Another thing I’ve learned: getting scholarships is largely a numbers game. Not only do you have to be “in it to win it,” but your also have to be committed to applying to a lot of scholarships. Three or four won’t cut it. Encourage your son or daughter to apply for at least a dozen – two dozen is even better – to greatly improve his or her odds of landing one or more scholarships.
Does this mean a lot of time spent on your scholarship search? Yes, absolutely. But the payoff is more than worth it. Getting thousands of dollars worth of scholarships now for your child means you won’t have to do things like tap your 401(k) funds, take out a home equity loan, co-sign for student loans, or use credit cards to pay for various college expenses. It will also keep your kid from racking up college debt.
So if you or your child is serious about winning scholarships, make it a quasi part-time job. Spend at least 15 to 20 hours a week (more, if you can spare it) hunting for scholarships, putting together applications, writing essays, etc. You’ll likely have to do this for several weeks (even if the time is spaced out over a few months).
Successful scholarship winners – and I won a few scholarships of my own back when I attended graduate school at USC – will tell you that you’ll only get out of your scholarship search whatever you put into it.
Finally, utilize Internet based tools to help you streamline your scholarship quest. A website like FastWeb.com is priceless because it’s free to use, saves you time, and it lets you set up a profile and get automatically matched to scholarships that fit your unique circumstances.
If you or your high-school child needs free money soon to cover the cost of tuition, books, supplies, room and board or other college-related expenses, check out the three scholarships below. Two of these scholarships are also open to children as young as five years old: