Need to Pay for College? Here’s How You Can Get Scholarships

Tips for Getting Money To Fund Your Education

Have you been filling out scholarship applications yet?

Have you been filling out scholarship applications yet?

You are preparing to apply for colleges or attend college next year, and you are ecstatic about the possibility of spending the next four years somewhere you love. But when you pull up the tuition amount (and look at room and board and other expenses), you realize it’s going to cost >$50,000 per year. Yikes. How are you expected to afford that?


If you’re not the descendant of Bill Gates, the Rockefellers, or the Obamas and you don’t have millions of dollars lying around somewhere, you probably need money to attend college. While some top schools offer great financial aid to help you pay off a lot of your debts, many don’t, and you will often still need a lot of money to pay off the rest without tons of student loan debt. Here’s some tips on getting scholarships to fund your education.


Apply to Colleges that Offer Lots of Scholarship Money

Some colleges offer tons of scholarship money. The University of Alabama, for example, offers scholarship money based off of your grades and test scores, and a lot of other smaller schools will offer you money with your acceptance as well. There are also some other schools such as Vanderbilt, Emory, UVA, Clemson, and others that offer full ride scholarships. At these institutions, however, it is often more difficult to get these scholarships because of how competitive they are and how few awards they offer. However, one of the benefits of getting scholarships such as these is that you can get other perks as well, such as funded study abroad or service experiences, more opportunities, 1:1 mentoring, and more. Below is a link of 84 colleges that offer full ride scholarships, and I highly recommend checking them out and considering applying if you are an underclassman. These are wonderful programs, and if you are lucky enough to get a full ride scholarship to a school you love then you won’t have to worry about paying back any student loans and can enjoy your college experience debt free.

However, one of the benefits of getting scholarships such as these is that you can get other perks as well, such as funded study abroad or service experiences, more opportunities, 1:1 mentoring, and more.


Check Your School Email for Guidance Counselor Messages

Our wonderful guidance counselors are amazing at staying on top of scholarships, especially local ones, that students can apply to. As a result, it’s important to make sure that you check your school email often as a senior so that you can take advantage of the opportunities they email to you.


Use Scholarship Search Engines

Scholarship search engines such as Fastweb,, Cappex, Niche, Unigo, Chegg, and others are great resources to use to find scholarships that you can apply for. You can also filter your searches to find scholarships that apply specifically to you. For example, if you’re left handed there may be scholarships specifically for left handed people.


Shoot Your Shot

Don’t be intimidated by applying to some of the larger scholarships such as the Coca-Cola scholarship, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship, the Cameron Impact scholarship, or a full-ride to a top school. Although many other students will also be applying to these scholarships, you never know if you could be the one to win money, and you’ll never know if you don’t try.


Big companies and organizations such as Taco Bell, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, and others often offer large scholarships to students which are good to apply for. Shoot your shot and try applying. At best you can get money to pay for college, and at worst nothing will really happen.


Apply to Small Scholarships Too

You may skip over some of the $1,000 scholarships in your search because it might not seem like it’s worth it to apply to the little ones over a big scholarship. However, the scholarship amounts do add up, and the little ones can contribute to a larger total. For example, if you win 20 $1,000 scholarships, then you have $20,000 in scholarship money. Every little bit helps!


Apply to Colleges Through QuestBridge

If you are a high achieving student whose family is earning less than $65,000 for a family of four. You must apply to this program as a high school junior, but if you are able to match with a top college through the QuestBridge national college match, then you can receive a full ride scholarship to the school of your dreams. This is a great program, and if you qualify for it I would recommend applying!


National Merit Finalists

If you score highly on the PSAT during your junior year, you may be able to become a National Merit Semi-Finalist, and then a National Merit Finalist. As a National Merit Finalist, you can get full tuition scholarships to schools such as University of Alabama, University of Florida, University of Mississippi, and Baylor University. If you don’t want to attend one of the institutions that offers scholarships for NMFs, however, you could also have the chance of getting a small scholarship through a corporation if you have family working for them. Approximately 7,500 National Merit Finalists will also get a $2,500 scholarship after filling out the application.


I hope these tips help you to find scholarships to attend college! With rising tuition costs each year, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to pay for college that don’t end with having crippling student loan debt. Good luck in your college application process!