I know had a billiards scholarship for – believe it or not – math majors.

3. Look Close to Home

I’ve seen those national scholarship programs. They look great, and go ahead and apply. But don’t stop with national programs. Apply for local ones as often as possible.

These can come from local businesses, local clubs, even your chamber of commerce. Locals like to offer a scholarship for college because it goes to someone in their own home town. That looks great on their membership drives for next year.

In fact, some students even recruit sponsors. By going to local business owners, you can ask people in your town to support you. Offer to pose for a picture or write for their customer newsletter while at college. You never know.

4. Start Early

If you are looking for a scholarship for college right now, that’s great – keep working. Next year, start a little earlier and get those applications humming.

I have heard Dave Ramsey say that you should make applying for scholarships a part-time job until you have enough to attend school. Good advice.

5. Get Help

Look, you may not have the best GPA right now, or be the starting quarterback or class president. Try anyway. You have value, you just have to find it and focus on it.

Find a teacher, counselor or someone else who will support your efforts. Your parents would be ideal if they are positive and can help, but don’t be shy. Many people in your like can also help.

Ask for them to read your scholarship essays, to review your applications, and help you find more that you can apply for. Keep working on it, and finish that degree.

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