Last week, we kicked off our Scholarship Series! We spelled out just about everything you need to know about college scholarships. The different types, qualifications, and tips on finding the right ones for you. This week, we’re discussing external scholarships searches – primarily online – and the best practices for finding great ones! Read on to learn more!

Talk to your Professional School Counselor

Your professional school counselor is a great place to start as you work to find the right scholarships. Your counselor is tapped into the community and will be able to direct you towards scholarships that you may not have known about otherwise. Building a relationship with your counselor is extremely helpful because they will have you in mind as new scholarships opportunities cross their desk, that they can make you aware of.

Check into local business scholarships

One way to do this? Check your community magazine, business association, and chamber of commerce website regularly. Many times, scholarships from small or local businesses are posted inside of these magazines or even on the community website. A lot of people don’t know about this or don’t think to look there, so this really increases the likelihood of being chosen for one of these.

Only start with primary sites for online searches

What we mean here is don’t just begin to google for scholarships. This will give you an insane amount of hits (11.8 million to be exact) and will only frustrate you as you try to narrow these down. Start with a great site and then begin the process. Here are a few we recommend:

Create a separate email address for your scholarship profiles

You’ll need to create a profile on each of the primary sites you choose to use. These sites will email you with notifications of potential scholarships and helpful tips. While this is great, it can clog up your inbox and get lost in the shuffle. To avoid all of it becoming overwhelming, create a new email address just for your scholarship profiles, so you can keep everything in one place.

Create a spreadsheet to track all of your scholarship applications

A simple spreadsheet with the organization, timing, potential money and links needed if any will help you keep all of the scholarships you’re applying for straight. This organization will make your life a lot easier!

Continue to update and filter your profile as time goes along

At first, when you create these profiles, you’ll want to make it more general. However, as time goes along, you find what interests you most and what you would better qualify for, make sure to go back in and adjust, update, and filter as needed to find the right scholarships matches.

Finding the right scholarship is only part of the puzzle. Knowing how to apply for them is the next piece. Stay tuned for next week’s post on the best ways to apply for college scholarships!