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|Amber Brooks • 4/12/18|
The Short Version: Whether you dream of becoming a marriage and family therapist or the creator of the next big dating app, the first step is getting a college degree in your field. Of course, not everyone has the finances to put themselves through school without going into considerable debt. Fortunately, Scholarships.com connects promising high school students with over 3.7 million college scholarships and grants posted by thousands of reputable organizations. The website’s searchable directory lists over $19 billion in financial aid, and its algorithm directs members toward opportunities that fit their interests, demographics, and goals. Students, educators, and parents can sign up for free to gain access to valuable information about the college application process. High schoolers can get that much closer to their career goals by applying for the scholarships and grants that can help them go to the college or university that best suits them. As Scholarships.com says, “Be organized and efficient, and you’re bound to win some scholarships.”
My parents let my oldest brother handle all his college applications on his own, and it didn’t go well. He missed deadlines, didn’t do any research on out-of-state schools, and didn’t apply for scholarships — even though he was a good student with an above-average GPA. He just let opportunities pass him by because he didn’t know any better.
Four years later, when it was my turn to apply to college, my mom decided she wasn’t taking any chances. She asked me which colleges I was interested in applying to, added a few Ivy League schools she wanted me to consider, and did all my applications for me. I know, I totally lucked out.
My mom did everything possible to make the college application process easy on me. She even did scholarship research and came up with a list of financial aid I could qualify for — all I had to do was spend a weekend writing a few essays.
When you have someone narrow down your options for you, it makes the process of applying for college and scholarships a lot less intimidating. That’s what my mom did for me, and that’s what Scholarships.com can do for aspiring counselors across the US.
Scholarships.com is a highly respected informational resource with a searchable database of scholarship information and university statistics. Since 1998, this comprehensive website has provided online research tools to help students, parents, educators, and counselors find relevant scholarships, grants, and financial aid opportunities.
“We get rid of all the scholarships you don’t qualify for, so you can find opportunities suited to you,” said Kevin Ladd, Co-Creator and COO of Scholarships.com. “We’ve basically created the equivalent of a dating service, but for scholarships.”
Scholarships.com is a reliable and easy-to-use tool for high schoolers (especially seniors) interested in going to college without burdening themselves with student loans. You may think academic and athletic scholarships are only for a few elite high achievers — but Scholarships.com levels the playing field by introducing students to a broad variety of non-institutional aid that goes beyond the traditional athletic and academic awards.
The free website has over 3.7 million scholarships and grants in its database. All of these listings have been rigorously vetted by the team and deemed legitimate and worthwhile opportunities. None require application fees from students. Scholarships.com features everything from open-entry teen essay contests to niche awards for students of certain demographics.
In total, the website lists about $19 billion in financial aid available to prospective college students. You can sign up for free to gain access to a customized list of scholarships and grants that you qualify for. When creating your profile, you’ll fill in three pages of basic information, including your name, age, grade, and zip code, to help the website’s algorithm match you with scholarships for which you qualify.
The more specific you are in your profile, the more specific your recommended scholarships and grants will be. If you’re interested in getting a degree in psychology, counseling, or women’s studies, for instance, you can specify that in your bio, and Scholarships.com will match you with academic opportunities that fit your interests and goals.
“We just show scholarships you qualify for,” Kevin pointed out, “so you don’t waste time wading through a list of scholarships you have no chance of winning.”
Proactive students can go to Scholarships.com to learn all they need to know about the college application process. Not only does the website provide an incredibly helpful database of scholarships and grants, Scholarships.com also has step-by-step guides on how to choose the right school and how to write a standout college scholarship essay. These student resources break down the essential costs, requirements, and other considerations involved in applying for colleges as well as college scholarships.
Scholarships.com even provides students with an academic calendar that lists relevant testing dates and a college application timeline that outlines when you should apply and what you can expect throughout the process. With the help of these handy guides, you can stay focused and make sure you don’t miss a single deadline. You can also print out a Scholarship Application Checklist to help you stay on task as you fill out applications.
From start to finish, Scholarships.com is a valuable partner in the college application process. “We have more to offer students than just scholarships,” Kevin said, “We have knowledge that can help them find colleges interested in a student of their demographics.”
Scholarships.com also recommends colleges and universities that would be a good fit for the site members based on their demographic information and test scores. High schoolers may not have even heard of some of these schools, but they may just provide great financial aid packages, so they could be an affordable solution for students on a budget. Members can also search for a college on their own using the website’s College Search tools, which allow users to narrow down colleges by type, state, and program/major.
“You can see basically everything you’d want to know about a college,” Kevin said. “The page lists in-state and out-of-state tuition, room and board expenses, degrees offered, and application fees, among other key items that could help you to determine your best college fit.”
Scholarships.com’s simple search tools don’t just direct people to resources they need — it opens up a world of academic possibilities for them. It gives students the opportunities and information that can help them pursue their dreams — and many students have won extraordinary financial aid packages thanks to Scholarships.com. You can read some of their most inspirational testimonials here.
Diane M., a Miami student who attended Tulane University, Babson College, and Harvard Business School, made it her mission to apply for every scholarship she could find on Scholarships.com and beyond. She submitted around 200 applications and ended up with tens of thousands of dollars in financial aid. “Thanks to Scholarships.com, I haven’t had to pay a cent for my entire college education,” she said. “Out of all the search engines for scholarships, Scholarships.com is definitely the best.”
Arizona high schooler Elliette D. won a $500 scholarship after becoming a member on the site.. “Scholarships.com is an amazing, helpful forum that offers scholarships tailored to you,” she said. “Thank you, Scholarships.com, for making this process seamless and giving me the support to pursue my college dreams.”
“Out of all search engines for scholarships, Scholarships.com is definitely the best.” — Diane M., a junior at Tulane University
Nick M. made his out-of-state college tuition a lot more affordable by applying for scholarships through Scholarships.com “The scholarship I won was the Mayo Foundation Scholarship for $12,000,” he said. “[That] has helped me pursue a great education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.”
“I have not decided where I want to attend college yet,” said Bryan C., a senior in Houston, Texas, “but the scholarship I have received will make my college experience less stressful.”
“It requires some proactivity and positivity on the student’s part,” Kevin explained. “When you get rejected, you have to stand up and do it again. Part of growing up is being told no and learning how to move on from that.”
I felt incredibly fortunate to have my mom volunteer to be my own personal scholarship-seeking machine, but nowadays every student can expect that type of service when they log in to Scholarships.com.
Thanks to this website, high school students don’t have to waste time applying to scholarships for which they are unqualified — they can quickly figure out what opportunities make sense for them and apply online. If you use these tools wisely, you can save yourself a lot of time, effort, and money when applying for colleges and scholarships.
Whether it’s psychology, counseling, sociology, or any other interest, earning college scholarships can set you up for success when getting your degree. You can get yourself where you want to be with a little planning, a lot of dedication, and the right search tools.
“The students who get after it are always going to be the ones who come out ahead,” Kevin told us. “The more you apply, the more scholarships you are likely to win. As you meet with success, your confidence builds, and you will find yourself meeting with even more success.”