Scholarships aren’t just for athletes and smarty-pants kids anymore. There are thousands of scholarships out there that you didn’t even know existed.
Honestly, and I’m not making this up:
Is your kid tall? Awesome. Hopefully your family lives in Phoenix – that would make your teen eligible for the $250 CATS Tall Club Scholarship.
Knows how to attract water fowl? Sweet. They’re giving out $4,125 in scholarships for the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest.
Creates fancy school lunches? The Jif Most Creative Sandwich Contest is the one to go for: winner gets a scholarship worth $25,000, and a Jif peanut butter basket worth $50. Whoa.
Ok, so those are some particularly bizarre examples. Let’s figure out which scholarships your high schooler is eligible for – outlandish or otherwise. I promise they’re out there.
Scholarship Search Engines
Have your teen plug in characteristics about themselves into the following search engines, and then you’re cooking with gas. These are my two preferred tools for students to use, because they keep information private and the scholarships are updated regularly:
BigFuture Scholarship Search: The College Board hosts this resource for high school kids – the same folks who create the PSAT and SAT exams. Awesome tool.
Fastweb: This one’s been around since 1995 and has 1.5 million in scholarships worth $3.4 billion available. Definitely a great resource.
Your teen should connect with the financial aid offices for prospective colleges – they’ve got the best gouge for funds there. In fact, I worked as an aide in my college’s financial aid office back in the day and saw scholarships that no one even applied for. Students who ask directly win those if they’re eligible! And don’t forget to ask the high school guidance counselor.
Community & Employers
An amazing resource for scholarships could be as close as in your social circles. If you’re part of a religious community, ask about local, regional or even national scholarships for denominational eligibility. Your very own employers might offer scholarships for children of employees – lots do that. Local Rotary, Elks, Eagles and Lions clubs tend to have scholarships, too. Also, it sounds archaic, but check the local newspaper, too. Ask, ask, ask!
Hot Tip #1: Before you sign up for any of the scholarship search engines, make sure your teen signs up for a separate email address to use solely for college planning purposes. Because, honestly – they’re going to hate the amount of email that’s about to come flooding in.
Hot Tip #2: Never pay for scholarship search services. Don’t trade money for money – it’s likely a scam.
What scholarships are you finding that your teen’s eligible for? Where are you looking? Leave a comment below!